NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament

The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, branded as NCAA March Madness and commonly called March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played in the United States to determine the men's college basketball national champion of the Division I level in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Played mostly during March, the tournament currently consists of 68 teams and was first conducted in 1939. Known for its upsets of favored teams, it has become one of the biggest annual sporting events in the US.

NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2023 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament
March Madness logo.svg
Founded1939; 84 years ago (1939)
Inaugural season1939
Organising bodyNCAA
No. of teams64 (Tournament) 8 (First Four)
CountryUnited States
Most recent
Kansas (4th title)
Most titlesUCLA (11)
TV partner(s)NCAA March Madness
CBS Sports Network (re-airs)
Galavisión (Spanish-language coverage)
Level on pyramid1
NCAA logo.svg

The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences and 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee, then announced in a nationally televised event dubbed Selection Sunday. Teams are placed in four regions and given a seed between 1 and 16 within the region. The tournament consists of seven rounds and is conducted over three successive weeks. The first week starts with eight teams competing in the First Four, with the four winners joining 60 teams to compete in the First and Second Rounds. Sixteen winners advance to the second weekend to compete in the Regional Semifinals and Finals, also known as the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight, respectively, for the number of participants in the round. Four teams then advance to the third weekend for the National Semifinals and National Championship, collectively referred to as the Final Four. The winning team is crowned National Champion, which celebrates by cutting down the nets and watching a montage of the tournament set to One Shining Moment.

The current 68-team format was adopted in 2011, and has remained largely unchanged since 1985 when it expanded to 64 teams. Before then, the tournament sized varied from as little as 8 to as many as 53. The field was restricted to conference champions until at-large bids were extended in 1975 and teams were not fully seeded until 1979. In 2020, the tournament was cancelled for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic; in the subsequent season, the tournament was contested completely in the state of Indiana as a precaution.

All tournament games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV under the program name NCAA March Madness. With a contract through 2032, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery pay $891 million annually for the broadcast rights. The NCAA distributes revenue to participating teams based on how far they advance, which provides significant funding for college athletics. The tournament has become part of American popular culture through bracket contests that award money and prizes for correctly predicting the outcomes of the most games. It is estimated that tens of millions of Americans, including those who don't follow regular-season college basketball or sports in general, participate in a bracket contest each year.

Thirty-seven different schools have won the tournament. UCLA has the most with 11 championships; their coach John Wooden has the most titles of any coach with 10. The University of Kentucky has eight championships, the University of North Carolina has six championships, and Duke University and Indiana University both have five championships, the University of Connecticut and the University of Kansas both have four championships, and Villanova University has three championships. Seven programs are tied with two national championships, and 22 teams have won the national championship once.


A ticket from the 1988 tournament held in Kansas City, Missouri

The tournament consists of 68 teams competing in seven rounds of a single-elimination bracket. Thirty-two teams automatically qualify for the tournament by winning their conference tournament, played during the two weeks before the tournament, and thirty-six teams qualify by receiving an at-large bid based on their performance during the season.[1] The Selection Committee determines the at-large bids, ranks all the teams 1 to 68, and places the teams in the bracket, all of which is revealed publicly on the Sunday before the tournament, dubbed Selection Sunday by the media and fans. There is no reseeding during the tournament and matchups in each subsequent round are predetermined by the bracket.

The tournament is divided into four regions, with each region having sixteen to eighteen teams. Regions are named after broad geographic regions of the United States, which vary from year to year.

The tournament is played over three weekends, with two rounds occurring each weekend. Before the first weekend, eight teams compete in the First Four to advance to the First Round. Two games pair the lowest-ranked conference champions and two games pair the lowest-ranked at-large qualifiers. The First and Second Rounds are played during the first weekend, the Regional Semifinals and Regional Finals during the second weekend, and the National Semifinals and Championship Game during the third weekend. Regional rounds are branded as the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight and the third weekend is branded as the Final Four, all named after the number of teams remaining at the beginning of the round. All games, including the First Four, are scheduled so that teams will have one rest day between each game. This format has been in use since 2011, with minor changes to the schedule in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary of Tournament Rounds
Round Teams
Games Week Dates
First Four 68 8 4 1st Tuesday & Wednesday
First Round 64 64 32 Thursday & Friday
Second Round 32 32 16 Saturday & Sunday
Regional Semifinals—"Sweet Sixteen" 16 16 8 2nd Thursday & Friday
Regional Finals—"Elite Eight" 8 8 4 Saturday & Sunday
National Semifinals—"Final Four" 4 4 2 3rd Saturday
Championship Game 2 2 1 Monday

Seeding and bracketEdit

The Selection Committee, which includes conference commissioners and university athletic directors appointed by the NCAA, determines the bracket during the week before the tournament. Since the results of several conference tournaments occurring during the same week can significantly impact the bracket, the Committee often makes several brackets for different results.

