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Power Ranking The United States By Basketball Achievement (30-21)

This started as a heated debate in one of my many basketball group chats. It spurred this grand idea that I knew would take a LONG time. Well, here we are.


A couple of very important things to preface. These are based on a variety of factors that include but are not limited to basketball history, NCAA men's wins, titles, impact on the game, and a whole lot more. To make it as fair as possible for players from a particular state and for where a title was won for a professional franchise, it had to be where the player was physically born and where the title was physically won at that time. Now that these caveats are laid out, enjoy part three, and if you disagree or love where your team is ranked let me know on Twitter.


If you are wondering if your state has been listed so far, click here for "Part One" and here for "Part Two!"


30.) Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri Arch with basketball under it

Men's Division One Programs: 6

Men's Division One Record: 4,846-4,168

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: None

NBA Titles: 1

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, Jo Jo White, David Lee, Bill Bradley


When Bradley was on the trade block earlier this year, it was brought up MANY times of their ties back to being from Missouri. The other three notables were pretty great players as well with Jo Jo White and Bill Bradley both being two-time NBA champions and Hall of Famers and David Lee being a twelve-year veteran and 2015 NBA champion with the Warriors.


The six men's basketball programs have put up a respectable 4,846 wins with a winning record. For those of confused (or didn't read the introduction paragraph), the St. Louis Hawks won the NBA title in the 1957-58 season which based on the fairness criteria I have laid out, Missouri would get the credit for it. The future of college basketball programs in the state is looking very good based on the recent success. I know there isn't currently a professional team in St. Louis but you never know what the future holds!


29.) Arkansas

Derek Fisher in a Los Angeles Lakers yellow uniform fist pumping
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 3,700-3,300

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: None

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Scottie Pippen, Sidney Moncrief, Joe Johnson, Derek Fisher, Glen Rice


When you have a winning record in men's division one, have a men's national championship, and have five successful NBA players, you have a pretty solid resume. The Arkansas Razorbacks won the 1994 NCAA Championship over the Grant Hill-led Duke Blue Devils giving the state its only championship. The other four NCAA programs help combine for 3,700 wins and counting.


The notable NBA players deserve their own paragraph. Scottie Pippen is obviously the most accomplished player listed above as he is a six-time champion and teammate of Michael Jordan. Sidney Moncrief, Joe Johnson, and Glen Rice all had very successful careers averaging over 15 points per game. Last but most certainly not least, Derek Fisher is an 18-year NBA veteran and five-time NBA champion.


28.) Nevada

NBA Summer League court
Courtesy of Peachtree Hoops

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 2,190-1,327

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: G League Ignite, Las Vegas Aces

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 1

Notable Players: Greg Anthony, Ricky Davis, C.J. Watson, Zach Collins


This is a fresh example as by the time this piece is posted this year's Summer League will be concluding in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event every year is an exciting time for young players and the city of Las Vegas becomes an epicenter for basketball. It was also recently announced that Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host of the semi-finals and finals of the new NBA in-season tournament that will begin this upcoming season.


When you take into account the basketball accolades, the state has two championships to show for. The UNLV Runnin' Rebels won the 1990 men's basketball title and the Las Vegas Aces won the most recent WNBA title in 2022. Taking into account having only UNLV and the University of Nevada, the men's basketball record is very impressive. Nevada has three notable players who all had at least ten-year careers in the NBA which is a note-worthy achievement.


27.) Oklahoma

Boomer Sooner
Courtesy of SportsLogos.Net

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 5,806-4,215

Men's Division One National Titles: 2

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma City Blue

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Blake Griffin, Mark Price, John Starks


The state of Oklahoma has two men's national championships that most people have no clue happened. The Oklahoma State Cowboys won back-to-back national titles in 1945 and 1946. Oklahoma has four programs that combine for over 5,800 men's division one wins which includes one of the best mid-major programs in recent memory in Oral Roberts. In terms of professional achievement, Blake Griffin, Mark Price, and John Starks are a solid trio of notable NBA players. When looking at the future, the Oklahoma City Thunder/Blue has one of the best, if not the best, accumulation of assets in regards to having young talent and thirty-three draft picks in the next eight NBA drafts. The future is bright in Oklahoma.


26.) Minnesota

Minneapolis Lakers logo
Courtesy of StatMuse

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 1,728-1,320-2

Men's Division One National Titles: 2

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx

NBA Titles: 5

WNBA Titles: 4

Notable Players: Kevin McHale, Kris Humphries, Tyus Jones, Chet Holmgren


The state of Minnesota has some hardware in the trophy case. The Minneapolis Lakers and the Minnesota Lynx combine for nine championships. The University of Minnesota and the recently promoted to division one, University of St. Thomas, combine for over 1,700 men's basketball wins. The notable player's list is a unique blend of NBA talent. It includes a Boston Celtic legend in Kevin McHale, a talented young point guard in Tyus Jones, a rookie shot-blocking big man in Chet Holmgren, and a guy best known for dating Kim Kardashian in Kris Humphries.


