Who has best combined basketball program?

March 31, 2010

These dogs have bite
Mike Anthony

Hartford Courant

One school, Connecticut, has produced dual national championships. In 2004, Emeka Okafor led the men and Diana Taurasi led the women to titles.

And both teams were in the 2009 Final Four.

Is there any other measuring stick?

They were the first men's and women's teams from the same school to be ranked No.1 simultaneously, in 1994-95. Both are coached by members of the Hall of Fame.

Jim Calhoun just completed his 24th season coaching the men's team, while Geno Auriemma in his 26th season with the women's team.

And both programs produce talent for the next level.

Calhoun and Auriemma make Storrs, Conn., a tiny town east of Hartford, the college basketball capital of the world.

manthony@tribune.com

No doubt: It's 2Conn
Shannon Ryan

Chicago Tribune

Last year, Hasheem Thabeet and Maya Moore were featured together on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated.

It was a symbol of the perfect power couple - Connecticut's men's and women's basketball teams. Of course, the women wear the pants in this relationship.

Between them, the Huskies have won eight national championships - six by the women. In 2004, both won titles.

The men's team didn't make the NCAA tournament this season, but the women look destined for another title after hammering team after team with a record winning streak.

Last season both teams were in the Final Four, a place the women's team has been 10 times and the men three times.

It's clear that no basketball program has as much clout as this pair.

sryan@tribune.com

Oh, you Blue Devils
Andrew Carter

Orlando Sentinel

Duke is the only logical answer to this question.

The men's program is in the Final Four for the first time since 2004. The women made it to the Elite Eight before losing to Baylor.

In any given year, both programs compete for Atlantic Coast Conference and national championships.

And I'd argue that no other school comes that close to matching the overall excellence of both teams at Duke.

If the men were a bit better at Connecticut, you could make a strong case for the Huskies given their dominance in the women's game. But the UConn men didn't make the NCAA tournament this season.

The men's and women's teams are strong at Kentucky and Tennessee - and Baylor this season - but haven't been as consistent as the ones at Duke.

acarterb@tribune.com

It's a numbers game
Mike Hiserman

Los Angeles Times

If you're looking at the top combined program in history and going by straight math, an argument could be made for either of two schools that this year didn't send a team to the men's tournament: UCLA and Connecticut..

UCLA has won more basketball championships than any other school - 11, all by its men's teams. The rest of the top five: Connecticut and Tennessee (all women's) with eight, Kentucky (all men's) with seven and North Carolina with six. UConn has the best balance (two men's titles, six women's).

Worth noting: Only four major colleges have won both a men's and women's national championship in basketball: Connecticut, North Carolina (five men's, one women's), Stanford (two women's, one men's) and Maryland (one and one).

mhiserman@tribune.com

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