To make the bracket, the Committee ranks the whole field from 1 to 68; these are referred to as the true seed. The committee then divides the teams amongst the four regions, giving each a seed between No. 1 and No. 16. The same four seeds in all the regions are referred to as the seed line (i.e. the No. 6 seed line). Eight teams are doubled up and compete in the First Four. Two of the paired teams compete for No. 16 seeds, and the other two paired teams are the last at-large teams awarded bids to the tournament and compete for a seed line in the No. 11 to No. 14 range, which varies year to year based on the true seeds of the teams overall.[2]

Teams are placed in the closest geographical region to reduce travel time. However, teams are moved to other regions to follow several rules for ensuring competitive balance and avoiding rematches from the regular season in early rounds.[2]

The top four overall seeds are placed as No. 1 seeds in each region. The regions are paired so that if all the No. 1 seeds reached the Final Four true seed No. 1 would play No. 4 and No. 2 would play No. 3. The No. 2 teams are preferably placed so that the No. 5 true seed will not be paired with the No. 1 true seed. The committee ensures competitive balance among the top four seeds in each region by adding the true seed values up and comparing the values among the regions. If there is significant deviation, some teams will be moved among the regions to balance the true seed distribution.[2]

If a conference has two to four teams in the top four seeds, they will be placed in different regions. Otherwise, teams from the same conference are placed to avoid a rematch before the regional finals if they have played three or more times in the season, the regional semifinals if they have played twice, or the second round if they have played once. Additionally, the committee is advised to avoid rematches from the regular season and the previous years' tournament in the First Four. Finally, the committee will attempt to ensure that a team is not moved out of their preferred geographical region an inordinate number of times based on their placement in the previous two tournaments. To follow these rules and preferences, the committee may move a team off of their expected seed line. Thus, for example, the 40th overall ranked team, originally slated to be a No. 10 seed within a particular region, may instead be moved up to a No. 9 seed or moved down to a No. 11 seed.[2]

Since 2012, the committee has released the No. 1 to 68 true seed list after announcing the bracket.[2]

Bracket previewEdit

Since 2017, the Selection Committee has released a list of the top 16 teams three weeks before Selection Sunday. This list does not guarantee any team a bid, as the Committee re-ranks all teams when starting the final selection process.[3]

First Four at-large seeding by yearEdit

The University of Dayton Arena, which has hosted all First Four games since the round's inception in 2011 (except 2021), as well as its precursor, the single "play-in" game held from 2001 to 2010. As of 2019, the arena has hosted 123 tournament games, the most of any venue.

The seed line of the four at-large teams competing in the First Four has varied each year, depending on the overall ranking of the at-large teams in the field.[2]

Seed Count Years
11 18 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015-2019 (x2), 2021 (x2), 2022, 2023 (x2)
12 4 2011, 2012, 2014, 2022
13 1 2013
14 1 2012


In the men's tournament, all sites are nominally neutral; teams are prohibited from playing tournament games on their home courts during the first, second, and regional rounds. By current NCAA rules, any court on which a team hosts more than three regular-season games (not including preseason or conference tournament games) is considered a "home court".[2] For the First Four and the Final Four, the home court prohibition does not apply because only one venue hosts these rounds. The First Four is regularly hosted by the Dayton Flyers; as such, the team competed on their home court in 2015.[4] Because the Final Four is hosted at indoor football stadiums, it is unlikely that a team will ever play on their home court again. The last time this was possible 1996 when the Continental Airlines Arena, home court of Seton Hall, hosted.

For the First and Second Rounds, eight venues host games, four on each day of the round. Each venue hosts two sets of four teams, referred to as "pods." To limit travel, teams are placed in pods closer to their home unless seeding rules would prevent it. Because each pod includes a top 4 seed, the highest ranked teams normally get the closest sites.

