Are Virginia, Virginia Tech Among College Basketball’s ‘Blue Blood’ Programs?

Are Virginia, Virginia Tech Among College Basketball’s ‘Blue Blood’ Programs?
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It has been a banner decade for college basketball in the Old Dominion, with the Virginia Cavaliers bringing home their first national title and Virginia Tech evolving into a perennial tournament team.

UVA especially has become a favorite with Virginia sportsbooks since the state launched its market.

The Cavaliers have surged forward on the hardwood, making their first Final Four run in a quarter-century during the 2019 season.

Tony Bennett’s bunch didn’t stop there, however, going on to beat Auburn (63-62 in the Final Four) and Texas Tech (85-77 in the title game) to bring the hardware back to Charlottesville.

Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia give Bennett and company decent odds of winning another title in 2023, listing the Cavaliers at +5000.

The Hokies, meanwhile, face +12500 odds of winning their first title in program history.

Cavs, Hokies Still Trying to Be Elite

But both programs fall short when it comes to the list of current college basketball “blue bloods” that BetVirginia.com put together.

Using 2012 as a starting point, we looked at various categories of college basketball success to determine a threshold a program must reach to be considered for “blue blood” status.

Points were awarded to each program in the following areas: Championship wins (10 per win), championship appearances (5 per appearance), Final Four appearances (4 per appearance), NCAA Tournament appearances (1 per appearance) and Top 25 recruiting classes (1 for each). 

A program needed 35 points over the span of 2012 to 2022 to be considered a college basketball blue blood.

College Basketball’s Current Breed of Elite


The Blue Bloods

SchoolPoints
🏀 North Carolina57
🏀 Villanova55
🏀 Kansas53
🏀 Kentucky51
🏀 Duke42
🏀 Louisville36


The Comfortably Upper Class

SchoolPoints
🏀 Michigan32
🏀 Gonzaga32
🏀 Virginia31
🏀 Baylor30
🏀 UConn28
🏀 Michigan State24
🏀 Wisconsin22
🏀 Syracuse19


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Where UVA, Virginia Tech Fell Short

The Cavaliers were on the outside looking in when it came to BetVirginia.com’s rankings, falling four points shy of our blue blood baseline.

The biggest hang-up for UVA was their lack of total Final Fours compared to those above. Kentucky, Kansas, Villanova and North Carolina made three Final Fours each in that span and Louisville and Duke (two each), also had multiple trips to the national semifinal round.

The other category that ultimately doomed the Cavaliers was the program’s recruiting points, or lack thereof.

Virginia had four top-25 recruiting classes (via 247 Sports) between 2012 and 2022, which fell well shy of the schools ranked above the Cavaliers.

The Hokies, meanwhile, were hampered by their inability to advance past the Sweet 16 this century, with Virginia Tech’s last Elite Eight appearance coming in 1967.

Ultimately, the Hokies finished with just nine points, well short of our 35-point threshold for a blue blood.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, ranked ninth, coming in behind Michigan and Gonzaga (32 points each) and ahead of Baylor (30 points).

UVA kicks off its latest title chase in Charlottesville against North Carolina Central on Nov. 7, while the Hokies open the season against Delaware State on Nov. 7.

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Contributors

Christopher Boan has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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