Best All Time NCAA Basketball Conference Record

Which college sports conference has the best all time NCAA basketball conference record?

SEC vs. Big Ten; SEC vs. Big East; SEC vs. ACC; SEC vs. PAC 10; or SEC vs. Big-12?

Before we get to the answer...

First, here's some background information from about College Basketball.

Dr. James Naismith is commonly credited with "inventing" the game of basketball in 1891. The first college basketball team is thought to have been a team from Geneva college which played its first game against New Brighten YMCA in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania on April 8, 1893. Geneva College won the game.

The first basketball game between two colleges was played on February 9, 1895 when the Minnesota State School of Agriculture (which is now the University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus) beat Hamline College by a score of 9 to 3.

In these early years, there were usually seven to nine players on each team. The first intercollegiate game with five players on each team happened in Iowa City, Iowa in 1896, when the University of Chicago defeated the University of Iowa 15 to 12.

By the turn of the 20th Century, college basketball had become popular enough that colleges started to form basketball leagues. The NCAA was founded in the city of Chicago in 1906.

The first NCAA Men's College Basketball Championship tournament was played in Evanston, Illinois in 1939. 5500 fans were in attendance. In that first NCAA Basketball Tournament, Oregon won the National Championship by defeating Ohio State 46 to 33 in the final game of the tournament.

Thus began the annual college basketball tradition no known as "March Madness" which is today one of the top sporting events in America. For more information about that event, click March Madness.

So, which conference has the best all time NCAA basketball conference record?

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The answer: THE BIG EAST.

College basketball fans know the Big East has 16 teams in its basketball conference. This compares with the other major college basketball conferences that have between ten and twelve teams.

So, it is not surprising that the Big East, as a basketball conference, has the most wins all-time. But, more significantly, the Big East also has the highest percentage of wins all time. So the Big East clearly has the best all time NCAA basketball conference record.

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Here is the ranking of the major NCAA basketball conferences by all time winning percentage and number of all-time wins and losses.

  1. Big East - .619 (21,125 - 13,019) St. John's leads with 1705 wins (#5 all-time).
  2. ACC - .590 (14,789 - 10,289) North Carolina leads with 1914 (#2 all-time) wins; Duke -- 1818 (#4 all-time).
  3. Pac 10 - .580 (13,719 - 9,931) UCLA leads with 1530 wins; Oregon State -- 1529.
  4. SEC - .57923 (15,236 - 11,068) The Kentucky Wildcats lead the nation with 1948 all time wins.
  5. Big Ten - .57918 (14,417 - 10,475) Indiana leads with 1555 wins.
  6. Big-12 - .566 (15,434 - 11,823) Kansas leads with 1906 wins (#3 all-time). Note the Big-12 is actually # 2 in all time wins, but # 6 in winning percentage.

Now that we've determined who has the best all time NCAA basketball conference record -- are you wondering which conference has the most schools in the top 50 in all time college basketball wins? Here's the answer:

    1. Big Ten -- 8
     2. Big East - 7
     3. Pac 10 - 6
     3. Big-12 - 6
     5. SEC - 5
     6. ACC - 3

But, the SEC has bragging rights for the #1, all time winningest team with 1948 wins through 2007. The ACC can brag that it has two of the top four all time winners with the North Carolina Tarheels at # 2 (1914 wins) and the Duke Blue Devils at # 4 (1818 wins).

Some would argue that determining which conference has the best all time NCAA basketball conference record, you should look at winning percentages, rather than total wins. So, how bout all-time winning percentage?

Which conference has the most teams in the top fifty in all-time college basketball wins by winning percentage? Here you go.

     1. Big East - 12 WOW!!
      2. SEC - 4
      3. ACC - 3
      3. Big Ten - 3
      3. Big-12 - 3
      6. Pac 10 - 2

Again, though, Kentucky is # 1 with a .764 all time winning percentage; North Carolina is # 2 at .732; Duke is # 4 at .694

The statistics provided on this page were compiled largely from information published by the NCAA at and (except as otherwise noted) are based on statistics compiled through the 2004 season (although most of the individual teams listed above are current win totals as of the beginning of the 2007-2008 season.

You may have read our current college basketball rankings at SEC Basketball.

If so, you may wonder how the all time statistics on this page can support our current rankings.

Of course they don't. The answer is that our current rankings rely heavily on last years NCAA Basketball Championship results.

March Madness 2006 showcased the recent strength of SEC basketball. The Southeastern Conference had two of the four teams in the Final Four (The Florida Gators and LSU Tigers and the Gators won the Championship. This is why we rank the SEC #2 currently.

Finally, we have received questions about which teams we counted for which time periods. Obviously, over the years teams have switched conferences. So, the question is, which conference should that team's record count for? We decided that, for our purposes, we would base the statistics on teams currently in the conference. So, even though Louisville (for instance) only recently joined the Big East, the Big East gets credit for all of Louisville's basketball history.

Click here to find out why the SEC is now the Best College Basketball Conference

Click here to find out which is the Best All Time March Madness Conference

Click here to find out which is the top SEC basketball fan attendance school

Best All Time NCAA Basketball Conference Record!!
Best All Time NCAA Basketball Conference Record!!
Best All Time NCAA Basketball Conference Record!!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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you're full of it. 
If UNC and Duke are 2 and 4 in All time wins that clearly shows their conference the toughest to win the title. UNC and Duke have more NCAA titles,wins,and …

Biggest Joke Ever!! 
Wow, no questions from me on how you came up with this page. It is quite possibly the most idiotic site I've ever seen. You are obviously a fan of …

It's Big10 vs ACC For Best College B-ball Conference Not rated yet
It's between the Big Ten and ACC. You got IU, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, and a bunch of schools that are always ranked. ACC, has …

Incorrect Criteria for Ranking the Conferences  Not rated yet
You shouldn't look at a team's past records that are in a conference, but the record of the conference itself. For example, when Syracuse and Pittsburg …

Mike Not rated yet
Great post! Thanks for this. I love thinking about the old teams. There's no way these current teams could hang with some of those older teams. I found …

Big East Basketball is Best Not rated yet
Clearly the Big East is the best basketball conference of all-time. Consider this: 15 of the 16 Big East teams have been to Final Fours. In the past …

ACC duh Not rated yet
ACC has won the last 5 of the 10 national championships

ACC duh Not rated yet
ACC has won the last 5 of the 10 national championships

SEC basketball Not rated yet
A prime example of using statistics inappropriately. The SEC is horrible in NCAA tournament competition.

Need to look at conference vs conference record Not rated yet
You need to look at the conference vs. conference records to determine which conference is the best all time. For instance, if the Big East is the best …

you can't use stats before conferences were formed Not rated yet
the big east did not exist until 1979. Anything before that can not be included in their overall total as a conference. If you said, teams currently members …

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