All-America teams in college basketball were first named by both College Humor magazine and the Christy Walsh Syndicate in 1929. In 1932, the Converse shoe company began publishing All-America teams in their yearly "Converse Basketball Yearbook," and continued doing so until they ceased publication of the yearbook in 1983. The Helms Athletic Foundation, created in 1936, retroactively named All-America teams for years 1905-35, and also continued naming teams until 1983. The Associated Press began naming its team selections in 1948.
While an increasing number of media outlets select All-America teams, the NCAA recognizes consensus All-America teams back to 1905. These teams have drawn from two to six major media sources over the years, and are intended to reflect the opinions of most college basketball experts. Today the four outlets used to select consensus teams are the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the United States Basketball Writers Association and Sporting News magazine. Since 1984, the NCAA has applied a standardized point system to those teams designated as "major" All-American teams to determine consensus teams. The point system consists of three points for first team, two points for second team and one point for third team. No honorable mention or fourth team or lower are used in the computation. The top five totals plus ties are first team and the next five plus ties are second team.
Through the years, the following media outlets have been recognized and have been used to determine consensus teams. From 1905 to 1928, the Helms Athletic Foundation All-America teams are considered the "official" teams of those years by the NCAA.
|Helms Athletic Foundation||1929-1948|
|College Humor||1929-1933; 1936|
|Christy Walsh Syndicate||1929-1930|
|The Literary Digest||1934|
|Madison Square Garden||1937|
|Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA)||1938; 1953-1963|
|Collyer's News Bureau||1939|
|Sporting News||1943-1946; 1960-1962; 1998-present|
|Associated Press (AP)||1948-present|
|United Press International (UPI)||1949-1996|
|International News Service||1950-1958|
|National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC)||1957-present|
|National Collegiate Association Bureau||1961|
|United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA)||1963-present|
The top ten schools with the most consensus first-team All-Americans are listed below, ranked by total number of selections. For a complete list, please see the NCAA records.
|Kansas||30||23||2018 (Devonte' Graham)|
|North Carolina||27||18||2017 (Justin Jackson)|
|Kentucky||26||21||2016 (Tyler Ulis)|
|Purdue||26||18||2017 (Caleb Swanigan)|
|Duke||24||21||2019 (RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson)|
|Penn||24||14||1953 (Ernie Beck)|
|Notre Dame||23||14||2015 (Jerian Grant)|
|Wisconsin||21||18||2015 (Frank Kaminsky)|
|UCLA||21||15||2017 (Lonzo Ball)|
|Columbia||19||13||1957 (Chet Forte)|
In 1963, the first Academic All-American basketball team was named. The first team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), consisted of: Rod Thorn of West Virginia, Ken Charlton of Colorado, Gerry Ward of Boston College, Art Becker of Arizona State and Ray Flynn of Providence. CoSIDA has named Academic All-America teams continuously each year since. For a complete list of first-team Academic All-Americans, please see the official NCAA records.
In 1986, the Associated Press named the first preseason All-America team for the 1986-87 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. Navy's David Robinson was the leading vote-getter that year. He was joined on the team by Steve Alford of Indiana, Danny Manning of Kansas, Kenny Smith of North Carolina and Pervis Ellison of Louisville. In 2011, Harrison Barnes of North Carolina became the first freshman voted a preseason All-American by the AP.