25.) New Jersey

Saint Peters University Logo
Courtesy of Saint Peter's University

Men's Division One Programs: 8

Men's Division One Record: 7,994-7,008-1

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: None

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Shaquille O'Neal, David West, Rick Barry, Dennis Rodman, Karl-Anthony Towns


Congratulations to New Jersey on being the highest-ranked state without a championship. This ranking speaks volumes about some of the other factors involved in this decision. One of which is the eight division one men's basketball programs that combine for almost 8,000 wins all-time. There is one program in particular that has some important historical relevance. Princeton University, located in Princeton, New Jersey, is where the famously known "Princeton Offense" was created dating back to the 1930s. The offense emphasizes constant motion and requires five players that can shoot, pass, and dribble very well. It has been used for almost a century and there are examples of schools all over the country using it as well as NBA teams in recent years.


Regarding notable players, New Jersey has an insane list that is filled with all kinds of NBA achievements. You have guys like Shaq, Dennis Rodman, Rick Barry, and David West who combine for twelve NBA titles. You also have a guy like Karl-Anthony Towns who is one of the best big men in the NBA and one of the best shooting bigs in the NBA. New Jersey also was home to the Nets before their relocation to Brooklyn. The State of New Jersey should be very proud of its basketball legacy.


24.) Oregon

Oregon Ducks Mascot
Courtesy of Oregon Live

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 4,900-4,510

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Portland Trail Blazers

NBA Titles: 1

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: A.C. Green, Danny Ainge, Damon Stoudamire, Domantas Sabonis, Terrence Ross


The University of Oregon is credited with winning the first-ever men's division one national championship in 1939. Thirty-eight years later in 1977, the Portland Trail Blazers won their first, and only so far, NBA title. Obviously, that means Oregon has not won a championship in the forty-six years since. They have more titles than a ton of states in these rankings pieces can say. With 4,900 wins and a solid list of notable NBA players, Oregon brings a solid resume to the table.


23.) Arizona

Phoenix Suns logo with wings
Courtesy of Logos-World

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 4,522-3,565-1

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 3


Professional Teams: Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Sean Elliott, Marvin Bagley III, Jerryd Bayless


The strongest element of the basketball resume of Arizona is the three WNBA titles for the Phoenix Mercury. In the WNBAs short history, they have been one of the best franchises since the league's inception. The other championship credited to the state is for the University of Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. Arizona has been a consistently successful program in the last few decades and strongly contributes to the state's 4,522 wins all-time for the men's basketball programs. With a few notable NBA players as well, Arizona has a solid basketball resume to account for.



22.) South Carolina

South Carolina Flag with a basketball in the top left

Men's Division One Programs: 12

Men's Division One Record: 9,230-9,493-3

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 2


Professional Teams: None

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Ja Morant, Alex English, Kevin Garnett, Khris Middleton, Jermaine O'Neal, Larry Nance Sr.


The two prevalent things in South Carolina's favor are women's basketball national championships and a slew of very talented notable NBA players. Dawn Staley led the Gamecocks to the 2017 and 2022 national championships where they had a combined record for those two seasons of 68-6. From the men's programs in South Carolina, the state has a respectable record just shy of over .500 and over 9,200 wins.


Not many states can say that they have this much talent coming through their state. To say you have a list of guys that includes two guys in the top twenty-five in total career points in Alex English and Kevin Garnett. Those two guys are only scratching the surface with notable NBA players. The list also includes NBA champion Khris Middleton, six-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA player Jermaine O'Neal, and one of the best dunkers of his generation Larry Nance Sr. Ja Morant, regardless of all the recent negative news, is still one of the best and most exciting young players in the NBA when he is on the floor for the Memphis Grizzlies. What a list to be proud of South Carolina!


21.) Wisconsin

Milwaukee Bucks 2021 NBA Championship ring
Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 4,658-3,527

Men's Division One National Titles: 2

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Herd

NBA Titles: 2

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Terry Porter, Latrell Sprewell, Nick Van Exel, Tyrese Haliburton, Caron Butler


In 2021, the Milwaukee Bucks won their second NBA title in franchise history which was fifty years after their first title. The Bucks have had a strong history for a small franchise including having two of the best players to ever play basketball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor) and Giannis Antetokounmpo play for the franchise. In men's college basketball, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers won the national championship in 1941, and the Marquette University Golden Eagles won it in 1977. That gives the state four championships across the various leagues.


Wisconsin has a unique variety of notable players that represent the state. Terry Porter was a successful NBA veteran who was best known for his time in Portland playing with Clyde Drexler. Latrell Sprewell was a talented scorer who averaged 24.2 points per game in his best NBA season. Caron Butler was a very important piece on the 2011 Dallas Mavericks championship team. Nick Van Exel was an exciting guard who made an All-Star game in his thirteen-year career. Last but most certainly not least, Tyrese Haliburton is one of the best passers in the NBA today and has had an awesome start to his young career. A lot of talent coming through the "Badger State."



Part Four: 20-11 Coming Monday, July 24th!







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