The Gonzaga Bulldogs are third in an analytical compilation of the best men's basketball programs by the Basketball Times, Percy Allen of the Seattle Times reported on Monday.
The Basketball Times has compiled the rankings every five years, beginning in 1997. The Duke Blue Devils finished first and the North Carolina Tar Heels finished second.
Teams are only eligible if they have won at least two-thirds of their games in the past 10 years. After that, the Basketball Times uses various hard and soft criteria consisting of winning percentage, number of players currently in NBA, graduation rate, academic reputation as determined by U.S. News & World Report, coaches and cleanliness of program.
Ten writers for the Basketball Times rank the coaches and the cleanliness of the program. Trying to quanitfy teams on issues like program cleanliness and academic reputation can get a bit mucky, but to have coach Mark Few's team in the top echelon of the NCAA is a solid statement on the health of the program, if nothing else.
Here is a full link to the article, but Allen lists where the Zags ended up in each category.
Winning percentage (fourth), NBA players (12th), graduation rate (sixth), academic reputation (ninth), coaches (seventh) and program cleanliness (10th).
The Bulldogs are the top mid-major school and the highest-ranked West Coast school on the list. The Davidson Wildcats ranked fourth, and the Butler Bulldogs landed at sixth.