The world of University sports in the United States is one where tradition is almost above all. While there are schools that excel in American football, always being at the top of all the most important college football odds lists, they sometimes flounder when it comes to basketball. On the other hand, there are schools whose basketball tradition and dominance is known worldwide but when it comes to American football, it sometimes seems like they would be better off just sticking with hoops.
But, above all those, there are schools that thrive in both disciplines, putting them at the top of the collegiate sporting mountain. Here we showcase the top 5 best dual sports college programs in the USA. These are schools that excel both on the football field and the basketball court and that have gone on to give the NBA some of the most respected players around.
- Alabama Crimson Tide
When it comes to college football when you mention Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide football team then automatically it is understood that you are talking about football excellence. With a sheer dominance that has been displayed for as many years as any college football fan can remember in recent history there is no disputing that Alabama is a football country, but they don’t fare so bad in the basketball world as well.
Some very important players have come out of Alabama to the NBA with their main example being one of the absolute best clutch shooters in NBA history, the multi championship winner and one of those players that you can always trust with the last shot of the game, especially if everything is on the line, Robert Horry. Other notable mentions include Antonio McDyess, Latrell Sprewell, Mo Williams and Collin Sexton.
2. Texas Longhorns
Another team that can be considered college football royalty is the Texas Longhorns football team. Given that Texas is basically “football country” in the United States, their main focus has always been on excelling on the gridiron. While their football program has seen better days before, they’re still a heavy hitting school when it comes to college football talks.
On the basketball court Texas has been also able to dish out some outstanding players that have gone on to have prosperous careers in the NBA. The biggest example of this, a player who by many is considered one of the absolute best stars in the world of basketball today, Kevin Durant. Alongside Durant, other players that have played for both Texas and in the NBA include the likes of PJ Tucker, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tristan Thompson, Avery Bradley and Myles Turner.
3. Michigan Wolverines
Just like Texas, the Michigan Wolverines have seen better days on the football field than what they’ve been going through as of recently but that hasn’t stopped them from still being considered one of the top schools in NCAA when it comes to football. Led by former NFL coach Jim Harbaugh, year in and year out the Wolverines are considered contenders for title pretensions and have built a tradition on top football quality.
Now when we talk about basketball, one of the absolute best teams to ever grace the college basketball courts came out of Michigan, leading to Michigan always having a tradition of sending top quality stars to the pros. Players like Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway Jr and most recently Duncan Robinson have all made their presence felt in NBA courts in the past and now.
4. UCLA Bruins
Down in the west coast the competition for football greatness is just as big as it is anywhere else in the country. With schools like USC, Stanford, Oregon and others all giving a great fight, one cannot pass on the opportunity of mentioning the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins have always been top contenders in the PAC-12 conference when it comes to college football and their program is regarded with the highest of esteems.
Now when it comes to basketball, UCLA can easily brag about being one of the most important schools in the college hoops panorama. With players like Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Bill Walton, Reggie Miller, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and more recently Zach Lavine and Lonzo Ball to name a few, UCLA has always been a top ranked school when it comes to NCAA basketball.
5. LSU Tigers
Louisiana State is home to one of the most thrilling football venues in the world, as well as one of the best college football programs around. Always considered perennial favorites for title contention, the Tigers have built a legacy of football greatness from everywhere you look and there are no clear signs of stopping that.
If we talk Tigers basketball though, we can thank LSU for giving us two of the most game-changing players in the history of the NBA. On the one hand you have one of the best ball handlers in the history of the game “Pistol” Pete Maravich and on the other, one of the best if not the best center to ever play the game, except for when shooting free throws Shaquille O’Neal.