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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah hoops No. 20 in ESPN rankings of top programs

Utah's basketball team has struggled to reach the level of success it had under Rick Majerus, who led the Utes to four Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and the Final Four in 1998.

Since his retirement, the Utes have looked to Ray Giacoletti, Jim Boylen and now Larry Krystkowiak to lift the program back to its once high stature. With all the recent struggles, many casual basketball fans might not know just how good the program once was.

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However, a new ranking by ESPN.com does recognize the Utes' successful history.

Utah's past success under Jack Gardner, Jerry Pimm and Majerus evidently were enough for the Utes to tie Purdue for No. 20 in ESPN.com's Top 50 basketball programs.

According to the system, the Utes ranked 35 from 1962-69, 46th from 1970-79, 59th from 1980-89, eighth from 1990-99 and 54th from 2000 to the present.

Check out the rankings and the top players on the site.

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