Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Villanova Ranked #13 All Time

Credit the bloggers over at the VUhoops.com blog for finding Mike Miller's piece about Villanova. Mike blogs over at Beyond the Arc, and at the end of last season decided to take up the task of identifying (and ranking) the 25 or so best basketball programs in Division 1. He, like many others, was not especially happy with the job Smith and Street did back in 2005, and so, working with a large list of candidates, a loose set if criteria and a good sense of program traditions, began to winnow the list and rank the teams. Working his way from 25 down to 1 he has released on every Tuesday this off season, the next team on his list. He is almost half way there, and this week was Villanova's turn.

His post on Villanova, "THE GREATEST PROGRAMS: NO. 13, VILLANOVA", is a terrific blend of the quantitative reasons (#10 most wins in the NCAA, #2 most wins in the NIT, a .634 winning percentage all time, nearly 1,5000 wins all time, etc.) and the historical. Villanova is only one of 2 D1 programs to have a team play in the tournament in every decade since it began -- the Wildcat having won the first NCAA Tournament game ever played. The 1985 Championship Game continues to be cited as one of the best all-time. Miller has done justice to each program he has identified so far. His writing shows his joy at watching the games and the respect he has for all of the programs. Teams #14 through #25 are listed at the bottom of the Villanova piece. Each is worth reading. Even you don't agree with his choice, he does an excellent job explains his reasons for their rank.

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