Oklahoma basketball: Sooner men make AP All-Time Top-25 poll

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The men's Oklahoma basketball program has gone through some recent lean years, but fortunately for Sooner fans it hasn't always been that way.

As every Sooner fan knows, football is and always has been king at Oklahoma, but basketball has had periods of grandeur as well. The OU men have never won a national championship in men's basketball, but they come very close. The Sooners have been to five Final Fours over five different decades, and they have advanced to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament nine times spanning four decades.

In recent years, the Associated Press has published its all-time top 25 in college football. Oklahoma has ranked in the top three (between No. 1 and No. 3) in each of those polls. That made us curious what the all-time top 25 in basketball might look like.

The folks at the Associated Press recently answered that curiosity, publishing a ranking of the 25 greatest teams since the first AP college basketball poll was issued in 1949. The all-time top-25 ranking was done in recognition of the 75-year anniversary of the AP college basketball poll.

We knew teams like Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Duke would make the list, and probably among the top 10, but we were pleasantly surprised to see Oklahoma as one of the all-time top 25 as well.

All of the aforementioned college basketball blue bloods are indeed at the top of the all-time AP rankings, all within the top five, with Kentucky at the top of the roost. Oklahoma makes the list at No. 23. The Sooners are ranked just ahead of No. 24 Gonzaga and No. 25 North Carolina State. Gonzaga being behind Oklahoma might catch a few fans by surprise. While the Zags have been among the best in college basketball for the last decade or so, their rise to fame has been relatively more recent.

Kentucky has appeared in 75 percent of the AP polls since the first college-basketball poll was published. Duke, meanwhile, which ranks No. 3 all-time, has appeared No. 1 in the poll more than any other team.

Besides Kentucky and Duke, the rest of the top 10 in AP's all-time top 25 includes No. 2 North Carolina, No. 4 Kansas, No. 5 UCLA, No. 6 Louisville, No. 7 Arizona, No. 8 Indiana, No. 9 Syracuse and No. 10 Michigan State.