The possible pods by seeding are:

  • Pod A: 1 v. 16 and 8 v. 9
  • Pod B: 2 v. 15 and 7 v. 10
  • Pod C: 3 v. 14 and 6 v. 11
  • Pod D: 4 v. 13 and 5 v. 12


Early era (1939–1970)Edit

The first tournament was held in 1939 and was won by Oregon. It was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. The National Association of Basketball Coaches operated the first tournament for the NCAA.

From 1939 to 1950, the NCAA tournament consisted of eight teams, with each selected from a geographical district. In 1951, the NCAA doubled the field to 16, adding two additional districts and six at-large teams. Conferences could still only have one team in the tournament, but multiple conferences from the same geographic district could now be included.[5]

In the eight team format, the tournament was split into the East and West Regions, with champions meeting in the National Championship game. The first two rounds for each region were conducted at the same site and the National Championship and, from 1946, consolation game occurred a week later. Some years, the site of the National Championship was the same site as a Regional Championship and in other years a new site. With the expansion to 16 teams, the tournament retained the original format of the national semifinals being the Regional Finals in 1951. For the 1952 tournament, there were four regions named East-1, East-2, West-1, West-2, all played at separate sites. The regional champions met for the National Semifinals and Championship at a separate location a week later, creating the current format of the final two rounds of the tournament (although the name "Final Four" would not be used in branding until the 1980s).

The 1953 tournament expanded to include 22 teams and added a fifth round, with ten teams receiving a bye to the Regional Semifinals. The number of teams would fluctuate from 22 to 25 teams over the next two decades, but the number of rounds remained the same. The double region naming was kept until 1956, when the regions were named the East, Midwest, West, and Far West. In 1957, the regions were named East, Mideast, Midwest, and West, which remained until 1985. Regions were paired in the National Semifinals based on their geographic locations, with the two eastern regions meeting in one semifinal and two western regions meeting in the other semifinal.

Beginning in 1946, a national third-place game was held before the championship game. Regional third-place games were played in the West from 1939 and the East from 1941. Despite expansion in 1951, there were still only two regions, each with a third-place game. In 1952, the two regions were split into four and third-place games were played for each.

This era of the tournament was characterized by competition with the National Invitation Tournament. Founded by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association one year before the NCAA tournament, the NIT was held entirely in New York City at Madison Square Garden. Because New York was the center of the press in the United States, the NIT often received more coverage than the NCAA tournament in early years. Additionally, good teams were often excluded from the NCAA tournament because each conference could only have one bid and conference champions were even excluded because of the 8-district system before 1950. Teams often competed in both tournaments during the first decade, with City College of New York winning both the NIT and NCAA tournament in 1950. Soon after, the NCAA banned teams from participating in both tournaments.

Pre-modern era (1971–1984)Edit

Two major changes over the course of the early 1970s led to the NCAA becoming the preeminent post-season tournament for college basketball. First, the NCAA added a rule in 1971 that banned teams who declined an invitation to the NCAA tournament from participating in other post-season tournaments. This was in response to eighth- ranked Marquette declining its invitation in 1970 and instead participating in and winning the NIT after coach Al McGuire complained about their regional placement. Since then, the NCAA tournament has clearly been the major one, with conference champions and the majority of the top-ranked teams participating in it.[6] Second, the NCAA allowed multiplet teams per conference starting in 1975. This was in response to several highly ranked teams being denied bids during the early 1970s. These included South Carolina in 1970, which was undefeated in conference play but lost in the ACC tournament; USC in 1971, which was ranked #2 but their conference was represented by #1 and eventual national champion UCLA; and Maryland in 1974, which was ranked #3 but lost the ACC tournament championship game to eventual national champion North Carolina State.

To accommodate at-large bids, the tournament expanded in 1975 to include 32 teams and eliminated byes. In 1979, the tournament expanded to 40 teams and added a sixth round; 24 teams received byes to the Second Round. Eight more teams were added in 1980 with only 16 teams receiving byes. In 1983, a seventh round of four play-in games were added and an additional play-in game was added in 1984. During both years, 16 teams still received byes to the Second Round. Beginning in 1973, the regional pairings for the National Semifinals were rotated on a yearly basis instead of the two eastern and two western regions always playing.

Seeding also began during this era, adding drama and ensuring better teams had better paths to the Final Four. In 1978, teams were seeded in two separate pools based on their qualification method. Each region had four teams which automatically qualified ranked Q1–Q4 and four teams which received an at-large bid ranked L1–L4. In 1979, all teams in each region were seeded 1 through 10, without regards for their qualification method.

