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Power Ranking The United States By Basketball Achievement (51-41)

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

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


51.) Alaska

State of Alaska with the state flag in the image
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Men's Division One Programs: 0

Men's Division One Record: 0-0

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: Mario Chalmers, Daishen Nix, Kelsey Griffin


With zero division one programs, Alaska is immediately in the hole. There isn't much going for them as a state regarding basketball. Mario Chalmers is a two-time NBA champion and made the 08-09 All-Rookie team and Daishen Nix played minutes for the Houston Rockets the last two years. If the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Anchorage make the jump to division one and start winning games, maybe they can move up the rankings.


50.) Hawaii

University of Hawaii logo
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Men's Division One Programs: 1

Men's Division One Record: 825-726

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: Cedric Ceballos, Red Rocha


It is safe to say I am picking straws here in the forties. However, Hawaii even being ranked at 50th still has some things going for it. The University of Hawaii has a winning record in men's division one basketball. The men are called the "Rainbow Warriors" and the women are called the "Rainbow Wahine." Cedric Ceballos made a name for himself in the NBA as a quality role player who had a career average of 14.3 points per game and even led the league in field goal percentage in his third year. There is one more thing about Hawaii and you are the judge of whether this is good or bad.


Rick Pitino began his career at the University of Hawaii.


49.) South Dakota

Mount Rushmore image with South Dakota Mascot, Jon Sundvold, Mike Miller, South Dakota State Mascot

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 576-438

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Sioux Falls Skyforce

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Mike Miller, Jon Sundvold, Becky Hammon


Hailing from "The Mount Rushmore" state are two programs that both have a winning record since becoming division one programs in the last twenty years. Although no professional resume, Mike Miller was a two-time NBA champion, 2000-01 Rookie of the Year, and 2005-06 Sixth Man of the Year. Jon Sundvold played nine seasons in the NBA and over five hundred games. A respectable resume from such a low-populated state.


48.) North Dakota

Blue Welcome to North Dakota Sign
Courtesy of Larry Syverson

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 981-605

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: Doug McDermott, Tyler Johnson


North Dakota brings almost one thousand wins as a state between North Dakota and North Dakota State. They also have Doug McDermott, who is currently sitting at 7th on the all-time scoring list in division one men's basketball career points. Let's also not forget that Tyler Johnson was a serviceable role player that signed a 19 million-dollar-per-year deal in his career.


47.) Maine

University of Maine script text blue logo
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Men's Division One Programs: 1

Men's Division One Record: 958-1,211

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Maine Celtics

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Duncan Robinson, Jeff Turner


The Maine Black Bears are the only division-one program in the entire state. The Maine Celtics have been an NBA D League/G League team since 2008. Previously known as the Maine Red Claws, paying tribute to Boston Celtics Head Coach Red Auerbach, the team served as the affiliate for the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, and Philadelphia 76ers. In regards to their notables players, Duncan Robinson has been a valuable three-point specialist for the Miami Heat, and Jeff Turner played ten seasons for the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic from 1984-1996. Things are looking up for the people of Maine regarding basketball. Cooper Flagg, who is currently tearing up the high school scene is looking like a super-talented young player!


46.) Vermont

University of Vermont Catamounts logo
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Men's Division One Programs: 1

Men's Division One Record: 1,173-974

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: None


The Catamounts alone are why they are ranked higher than the previous states. I LOVE their logo and the fact they have over one thousand division one wins. The University of Vermont is no slouch when it comes to competing in basketball. They have made the NCAA Tournament nine times since 2003 and even made the second round twice where they upset Syracuse in round one in 2005. The recent resume of Vermont basketball balances out the lack of notable players.


45.) New Hampshire

waving blue new hampshire flag
Courtesy of AZAnimals

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 2,072-2,934-2

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: Matt Bonner


This is the first state on this list that has eclipsed two thousand division one wins. The strong losing record isn't exactly a huge positive point for them but it is important to note that Ivy League member Dartmouth has been playing since 1899 and the University of New Hampshire has been since 1926. As a fan of NBA2K growing up, using Matt Bonner as a three-point sniper was so much fun so having him as a notable player is instant cool points with me.


44.) Delaware

Delaware Blue Hen Dunking a basketball logo
Courtesy of SportsLogos.net

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 1,563-1,923-1

Men's Division One National Titles: 0

Women's Division One National Titles: 0


Professional Teams: Delaware Blue Coats

NBA Titles: 0

WNBA Titles: 0

Notable Players: Donte DiVincenzo, Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland, Jalen Duren, Elena Delle Donne


The awesome logo shown above may or may not have strongly influenced the state of Delaware's placement on this list. The best thing Delaware has going for it is its notable players. Donte DiVincenzo is a quality role player, Bones Hyland is a young athletic guard, and Jalen Duren is an athletic freak of a big man for the Detroit Pistons. Not to mention having a G League team. Despite not having titles and a losing record in division one men's wins, Delaware's basketball resume isn't too bad for "The First State."


43.) Idaho

Welcome to Idaho Sign and State Outline
Courtesy of Idaho Statesman

Men's Division One Programs: 3

Men's Division One Record: 3,162-3,332

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: Luke Ridnour, Steve Hayes, Charlie Black


The state most commonly known for potatoes has a decent basketball resume as well. With three men's division one programs in Idaho, Idaho State, and Boise State that total over 3,000 wins all time, they are a respectable group. Luke Ridnour carved out a solid twelve-year NBA role for himself from 2003-2015. A couple more winning seasons from the three college programs and Idaho will have a winning record as a state.


42.) New Mexico

New Mexico arrow sign on a stick
Courtesy of Hertz

Men's Division One Programs: 2

Men's Division One Record: 3,236-2,342-2

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: Bill Bridges, Andre Roberson


The Lobos and Aggies have a very solid record for being the only two division one programs in the state. They combine for almost 1,000 more wins than losses which is very impressive. What is also impressive is their two notable players' resumes. Andre Roberson was an NBA All-Defensive team member in 2016-17 making him one of the ten best defenders in basketball. Bill Bridges also known as "The Train", had a thirteen-year NBA career that included being a three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defensive team player, and a championship with the 1975 Golden State Warriors. Bridges averaged 11.9 points per game and 11.9 rebounds per game in his 926 career games played.


41.) Nebraska

State outline of Nebraska with the nebraska flag inside
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Men's Division One Programs: 3

Men's Division One Record: 3,351-2,706

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: Bob Boozer, Fred Hoiberg, JT Thor


Creighton, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Lincoln-Omaha bring a strong winning record to the table. Although no championship success from "The Cornhusker State", they have provided some recent success on the court. Their crop of notable players consists of an NBA champion and all-star in Bob Boozer, a shooting guard turned head coach in Fred Hoiberg, and a young forward for the Hornets in JT Thor.



Part Two: 40-31 Coming Monday, July 10th!

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