The Basketball Times does a study every five years on the top college basketball programs using criteria including federal graduation rates, academic reputation of schools, players sent to the NBA, winning percentage and cleanliness of the program.
According to the study, Pitt is the 20th-ranked program and Dixon is the 14th-ranked coach.
Recently, the New York Times asked coaches whose programs were represented in the study which programs they consider to be the best and why.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon chose Michigan State, Duke, Connecticut and Kentucky.
When Pitt played Michigan State in the NCAA tournament in 2008, Dixon talked at length about his respect for Tom Izzo. He has also been effusive in his praise of Duke and said several times that Connecticut was the program he and Ben Howland wanted to model Pitt after when they were hired away from Northern Arizona in 1999. I don't ever remember Dixon talking about Kentucky very much, but the Wildcats did win the national championship last season so Dixon perhaps was swayed by that.
None of the coaches polled chose Pitt as one of their top programs. When they gave their reasons many of them mentioned postseason success as a prerequisite. Pitt, of course, fails in this category.
But in every other way of measuring top programs, Pitt compares very favorably.
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