Editor's note: Using a point system devised by the ESPN Stats & Information department, ESPN.com is counting down the 50 most successful programs of the past 50 years. A running list of the top 50 can be found here. For an explanation of the scoring system, read our intro.
49. San Francisco (161 points)
Positives: The Dons make the top 50 despite not getting to count Bill Russell-led national titles in 1955 and ’56. In the decade between 1973 and 1982, San Francisco ranked eighth nationally in our scoring system while racking up seven West Coast Conference regular-season titles.
Negatives: Due to rampant issues with players getting special treatment in the '70s, the NCAA came calling with sanctions and the program was shut down by the school's own president for three seasons in the mid-'80s. Since then, it has just one NCAA tournament appearance.
Fun fact: The last time the school made the Sweet 16 was 1979, when Bill Cartwright was on campus and current head coach Rex Walters had just turned 9 years old.
Rank by the decade
1962-69: 57 (13th)
1970-79: 104 (9th)
1980-89: 21 (T-93rd)
1990-99: -4 (T-191st)
2000-present: -17 (T-237th)
50 in 50 starting five (1962-present)
G – Quintin Dailey (1979-82)
G – Orlando Smart (1990-94)
G – Ollie Johnson (1962-65)
F – Dior Lowhorn (2006-09)
C – Bill Cartwright (1975-79)
Top options off the bench
Winford Boynes (1975-78)
Phil Smith (1970-74)
Pete Cross (1967-70)
50 in 50 coach: Peter Peletta (1960-66)
Best teams (1962-present)
1963-64 (23-5, NCAA Elite Eight)
1964-65 (24-5, NCAA Elite Eight)
1976-77 (29-2, NCAA first round)
--Nick Loucks and Brett Edgerton contributed to this post.