State of '08: Wisconsin
Duke or Carolina? BC or UMASS? Gonzaga or Washington.. or Washington State? What is the best program in each state? While there's not much competition in Hawaii.. there are great debates to be had in loaded regions like California, North Carolina, and Texas. The State of '08 is a ranking of every program in every state.. based mostly on recent success (the last five years) mixed in with subjective factors such as conference prestige, historical success, and overall program direction.
For more info, check out the State of '08 introduction & state index.
WISCONSIN - Wisconsin has made the last 10 NCAA Tournaments going back to the tenure of Dick Bennett. Four of those trips yielded a spot in the Sweet Sixteen or better (including the Final Four back in 2000). In that same period, Wisconsin has never finished below .500 in the Big Ten, and all 7 of Bo Ryan's teams have finished 4th or better in conference play. Plus, the last 6 teams have finished 25th or better in the RPI
MARQUETTE - Since the Dwyane Wade induced Final Four run of 2003, the last five teams have managed to win just one NCAA Tournament game (UWM has won more tourney games in that time). In the last decade, 2003 was also the only time Marquette finished in the RPI Top 20, and no team since then has finished higher than 4th in the Big East.
WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE - Rob Jeter never had a realistic chance of maintaining the ridiculous level of success set by Bruce Pearl. Since making the Tourney three times between 2003 & 2006, the program has come back to Earth with a pair of sub-.500 seasons. This year's team should also be a non-factor in Horizon League play.
WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY - Since the great early to mid 90's run under Dick Bennett, UWGB has basically been a middling Horizon squad. The past five teams have all been solid, topping 200th in the RPI, but only the 2007 squad did any damage in the HL tournament. This year's team also projects to finish in the middle of the pack.
And that concludes our month-long 50 state college basketball tour. Check out the State of '08 index page for links to all the state rankings, and a list of the top dogs in each state. As always, thanks for your input and taking time out to read CHN's content!
State of '08: The Introduction (& State list/links)