Can Ohio State Be Considered Among College Basketball’s ‘Blue Blood’ Programs?

Can Ohio State Be Considered Among College Basketball’s ‘Blue Blood’ Programs?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Few teams have mastered the art of being good, but seldom great, on the hardwood the way Ohio State has over the past decade.

The Buckeyes, who enter Year Five of the Chris Holtmann era in Columbus, have reached a Final Four (2012) and eight NCAA Tournaments since the field expanded to 68 in 2011.

They have yet to reach a Big Ten championship game or win a regular-season title under Holtmann, however, and last made it past the opening weekend of the Big Dance in 2013, when they lost to Wichita State in the Elite Eight.

Since then, Ohio State has made it into the field in eight of the past 11 events, missing out in 2016, 2017, and 2020 (due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

The Buckeyes enter the 2022-23 season as a longshot to win the national title, and fans in the state will be able to make that bet beginning Jan. 1 when sports betting in Ohio launches.

At BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio, Ohio State is +10000 to claim the program’s first national title in 63 years.

What Makes a Blue Blood?

That lack of Final Four and championship game success ultimately led to the Buckeyes not winding up among the six college basketball programs with enough success to be dubbed a “blue blood” program by our calculations.

Using 2012 as a starting point, looked at various categories of college basketball success to determine a threshold a program must reach to be considered for “blue blood” status.

Points were awarded to each program in the following areas: Championship wins (10 per title), championship appearances (5 per appearance), Final Four appearances (4 per appearance), NCAA Tournament appearances (1 per appearance) and Top 25 recruiting classes (1 for each). 

A program needed 35 points over the span of 2012 to 2022 to be considered a current college basketball blue blood.

College Basketball’s Current Breed of Elite

The Blue Bloods

🏀 North Carolina57
🏀 Villanova55
🏀 Kansas53
🏀 Kentucky51
🏀 Duke42
🏀 Louisville36

The Comfortably Upper Class

🏀 Michigan32
🏀 Gonzaga32
🏀 Virginia31
🏀 Baylor30
🏀 UConn28
🏀 Michigan State24
🏀 Wisconsin22
🏀 Syracuse19 is the place to be for the latest news on the state’s Jan. 1 launch date and all the Ohio sportsbook promo codes.

Why Ohio State Missed the ‘Blue Blood’ Cut

The biggest reason Ohio State failed to reach the 35 points needed to be dubbed a “blue blood” program was that the Buckeyes scored zero points for NCAA title games and championships.

That, in combination with the four points they notched for their lone Final Four of the 68-team era and relative lack of recruiting success (five top-25 classes, per 247 Sports rankings), ultimately tanked the Buckeyes shot at joining our list of “blue blood” programs.

In the end, Ohio State wound up with 17 points and among teams like Arizona, Illinois and Maryland.

The Buckeyes were behind Syracuse, who had 19 points, on our list, showing where the program must go to be listed alongside Kansas, North Carolina and Villanova at the top.

Holtmann’s bunch will look to take their first collective step toward reaching that goal in their season opener against Robert Morris on Nov. 7.

And shortly after Ohio State opens Big Ten play, you’ll be able to bet college basketball using Ohio sports betting apps because mobile (and retail) sports betting launches Jan. 1, 2023, in the Buckeye State.



Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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