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AP to release first all-time college basketball ranking


For the first time, The Associated Press will release an all-time ranking of men’s college basketball teams as it marks the 75th anniversary of its Top 25 poll.

AP will release the all-time rankings, along with analysis, stories looking back at the history of the poll, and other details, on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Teams on the list will include the first-ever No. 1 in an AP poll, St. Louis, as well as teams that haven’t been in the poll for generations, including Seattle (last appearance: Jan. 3, 1967), St. Bonaventure (Jan. 29, 1971) and Duquesne (Feb. 8, 1972).

The only teams in the latest AP Top 25 that also appeared in the first-ever AP poll released on Jan. 18, 1949, include Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma and Illinois.

“Long before the Final Four and March Madness entered the sports vocabulary, there was the AP basketball poll,” said Barry Bedlan, AP’s global director of text, data and new markets products. “So much has changed over those 75 years, but the AP poll has been a constant in the sport. The all-time rankings are a fun way to recognize the best programs over the span that started with the first poll in January 1949.”

The all-time poll will be distributed to AP customers on Jan. 10, as well as featured on and AP’s social media accounts, including X, formerly Twitter, and TikTok.

“We’re excited about unveiling our all-time ranking and promoting debate among college basketball fans over who rules at No. 1,” said Ricardo Zuniga, AP global sports editor. “The AP poll has long been a part of college basketball history and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone.”

An expert panel of 63 sports writers and broadcasters votes weekly during the season to decide the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll. All voters are vetted by AP, have an extensive background in covering college basketball and represent different parts of the country. The poll is determined by a simple points system based on how each voter ranks college basketball’s best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first place vote, 24 for second place and so on through to the 25th team, which receives one point. The rankings are set by listing the teams’ point totals from highest to lowest. The mathematical formula is the same as the one used for the AP Top 25 rankings for college football and women’s basketball.

University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp and his team admire the NCAA basketball title cup after defeating Oklahoma A&M 46-36 in Seattle in March 1949, which was the first year of the AP men’s basketball poll. The Associated Press is ranking all 204 college basketball programs that have appeared in the poll since its inception 75 years ago. (AP Photo/Paul Wagner)

About AP

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Lauren Easton
Vice President of Corporate Communications
The Associated Press

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Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

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