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Power Ranking The United States By Basketball Achievement (40-31)

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 two, and if you disagree or love where your team is ranked let me know on Twitter.


If you have not read "Part One: 51-41", click here!


40.) Wyoming

1942-43 Wyoming Cowboys Mens Basketball Team holding trophy
Courtesy of Mountain West Wire

Men's Division One Programs: 1

Men's Division One Record: 1,594-1,250

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: James Johnson


Wyoming has something all ten states behind them don't have, a men's national championship. The 1942-43 Wyoming Cowboys won a national championship over the Georgetown Hoyas. This is a feat that only thirty-seven schools in the country can say they have achieved so it carries weight when ranking basketball achievement. Wyoming boasts a winning record as well. In regards to their notable player, James Johnson carved out a strong fourteen-year NBA career as an enforcer.


39.) Montana

Montana's State Outline of Blue Flag with Phil Jacksons Head On It

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 3,089-2,534

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: Phil Jackson, Adam Morrison


Montana gets some brownie points from me from a ranking standpoint because having NBA legend Phil Jackson who won two NBA titles as a player and eleven as a head coach is a strong resume. Not to mention, Adam Morrison had a heck of a college career at Gonzaga and was a top-three pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Montana State and Montana have a strong rivalry in all major college sports which includes basketball and they have combined for over 3000 wins as a state. What a great underdog resume for such a low-populated state.


38.) Rhode Island

Rhode Island ocean state license plate
Courtesy of WPRI.com

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 4,146-3,875

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: Marvin Barnes, Ernie DiGregorio, Cole Swider


I know from interactions with Providence fans that they are a passionate bunch. That doesn't even take into account the other three programs in Rhode Island. With over 4,000 wins as a state, they definitely have a respectable resume. Although not household names, Marvin Barnes and Ernie DiGregorio had pretty solid NBA careers in the 1970s with both winning Rookie of the Year in their career. Lastly, even though he left Providence to take on the head coaching vacancy of conference rival Georgetown, Ed Cooley is a Providence boy born and raised. Overall a pretty strong resume for our smallest state.


37.) Mississippi

Mississippi HBCUs We Stand United image
Courtesy of Mississippi Valley State University

Men's Division One Programs: 6

Men's Division One Record: 5,431-5,732

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: Chet Walker, Spencer Haywood, Monta Ellis


When you first think of Mississippi you may think of football. However, the basketball resume is no pushover. Despite the losing record, it is represented by six schools, two of which are SEC schools, three HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and a Sun Belt representative. The notable player's list is quite impressive bolstered by two Hall of Famers in Chet Walker and Spencer Haywood and a guy who scored over 20 points per game multiple times in his career in Monta Ellis.


36.) Iowa

Caitlin Clark holding hand to her ear celebrating
Courtesy of Ron Jenkins/2023 Getty Images

Men's Division One Programs: 4

Men's Division One Record: 5,200-4,741-1

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Iowa Wolves

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Harrison Barnes, Kirk Hinrich, Raef LaFrentz, Nick Collison, Keegan Murray, Caitlin Clark


Iowa is one of the hottest names in the basketball world because of the woman shown above, Caitlin Clark. She is from Des Moines, Iowa, and chose to stay in her home state and play college basketball with the Iowa Hawkeyes. She lit the sports world on fire leading her team to a national championship appearance where they would lose to LSU. Prior to the Caitlin Clark craze, Iowa as a state put up over 5,000 wins amongst the four programs and a very strong representation of notable NBA players. Iowa natives have a lot to be excited about in the realm of hoops.


35.) West Virginia

Jerry West in West Virginia basketball jersey dribbling a basketball
Courtesy of West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 3,400-2,304

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: Jerry West, Hal Greer, Deron Williams, Jason Williams, O.J. Mayo


When you have the logo of the NBA (Jerry West) from your state and they attended your state's best basketball university, that carries some weight to it. The other notable players had some pretty great success as well coming out of the state of West Virginia. Hal Greer is still currently the Philadelphia 76ers career scoring leader and the other three guys were solid NBA players in their time as well. Regardless of how it ended poorly, Bob Huggins is from Morgantown and was one of the best college basketball coaches of his generation helping them win a ton of games. West Virginia has a great basketball history to continue to build upon.


34.) Georgia

Atlanta Hawks spread wings basketball logo
Courtesy of Logos-World

Men's Division One Programs: 6

Men's Division One Record: 5,217-5,371

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Atlanta Hawks

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Anthony Edwards, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Jaylen Brown, Dwight Howard, Walt Frazier


Georgia is the first state on these lists to have an NBA team which is good news. The bad news is that the NBA championship came in 1957-58 when the franchise was based in St. Louis, Missouri which unfortunately for Georgia means I cannot count the NBA title. The Hawks have some decent playoff success while in Atlanta but have not made or won the NBA Finals. The state's men's division record falls just below .500 but they have produced some insanely talented notable players. These players represent all different eras from the past that include Dwight Howard, Walt Frazier, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim while also having some great young talent with Anthony Edwards and Jaylen Brown.


33.) Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama Reese Witherspoon
Courtesy of Disney Plus

Men's Division One Programs: 10

Men's Division One Record: 7,336-6,455-2

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Birmingham Squadron

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Charles Barkley, Ben Wallace, DeMarcus Cousins, Robert Horry


Alabama is a sweet home for basketball. Guys like Charles Barkley, Ben Wallace, DeMarcus Cousins, and Robert Horry all had exceptional NBA careers. When you have ten division one basketball programs you are going to have a lot of wins. However, to have a winning record with over 7,000 wins is very impressive. The state also has an NBA G League team based in Birmingham called the Squadron. In Alabama, there is no shortage of good basketball anywhere you go.


32.) Colorado

2023 Denver Nuggets celebrating winning NBA Finals
Courtesy of CNN

Men's Division One Programs: 5

Men's Division One Record: 5,062-5,360

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Denver Nuggets

NBA Titles: 1

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Chauncey Billups, Derrick White, Jalen Williams


The Denver Nuggets gave Colorado its first championship in the state's history this year in the NBA Finals. Colorado's place in this ranking isn't entirely because of the Nugget's recent title. The five division one programs contributed to over 5,000 wins. The three notable players have some pretty solid NBA resumes. Chauncey won an NBA championship with the Pistons, Derrick White is an impactful player for the Boston Celtics, and Jalen Williams is one of the best young players in the league for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nuggets look poised to add more titles for Colorado in the coming years since they have Nikola Jokic in the prime of his career.


31.) Utah

Utah orange state sticker
Courtesy of Stickers Northwest

Men's Division One Programs: 7

Men's Division One Record: 7,419-4,900

Men's Division One National Titles: 1

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Utah Jazz, Salt Lake City Stars

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Tom Chambers, John Collins, Byron Scott


You are probably reading the statistics above and wondering, "Utah has a national championship in men's basketball?" The answer would be yes. The 1943-44 Utah Utes won the national title that year. The Utes also made the national championship in 1997-98 but lost to Kentucky. Combine with the fact that seven programs add up to almost 7,500 wins, Utah has a very strong resume. Their notable players and other NBA achievements with the Utah Jazz and its G League affiliate team the Salt Lake City Stars are just an added bonus for Utah. If only Stockton and Malone could've stolen a title from Michael Jordan and the Bulls. It could've given Utah a boost in these rankings.



Part Three: 30-21 Coming Monday, July 17th!


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