The National Semifinals were moved to Saturday and the Championship was moved to Monday evening in 1973, where they have remained since. Before the Championship had been played on Saturday and the Semifinals two days before.

The third-place games were eliminated during this era, with the last regional third-place games played in 1975 and the last national third-place game played in 1981.

Modern era (1985–present)Edit

In 1985, the tournament expanded to 64 teams, eliminating all byes and play-ins. For the first time, all teams had to win six games to win the tournament. This expansion led to increased media coverage and popularity in American culture. Until 2001, the First and Second Rounds occurred at two sites in each region.

In 1985, the Mideast Region was renamed the Southeast Region. In 1997, the Southeast Region became the South Region. From 2004 to 2006, the regions were named after their host cities, e.g. the Phoenix Regional in 2004, the Chicago Regional in 2005, and the Minneapolis Regional in 2006, but reverted to the traditional geographic designations beginning in 2007. For the 2011 tournament, the South Region was the Southeast Regional and the Midwest Region the Southwest Region; both returned to their previous names in 2012.

The 1996 Final Four was the last to take place in a venue built specifically for basketball. Since then, the Final Four has exclusively been played in large indoor football stadiums.

Beginning in 2001, the field was expanded from 64 to 65 teams, adding to the tournament what was informally known as the "play-in game." This was in response to the creation of the Mountain West Conference during 1999. Originally, the winner of the Mountain West's tournament did not receive an automatic bid, as doing so would have eliminated one of the at-large bids. As an alternative to eliminating an at-large bid, the NCAA expanded the tournament to 65 teams. The #64 and #65 seeds were seeded in a regional bracket as 16 seeds, and then played the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Opening Round Game (the "play-in game") on the Tuesday preceding the first weekend of the tournament. This game was always played at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Starting in 2004, the Selection Committee revealed the overall rankings among the #1 seeds. Based on these rankings, the regions were paired so that the #1 overall seed would play the #4 overall seed in a National Semifinal if both teams made the Final Four. This was to prevent the top two teams from meeting before the finals, as was largely considered the case in 1996 when Kentucky played Massachusetts in the Final Four. Previously, regional pairings rotated yearly.

In 2010, there was speculation about increasing the tournament size to as many as 128 teams. On April 1, the NCAA announced that it was looking at expanding to 96 teams for 2011. On April 22, the NCAA announced a new television contract with CBS/Turner that expanded the field to 68 teams starting in 2011. The First Four was created by the addition of three play-in games.[7] Two of the First Four games pit 16 seeds against each other. The two other games, however, pit the last at-large bids against each other. The seeding for the at-large teams will be determined by the Selection Committee and fluctuates based on the true seed ranking of the teams. Explaining the reasoning for this format, selection committee chairman Dan Guerrero said, "We felt if we were going to expand the field it would create better drama for the tournament if the First Four was much more exciting. They could all be on the 10 line or the 12 line or the 11 line."[7] As part of this expanison, the round of 64 was renamed the Second Round and the round of 32 was renamed the Third Round.[7] In 2016, the rounds of 64 and 32 returned to their previous names of the First Round and the Second Round.[8]

In 2016, the NCAA introduced new a new "NCAA March Madness" logo for tournament-wide branding, including fully-branded courts at each of the tournament venues. Previously, the NCAA had used the existing court or a generic NCAA court.

Beginning in 2017, the #1 overall seed picks the sites for their first and second round games and their potential regional games. Additionally, the Selection Committee began releasing the top 16 seeds three weeks before Selection Sunday as a bracket preview.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the NCAA cancelled the 2020 tournament. Initially, the NCAA discussed holding a shortened version with only 16 teams in the Final Four host city of Atlanta. Once the vast scale of the pandemic was understood, the NCAA cancelled the tournament, making it the first edition to not be held, and decided against releasing the brackets that the Selection Committee had been working on.

In 2021, the tournament was held entirely in the state of Indiana to reduce travel. This was the only time the tournament was conducted in one state. As a COVID-19 precaution, all participating teams were required to stay in NCAA-provided accommodations until they lost. The schedule was adjusted to provided extended time for COVID-19 evaluation before the tournament began, with the First Four occurring entirely on Thursday, the First and Second Rounds pushed one day back to a Friday-Monday window, and the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight pushed to a Friday-Monday window as well. The first four teams out were put on "standby" to replace any team that withdrew from the tournament due to COVID-19 protocols, but only if they did so in the 48 hours after the brackets were announced. Only one game was declared a no contest due to COVID-19, with Oregon advancing to the Second Round because VCU could not participate due to COVID-19 protocols. The tournament returned to its regular format in 2022.

