How Many Division 1 Basketball Teams Are There?

The NCAA season has always been a treat to watch that can make you love basketball even more. We all watch NBA and enjoy the tournament with all our might, but what if the NBA season is over? Will you sit and do nothing? Of course not! There are many other leagues and tournaments to enjoy and watch and entertain your love for basketball even more. But the thing is, NCAA is undoubtedly significant, and it can be tough to understand what is going on in the tournament. The same goes for its team, and the viewers or the players themselves get confused about how many division 1 basketball teams are there.

There are a total of 68 actual teams that play in the tournament of DIV 1. All of the 68 teams are selected and then qualified from different conferences around the country for the tournament to play and try to win it.

If you think that the story has ended here, then you are wrong. The numbers of teams that I have stated above are just the teams that enter the tournament. The actual number is certainly more extensive than that, and you might not know what it is. So let’s find out how many total teams are there in the NCAA tournament and some of its other aspects too.

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Total number of teams in NCAA as a whole

The first thing to note here is that I am not talking about the teams that enter the NCAA tournament. But actually, I am talking about the Div 1 teams that try to qualify for the NCAA tournament. There are massive 353 teams included in the NCAA 1 division, a massive number for any tournament. All of these 353 teams compete in their conferences to qualify for the NCAA tournament. But do you know how the teams are qualified for it? Let’s check!

How Many Division 1 Basketball Teams Are There

How do teams qualify for the NCAA tournament?

If you want to qualify for a big tournament, you cannot just enter it without doing anything. There is a specific criterion everyone has to met or play a specific tournament and win to be considered qualified for the NCAA tournament. That is why every conference holds a conference tournament championship where different teams have to prove why they can be eligible for the final tournament. The best thing is, everything related to the conference championship tournament and the final ACAA tournament is pretty hard, and every team comes with its full force. So if you think it would be easy to compete in the conference championship, then, no, it is tough!

How many conferences are there in Div 1 basketball?

It is one of the most critical and crucial questions in this aspect; as I have stated earlier that every conference has its conference championship, the teams are selected to go for the ACAA tournament. So how many conferences are there that qualify for Div 1 basketball? If we take a brief and extensive look at the history, the list of the conferences has changed many times. The number of conferences kept increasing since this tournament started, and we have also seen in recent years how the numbers improved.

If we went all the way back in 1930, the number of conferences at that time was only 9. Can you really imagine that the mighty United States had only nine conferences for its size? Well, it indeed was a mess, and that is why the numbers kept increasing. If we take a look at today, there are 32 conferences. It is pretty impossible to include all the teams from each conference, which is why about 68 play in the actual NCAA tournament and show off their abilities.

How can a school become a Division 1 team?

Most of the young basketball players dream for their team to enter the NCAA tournament because it offers an excellent chance for everyone to enter it and show what they can do. That is why this critical question pops up that how can a school become Division 1 team and if it is even possible or not.

So the answer is, yes, it is possible for a school to become a Division 1 team. But if you think it is easy, then you are again wrong. There is an extensive criterion that should be met if a school wants to become a Division 1 team. Let’s have a look at what those requirements are and see if your school can qualify for it or not!

  • Field teams: There should be at least 14 field teams, including all the sports having women and men. Both men and women should have seven field teams, respectively, and if women have eight field teams, men can go with 6.
  • Sponsoring: Another excellent requirement for the school to qualify for the title of Division 1 team is that it has to sponsor its players. The school is obliged to sponsor one male and one female player for each season of basketball. One thing to keep in mind that the school does not only have to sponsor the players for one season only but all the seasons.
  • Division 1 games: A D1 school needs to play all of its games with the D1 opponents. If the school manages to miss a single match with their D1 opponents, there can be massive consequences that a school would wish to avoid.
  • The number of games and place: Another requirement for a school to become a D1 team is that they have to play at least two games with other D1 teams. Aside from playing the games, 33% of those games should be played at the home arena without any exception.

So if you want to know if your team can become a Division 1 team, go through these requirements and see where your school is lacking. If there are some areas that can be improved, you can talk to the management to get the things done.

Which teams have won the most NCAA tournaments?

If you want to see how good a team is, you can go through its records and see how many tournaments it has won. It is a pretty simple criteria everyone follows to see how good a team is. It does not matter if it is football, cricket, or basketball; everyone looks at the titles won by that particular team. So isn’t it pretty evident that people will also see the NCAA tournaments won by a team to see how good it is? Well, they will surely do! So let’s check how many titles different D1 teams have won!


If you don’t know, UCLA stands for University of California, Los Angeles. It is the team that has won the maximum number of NCAA titles for its university. They have won a massive number of NCAA titles which is 11, and no team has come close to it yet. It was first established in 1919, and it is doing pretty well since then, developing the name of the University in Basketball.

2. Kentucky

Just like its name suggests, Kentucky represents the University of Kentucky, and it was founded even way more back than UCLA. It was first discovered in 1903. UCLA might be the team with most NCAA titles, but Kentucky is the team with the best winning percentage in all over the tournaments. Kentucky has won 8 NCAA titles, which is still very impressive.

3. North Carolina

North Carolina is pretty famous for producing some of the best basketball players that developed the name of basketball even further. The difference between North Carolina and UCLA in terms of NCAA titles is pretty big. North Carolina has won only seven titles even after having some great players in their team. But well, that is what luck is all about!

4. Duke

Duke is not only on fourth in this list, but it is also fourth on the list of the all-time wins of NCAA games. The team has won 5 NCAA titles in total because of its passion and outstanding performances. The team is also known as the Blue Devils as it is also its official name.

5. Indiana

Indiana has also won 5 NCAA titles and comes par with Duke when it comes to the actual titles. The Hoosiers have always entertained the crowd with their playing style and nail-biting matches. Not only that, but Indiana was also ranked 24 in the poll conducted by CBS Sports. Having a great position like that in basketball is undoubtedly not easy, and it requires a lot of struggle and hardships.

The Verdict

NCAA is a massive tournament, and if we compare it to NBA, it is pretty big in terms of teams playing and the size. NBA indeed offers professional games and more skilled players, but if you want to dive into the intensity of different matches right after one another, NCAA will surely entertain you. But there are some complications that can only be understood by going through this detailed article.

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