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2021 Top California Men's D1 Basketball Schools

21 Colleges
$39,200 Avg Tuition & Fees*
51% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

When it comes to choosing a college, student athletes have a lot of options - but not all of them are good. College Factual has developed its Best Colleges for Division I Men's Basketball in California ranking as one item you can use to help make this decision.

Our analysis looked at 21 schools in California to determine which ones were the best for D1 Men's Basketball athletes in California. Our ranking methodology focuses a number of different objective factors - such as the overall quality of the school, the school's athletic competitiveness, and the amount of athletic aid per student - to make this determination. Having a great sports team is not enough - the school must also focus on academic excellence.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as online students or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another. Bookmark it so you can compare any new schools that might interest you.

Top Colleges in California for D1 Men's Basketball athletes in California

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Our analysis found University of California - Los Angeles to be the best school for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in California in this year’s ranking. UCLA is a large public school situated in Los Angeles, California. It awarded 9,069 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at UCLA brought home $11,959,355 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 945.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UCLA also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#2

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

A rank of #2 on our list means University of Southern California is a great place for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in California working on their bachelor’s degree. University of Southern California is a large private not-for-profit school located in Los Angeles, California that handed out 5,337 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at USC took home $6,275,440 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 967.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. USC also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#3

Stanford University

Stanford, California

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Stanford University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in California list. Located in Stanford, California, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 1,892 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Stanford took home $6,769,220 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 998 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 98%. Stanford not only placed well in this ranking, but it is also #2 on our overall quality list.

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#4

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California

You’ll join some of the best athletes around if you attend University of California - Berkeley. The school came in at #4 in this year’s ranking. Berkeley, California is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,627 students in 2018-2019.

UC Berkeley brought in $7,840,731 while tallying up $6,131,940 in expenses for its D1 Men’s Basketball team. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $1,708,791 in profit. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 960.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. In addition to its great ranking here, UC Berkeley is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#5

University of California - Davis

Davis, California

A rank of #5 on our list means University of California - Davis is a great place for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in California working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Davis, California, the large public school awarded 8,711 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at UC Davis brought home $2,395,167 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 975.

With a freshman retention rate of 93%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UC Davis excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#6

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California

With a ranking of #6, Santa Clara University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. SCU is a private not-for-profit institution located in Santa Clara, California. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,495 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at SCU brought home $4,445,480 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 975.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, SCU also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#7

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California

With a ranking of #7, University of San Francisco did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. USFCA is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in San Francisco, California. It awarded 1,634 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at USFCA took home $4,071,649 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 957.

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#8

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

San Diego State University ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California list. SDSU is a public institution located in San Diego, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 8,159 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

SDSU brought in $6,248,159 while tallying up $5,786,034 in expenses for its D1 Men’s Basketball team. Thus, the team actually made $462,125, which isn’t bad at all. The academic progress rate of the team is 975.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

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#9

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, California

Loyola Marymount University landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. Loyola Marymount is located in Los Angeles, California and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,674 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Loyola Marymount took home $4,137,858 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 970.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Loyola Marymount also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#10

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, California

University of California - Irvine did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking, coming in at #10. This large public school is located in Irvine, California, and it awarded 8,394 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at UC Irvine took home $2,953,537 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 955.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UC Irvine also is in the top 15% of our overall quality ranking.

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#11

University of San Diego

San Diego, California

University of San Diego landed the #11 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. USD is located in San Diego, California and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,501 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at USD brought home $3,120,907 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 975.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 90%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, USD also is in the top 20% of our overall quality ranking.

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#12

Pepperdine University

Malibu, California

Pepperdine University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking, coming in at #12. Pepperdine is located in Malibu, California and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 943 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Pepperdine brought home $3,975,688 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 960.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, Pepperdine is in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#13

University of the Pacific

Stockton, California

University of the Pacific came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. Stockton, California is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 815 students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Pacific made $3,181,522 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 945.

On top of its placing in this ranking, Pacific also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a large public school situated in San Luis Obispo, California. It awarded 5,185 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo brought home $2,181,492 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 958.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#15

California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, California

California State University - Fullerton landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. Cal State Fullerton is located in Fullerton, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 9,996 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Cal State Fullerton took home $2,114,807 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 945.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 87%.

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#16

San Jose State University

San Jose, California

San Jose State University landed the #16 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. San Jose State is a public institution located in San Jose, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 6,826 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at San Jose State brought home $2,035,793 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 980 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 87%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students.

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#17

California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, California

California State University - Long Beach did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking, coming in at #17. CSULB is a public institution located in Long Beach, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 8,950 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at CSULB took home $2,412,791 in revenue.

With a freshman retention rate of 88%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students.

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#18

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California

University of California - Santa Barbara ranked #18 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California list. UCSB is a large public school situated in Santa Barbara, California. It awarded 6,327 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at UCSB brought home $3,202,493 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 952.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, UCSB is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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California State University - Fresno ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California list. Located in Fresno, California, the large public school handed out 4,921 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Fresno State brought home $3,642,878 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 930.

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#20

University of California - Riverside

Riverside, California

University of California - Riverside came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking. UCR is located in Riverside, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 4,649 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The team at UCR took home $2,542,300 in revenue and paid out $2,485,812 in expenses in recent times. That boils down to a yearly profit of $56,488 for the sports team. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 958.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 89%.

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#21

California State University - Sacramento

Sacramento, California

California State University - Sacramento did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in California ranking, coming in at #21. Sac State is located in Sacramento, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,479 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Sac State made $1,667,359 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 995, signifying that team members care about their grades.

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Best Colleges for D1 Men's Basketball in the Far Western US Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 21 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Revenue and expense information comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) website.
  • The academic progress rate (APR) of each team was made available by the NCAA.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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