In response to protests from players in the 2021 women's tournament about the differing facility quality and branding, both the 2022 men's and women's tournaments were branded as "NCAA March Madness" with variations of the same tournament-wide logo used by the men's tournament. Additionally, the Final Four for the men's tournament was branded as the "Men's Final Four" beginning in 2022, reflecting the "Women's Final Four" branding in use for that tournament since 1987.

Evolution overviewEdit

Years Teams Byes Rounds Play-In Games Games Played Regions Notes
1939–1940 8 0 3 0 8 East West National Semifinals are Regional Finals until 1952; West Region third-place game begins in 1939
1941–1946 9 East Region third-place game begins
1946 10 National third-place game begins
1951 16 4 18
1952 20 East 1 East 2 West 1 West 2 National Semifinals move to site of National Championship; all regions have third-place game
1953 22 10 5 26 First Round added before Regional Semifinals
1954–1955 24 8 28
1956 25 7 29 East Midwest West Far West
1957 23 9 27 Mideast Midwest West
1958 24 8 28
1959 23 9 27
1960 25 7 29
1961 24 8 28
1962–1964 25 7 29
1965 23 9 27
1966 22 10 26
1967–68 23 9 27
1969–1974 25 7 29 NCAA bans teams who decline bid from participating in other tournaments
1975 32 0 36 Multiple teams from the same conference allowed; last regional third-place games played
1976–78 32 Teams seeded in separate At-Large and Automatic Qualifier pools in 1978
1979 40 24 6 40 Full seeding begins, Second Round added before Regional Semifinals
1980–1981 48 16 48 Last national third-place game played in 1981
1982 47
1983 52 16 4 51 Play-In Game winners compete in First Round; 16 teams get a bye to Second Round
1984 53 5 52
1985–1997 64 0 0 63 Southeast
1998–2000 South
2001–2003 65 1 64 Pod System begins in 2002
2004–2006 Named after Host Cities Ranking among #1 Seeds announced and used to determine region pairings in Final Four starting in 2004
2007–2010 East South Midwest West
2011 68 4 67 Southeast Southwest First Four added in 2011; true seed list released starting in 2011; Rounds of 64 and 32 renamed Second and Third Rounds from 2011–2015
2012–Present South Midwest


Titles by yearEdit

Titles by schoolEdit

The following is a list of all schools that have won at least one NCAA men's basketball tournament, along with the year(s) in which they won their championship(s).

* - denotes vacated title


A total of 333 teams have appeared in the NCAA tournament since 1939. Because the NCAA did not split into divisions until 1957, some schools that have appeared in the tournament are no longer in Division I. Of current Division I schools, 46 have never made the tournament, including 11 that are currently ineligible because they are transitioning to Division I.

Most tournament appearancesEdit

Twenty-six teams have appeared thirty or more times in the tournament:

Team Number First Appearance Last Appearance
Kentucky* 60 1942 2023
North Carolina 52 1941 2022
Kansas 51 1940 2023
UCLA* 50 1950 2023
Duke 45 1955 2023
Indiana 41 1940 2023
Villanova* 40 1939 2022
Louisville* 39 1951 2019
Notre Dame 37 1953 2022
Syracuse 37 1957 2021
Texas 37 1939 2023
Michigan State 36 1957 2023
Arkansas 35 1941 2023
UConn* 35 1951 2023
Marquette 34 1955 2023
Arizona* 33 1951 2023
Cincinnati 33 1958 2019
Illinois 33 1942 2023
Oklahoma 33 1939 2021
Purdue* 33 1969 2023
Temple 33 1944 2019
Kansas State 32 1948 2023
Georgetown 31 1943 2021
Ohio State* 31 1939 2022
West Virginia 31 1955 2023
BYU 30 1950 2021

*Vacated appearances

Marquette declined an invitation to the 1970 tournament

Tournament appearance streaksEdit

  • List of schools with the longest streaks of appearances in the NCAA tournament. Because no tournament was held in 2020, that year does not count as an interruption.
  • Bold Indicates an active current streak as of the 2023 tournament.
School Start of streak Last appearance in streak Years
Kansas 1990 2023 33 years
North Carolina 1975 2001 27 years
Michigan State 1998 2023 25 years
Duke 1996 2019 24 years
Gonzaga 1999 2023 24 years
Arizona 1985 2009 25 years[a]
  1. ^ Two of Arizona's appearances in this period (1999, 2008) were later vacated due to NCAA sanctions.

