Photo: NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyrese Maxey (3) reacts during the second half of the State Farm Champions Classic game between the Michigan State Spartans and Kentucky Wildcats on November 5, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES

The United States is the home of college basketball that successfully feeds its vibrant and unique pro league. Most states have good basketball programs and competitive state tournaments for students. The states compete internally to produce qualifying college teams that play in the national championship conference every season. 

The quality of these programs does not, however, depend entirely on NCAA appearances and have to be assessed individually based on their objectives. Here are ten best basketball competitions for students in the USA.

Background photo created by freepik

1. Kentucky State

Kentucky State leads in basketball programs nationally priding in a pedigree that is without parallel with a fierce rivalry between Kentucky University Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals. These two teams have represented the State in 92 appearances between them that included 11 national championships and a whopping 25 Final Fours. 

Past performance includes Eastern Kentucky, Murray State, and Eastern Kentucky chalking up 29 appearances between them as well as Western Kentucky previously with 23 appearances and a Final Four.  

2. Kansas State

Kansas State may not lay claim to many titles like Kentucky but stands out for a well-balanced program that has more great teams. This means that anyone of its college programs has strong teams that compete well in championships. 

Kansas Jayhawks will be making their 25th NCAA tournament on a roll, whereas Kansas State does the same honors for the 5th year running.

3. North Carolina

Despite North Carolina’s prominent presence at the nationals, the entire State burden is borne by just two teams, NC Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils. 

The Tar Heels have graced the nationals’ Final Fours 18 times, winning five with their bittersweet rivals the Blue Devils marking 14 appearances with four championships. However, these two give North Carolina a strong presence on the national circuit.

Talking of a strong presence, you also need to excel in your studies besides being a basketball champ. For this, you need a service for students to write a research paper. EduBirdie is a trusted name in this regard that provides you with thesis, dissertation and essay writing work.

4. Virginia

Virginia has 14 programs that include VCU Rams and Virginia Cavaliers. Of late Virginia Cavaliers and George Mason have made appearances in Final Four, making a return for the State since the 1980s. 

Even then, Virginia has a good student basketball program. With good planning, the State has a large pool from which winning sides can emerge. And for being an academic champ, you need some topics to write about that can make you stand out in the classroom. Topics Mill is a trusted name when you need topics for your research, essays or any other writing work.

5. Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State had its glory days in the nascent years of NCAA in the forties when they ran off with two national championships and made six Final Fours. However, this early start set a tradition that has remained strong whose impact can be felt in the pro league. 

Currently, they have four programs with Oklahoma State Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners standing out. The Sooners have made 23 and the State 16 appearances in the last 31 tournaments.

Sport photo created by

6. Nevada State

Nevada appears to be on the decline going by recent performance running back to 1991. Their most notable pair of UNLV Running Rebels and The Wolf Pack have been gazing at crystal balls for inspiration for a comeback. 

The Running Rebels seeming to be creeping back, especially with their recent signing of Rashad and could successfully challenge for the MWC coming season. Prospects for national conference appearance might be long coming, but they are still a good basketball program.

7. Wisconsin State

Wisconsin has been represented by Badgers and Marquette Golden Eagles, with Badgers making the Final Four back in 2000. Any other notable claim to a championship win was back in 1977 for Marquette and Badgers far back in 1941! That said, the State still has vibrant college programs worth exploring.  

8. State of Texas

Texas has 23 programs with notable names that include Houston Cougars, who made five trips to the Final Four, all winless. The Longhorns currently looking strong and Baylor bears alongside SF Austin appear destined for local business with the national a mirage. Texas has good programs that, if managed well, could bring honors in the near future.

9. Missouri 

Missouri has five programs with notable names, including Missouri State Bears and Missouri Tigers. These teams have made several appearances in the national tournament without reaching the Final Four. 

The Saints joined the visiting bandwagon without impression the last two seasons and are headed back for a third in a row. Hopefully, they make it to the Final Four for Missouri.

10. Florida

Florida State has 13 programs with the Dolphins, Seminoles, and the Gators prominent. The sun has been shining on the State in the recent past with two championships in the 2005/6 and 2006/7 season and looks set for the Elite Eights.


Virtually all states in the US have college basketball programs that any interested student can join. The difference is in the level of competency at the national stage. Look up every college’s program performance in both state and national conference tournaments to decide on which suits you.

Author’s Bio:

Elizabeth Skinner is a blogger, academic writer and editor working for a writing agency and handling business management, economics and finance subjects for college students. She runs her own personal finance blog and has a good fan-following there. In her free time, she plays basketball, writes poetry and watches rom-com movies.