What Is a College Basketball Blue Blood?

The NCAA Tournament is home for upsets, madness, and smaller schools from across the country winning over the nation’s hearts. But as the madness progresses, the cream always rises, and we see the familiar names find their way to the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and ultimately the Final Four. In keeping up with these top programs, you’ll often see them called “blue bloods.” We look at the term and how it became the center of attention in New Orleans in April.

What Is a College Basketball Blue Blood?

The true definition of a college basketball blue blood is often a debate amongst the sport’s most passionate fans. The criteria often require teams’ past title wins, loads of history, national accolades, and a perennial winning program. Schools like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky are among the ones you will see called “blue bloods,” deservedly so as the four programs have the most wins in all Division I basketball.

The 2022 Final Four brought up an important question surrounding the term. As North Carolina, Duke, and Kansas were three participants in New Orleans, the Villanova Wildcats had made their third Final Four in seven seasons and were seeking their third National Championship in the same span. Does Villanova fall into the blue blood category? The program may fall a step behind the elites in history, but it certainly has the 21st-century pedigree to be considered a perennial powerhouse. It may just depend on who you ask.