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Which Nevada Wolf Pack program is best at getting to the NCAA Tournament?

Cody Martin
Nevada basketball has reached nine NCAA Tournaments, but that's not the most on campus. (Julian Del Gaudio/NSN)

The Nevada men's golf team opens play at the NCAA Regional in Athens, Ga., today as it looks to get to the NCAA Nationals for the first time since 2006.

Wolf Pack golf has advanced to nationals three times in its history, but its NCAA Regional berth is the 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. That's the most of any Nevada program.

Here's a look at which Wolf Pack teams have reached the most NCAA Tournaments in school history.

Nevada NCAA Tournament berths

1. Men’s golf, 13 (last appearance 2019)

2. Men’s basketball, 9 (last appearance 2019)

3. Rifle, 8 (last appearance 2012)

4. Volleyball, 5 (last appearance 2005)

5. Baseball, 4 (last appearance 2000)

6. Softball, 3 (last appearance 2009)

7. Women’s golf, 2 (last appearance 2003)

8. Women’s soccer, 1 (last appearance 2006)

9t. Men’s tennis, 0

9t. Women’s tennis, 0

9t. Women’s cross country, 0

9t. Women’s basketball, 0

Using NCAA tournaments as a measure of success isn't perfect. For starters, the size of the fields aren't uniform. Golf's takes 81 teams to the national tournament, whereas men's basketball (68), women's basketball (64) baseball (64), softball (64), women's soccer (64), tennis (64) and volleyball (64) sit in the 60s. Cross country (31) and rifle (eight) have even smaller fields, although there are fewer Division I teams in rifle, for example. But, generally speaking, NCAA Tournament appearances are a good indicator of strength.

You also could use conference championships. In that metric, the top Wolf Pack programs are: men's basketball (24); men's track and field (18); football (14); men's cross country (11); women's swimming and diving (10); and skiing (10). Three of those six programs – men's track and field; men's cross country; and skiing – no longer exist after being shuttered due to budget cuts and/or Title IX compliance.

A few notes about the above numbers.

* Some sports, like track and field and swimming and diving, don't qualify entire teams, so they're not included in the numbers above. They qualify individuals in those sports.

* Only men's basketball and men's golf have made the NCAA Tournament since Nevada moved to the Mountain West in 2012.

* Rifle, which ranks third in school history in with eight NCAA appearances, was cut by Nevada this season. Rifle also posted the best APR scores on campus (perfect 1,000s four years in a row). So program success and student achievement don't appear to be important factors in whether a sport continues to be sponsored at Nevada.

* Baseball hasn't made an NCAA Regional since 2000, which still seems mind-boggling. Although that dream is still alive after a strong weekend at San Jose State.

* Volleyball went to five NCAA Tournaments under coach Devin Scruggs, who was fired after the 2010 season. That still appears to be a bad decision.

* Men’s tennis, women’s tennis, women’s cross country and women's basketball are the only active sports on campus to never get to the NCAAs before. Men's tennis and women's basketball have both had close calls in recent years, each getting to the championship game of their respective conference tournaments before falling just short of the automatic berth.

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