Cinderella stories, Sweet 16s, and swarms of bracket-busting upsets. There is an undeniable amount of surprise and excitement that surrounds the NCAA men’s basketball tournament every year. Of course, certain schools survive March Madness more often than others.
To bring you the most comprehensive list of top–tier basketball programs, we analyzed programs that have the most tournament bids, have made the most Final Four appearances, and are top grossing (Not to mention having the most consecutive success). Here are the 15 best college basketball schools across the country.
Naturally, last year’s tournament champion was expected to put up a fight this March. But Villanova also has a rich history of tournament participation with 35 bids under their belt, tied for seventh-most in history. Their success in the NCAA tournament last year gives them more swag this time around, as they grind through the rest of the Big East competition. It’s no wonder the AP likes their chances going into the 2017 NCAA festivities — and then broke everyone’s brackets with a shocking loss to the Wisconsin Badgers.