UTEP Makes ESPN List of Top 50 College Basketball Programs
Aug. 21, 2012
UTEP checks in at no. 46 on a list of the top 50 college basketball programs of the last half-century, compiled by ESPN's Stats and Information Group. Programs 36-50 were released on Tuesday.
UTEP tallied a total of 187 points in a scoring system that takes into account conference regular season and tournament titles, winning percentage, NCAA Tournament bids and seeding, NCAA Tournament advancement, NCAA and NIT titles, first and second team All-Americans and players taken in the top 10 of the NBA Draft. Programs also lose points for NCAA sanctions and vacated seasons.
According to the scoring system, UTEP had the ninth-best program in the country during the 1960s and the 25th-best during the 1980s. UTEP has made 29 postseason tournament appearances over the last 50 years, winning a combined 14 conference regular season and tournament titles.
UTEP remains the only Division I school in the state of Texas to win a men's basketball national championship. Texas Western College stunned heavily favored Kentucky, 72-65, to claim the famed 1966 crown.
The ESPN piece named the 1963-64, 1965-66 and 1991-92 teams as the best in school history over a 50-year period. The 1963-64 Miners finished 25-3 led by All-American Jim Barnes, the top pick in the NBA Draft. The national champions were 28-1 and the 1991-92 squad knocked off top seed Kansas to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
According to ESPN analysts, UTEP's "50 in 50" starting five (1962-present) consists of guards Tim Hardaway (1985-89), Bobby Joe Hill (1964-67) and Nate Archibald (1967-70), forward Barnes (1962-64) and center David Lattin (1965-67). The top three reserves are guard Stefon Jackson (2006-09), forward Brandon Wolfram (1997-2001) and center Dave Feitl (1982-86). UTEP's "50 in 50" coach is the legendary Don Haskins, who engineered 719 wins in a 38-year period (1961-99).
Schools 21 through 35 will be released on Wednesday, 11 through 20 on Thursday and the top-10 on Friday.