Providence had its best stretches of success in the 1970s and 80s, reaching the Final Four twice in that span. That 1987 squad was coached by none other than a young Rick Pitino, the newly announced boss at St. John’s.
The Friars tend to get overshadowed by its fellow Big East competitors, but they’ve qualified for seven of the past nine NCAA Tournaments and have had three players selected in the NBA Draft in the past decade. That includes Kris Dunn of the Utah Jazz, after his selection at No. 5 overall in 2016.
Providence last fielded a football team in 1941.
6. University of San Francisco
Though San Francisco has only reached one NCAA Tournament out of the West Coast Conference in the past 25 years, the Dons make this spot on the list based on past success as a program.
San Francisco won the 1955 and 1956 national championships with one of basketball’s all-time greats, Bill Russell, and was later ranked No. 1 during a 29-0 start to the 1977 season with stars like Bill Cartwright.
The Dons played football until the program was disbanded in 1982. Interestingly enough, Pete Rozelle played football for San Francisco from 1948-50 before later serving as the commissioner of the NFL for three decades.
5. Virginia Commonwealth
VCU has been a splashy mid-major program in recent years under current Marquette head Shaka Smart and later Will Wade and Mike Rhoades. The Richmond, Va.-based university won at least 24 games in each season between 2007 and 2017, including the 2011 squad that reached the Final Four.
Four VCU players have reached the NBA in recent years, including Bones Hyland of this year’s Denver Nuggets team.
Though there is currently a club football team, the Rams have never fielded an intercollegiate varsity football program.