What State Has the Most NCAA Division I Basketball Championships?

An NCAA Division I basketball championship has arrived in 28 of 50 states since the very first NCAA Tournament was held in 1939. In 1982, the NCAA introduced women’s hoops to its ranks, providing states with another avenue to add crowns to their names. So, what state has the most NCAA Division I basketball championships?

There have been 82 Division I men’s titles and 38 Division I women’s championships, meaning 120 total crowns have been doled out (including those vacated). On the men’s side, California leads the way with 16 championships, and on the women’s side, it’s Connecticut with the most at 11. But when you put it all together, what state comes out on top?

What State Has the Most NCAA Division I Basketball Championships?

1. California: 20

Men’s: 16

Women’s: 4

UCLA men’s basketball has 11 national championships to its name, giving it the most among men’s hoops Division I programs. It’s a big part of why California finds itself at the top of this list, but UCLA isn’t the only reason why. San Francisco men’s basketball chipped in a couple in the 1950s with Bill Russell’s help, and USC women’s basketball and Stanford women’s basketball have each added two to the total, too. With all that success, The Golden State ranks first in NCAA Division I basketball championships.

2. Connecticut: 15

Men’s: 4

Women’s: 11

The big reason why California is first is UCLA men’s basketball. The big reason why Connecticut is second is Connecticut women’s basketball. In total, the Huskies on the women’s side boast 11 national championships, an absolutely absurd amount considering how few women’s basketball titles have been given out. UConn has been the most prolific program in the women’s game, and its home state has been helped on this list as such. The men’s team at UConn has four titles to its name, all since 1999, which is enough to propel the state to No. 2 in NCAA Division I basketball championships.

3. North Carolina: 14

Men’s: 13

Women’s: 1

North Carolina coming in high is probably not a shocker to anyone who knows much about college basketball. The men’s programs at North Carolina and Duke are two of the most storied in the sport, and NC State has chipped in a couple titles, too (those in Raleigh could be very upset if I didn’t give them a mention). In North Carolina, it’s the men’s teams that have won almost all of the championships, but North Carolina women’s basketball won in 1994 to give the state a little more of a boost.

4. Kentucky: 11

Men’s: 11

Women’s: 0

When you think college basketball, Kentucky is one of the first states to come to mind, and with good reason. Kentucky and Louisville men’s basketball are top-10 programs all time, and the state is rabid for basketball, especially at the college level. Including the 2013 title vacated from Louisville, the state has won an NCAA Division I basketball championship 11 times, with eight of those attributed to the Wildcats. All 11 championships have been won by men’s teams.

T-5. Indiana: 8

Men’s: 5

Women’s: 3

Indiana is the most balanced state of those near the top of this list in terms of men’s and women’s championships: five have come on the men’s side (all via the Hoosiers), and three can be traced back to women’s teams (Purdue in 1999, Notre Dame in 2001 and 2018). Indiana is one of the most basketball-devoted states in America, and its position on this list and relative evenness between its top men’s and women’s programs is perhaps a sign of a very healthy overall basketball culture in the state.

T-5. Tennessee: 8

Men’s: 0

Women’s: 8

If not for the Lady Vols, Tennessee would not be tied for fifth on this list. Tennessee women’s basketball, one of the most storied programs in hoops, is responsible for all eight of the NCAA Division I basketball championships won by The Volunteer State. The men’s team in Knoxville, all Memphis teams, all Vanderbilt teams, and every other team within Tennessee’s borders have combined for zero. Perhaps one day other programs in the state will pull their weight, but they’ll still have a long way to go to catch up to what Tennessee women’s basketball has done.

7. Texas: 7

Men’s: 1

Women’s: 6

Baylor women’s basketball is the heavy lifter here, claiming three of the seven NCAA Division I basketball national championships won by Texas teams. Other than the Lady Bears, Texas (1986), Texas Tech (1993) and Texas A&M (2011) round out the titles won on the women’s side. The lone men’s championship comes from Texas Western, now known as UTEP, in 1966, the title won by an all-Black starting five that is one of the most famous national championships of all time and one of the most influential in college basketball and American sports as a whole.

The Rest

8. Pennsylvania: 4 (Men’s – 4, Women’s – 0)

T-9. Kansas: 3 (Men’s – 3, Women’s – 0)

T-9. Michigan: 3 (Men’s – 3, Women’s – 0)

T-9. Ohio: 3 (Men’s – 3, Women’s – 0)

T-12. Florida: 2 (Men’s – 2, Women’s – 0)

T-12. Louisiana: 2 (Men’s – 0, Women’s – 2)

T-12. Maryland: 2 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 1)

T-12. New York: 2 (Men’s – 2, Women’s – 0)

T-12. Oklahoma: 2 (Men’s – 2, Women’s – 0)

T-12. Virginia: 2 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 1)

T-12. Wisconsin: 2 (Men’s – 2, Women’s – 0)

T-19. Arkansas: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. Arizona: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. DC: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. Illinois: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. Massachusetts: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. Nevada: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. Oregon: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. South Carolina: 1 (Men’s – 0, Women’s – 1)

T-19. Utah: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s – 0)

T-19. Wyoming: 1 (Men’s – 1, Women’s 0)

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