Tournament droughtsEdit

List of schools with the longest time between NCAA tournament appearances (minimum 20-year drought). Bold Indicates an active current streak as of the 2023 tournament:

School Appearance Next Appearance Years
Harvard 1946 2012 66 years
Dartmouth 1959 64 years
Tennessee Tech 1963 60 years
Bowling Green 1968 55 years
Yale 1962 2016 54 years
Seattle 1969 54 years (not in Division I in 29 of those years)
Rice 1970 53 years
Brown 1939 1986 47 years
Stanford 1942 1989
Wisconsin 1947 1994
Duquesne 1977 46 years
Toledo 1980 43 years
Furman 1980 2023 43 years
Air Force 1962 2004 42 years
Iowa State 1944 1985 41 years
Washington State 1941 1980 39 years
Canisius 1957 1996
Houston Christian 1984 39 years (not in Division I in 19 of those years)
Baylor 1950 1988 38 years
Miami (FL) 1960 1998 38 years (no team 14 of those years)
Portland 1959 1996 37 years
Drake 1971 2008
Brown 1986 37 years
Idaho State 1987 36 years
Manhattan 1958 1993 35 years
Oregon 1961 1995 34 years[9]
Loyola-Chicago 1985 2018 33 years
Idaho 1990 33 years
Loyola Marymount
Georgetown 1943 1975 32 years
Louisiana Tech 1991 32 years
Saint Francis (PA)
Marshall 1987 2018 31 years
Howard 1992 2023
Campbell 1992 31 years
Georgia Southern
Saint Mary's 1959 1989 30 years
California 1960 1990
Massachusetts 1962 1992
Cal State Fullerton 1978 2008
Rutgers 1991 2021
East Carolina 1993 30 years
Mercer 1985 2014 29 years
Rider 1994 29 years
Tennessee State
Mississippi State 1963 1991 28 years
FIU 1995 28 years
Gonzaga 1967 1994 27 years
Canisius 1996 27 years
Northern Illinois
San Jose State
Santa Clara
Western Carolina
Montana State 1996 2022 26 years
Penn State 1965 1991
Oregon State 1990 2016
Charleston Southern 1997 26 years
Texas State
LSU 1954 1979 25 years
Georgia Tech 1960 1985
Navy 1960 1985
Drexel 1996 2021
Eastern Michigan 1998 25 years
Illinois State
Northeastern 1991 2015 24 years
San Francisco 1998 2022
Arkansas State 1999 24 years
Missouri State
Colgate 1996 2019 23 years
Southeast Missouri State 2000 2023
Ball State 2000 23 years
Northern Arizona
St. Bonaventure 1978 2000 22 years
Southern Methodist 1993 2015
Eastern Illinois 2001 22 years
Southern Utah
Holy Cross 1956 1977 21 years
East Tennessee State 1968 1989
East Carolina 1972 1993
Southern Miss 1991 2012
La Salle 1992 2013
Coastal Carolina 1993 2014
New Orleans 1996 2017
Prairie View A&M 1998 2019
Florida Atlantic 2002 2023
Alcorn State 2002 21 years
McNeese State
Western Kentucky 1940 1960 20 years
Colorado State 1969 1989
Baylor 1988 2008
Green Bay 1996 2016
TCU 1998 2018
Central Michigan 2003 20 years
South Carolina State
  1. ^ Received an automatic bid in 2020 for winning the 2020 CAA men's basketball tournament, but the NCAA canceled the 2020 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rituals and influenceEdit

The NABC Championship Trophy
NCAA-style trophies for various sports, as seen at UCLA

Cutting down the netsEdit

As a tournament ritual, the winning team cuts down the nets at the end of regional championship games as well as the national championship game. Starting with the seniors, and moving down by classes, players each cut a single strand off each net; the head coach cuts the last strand connecting the net to the hoop, claiming the net itself.[10] An exception to the head coach cutting the last strand came in 2013, when Louisville head coach Rick Pitino gave that honor to Kevin Ware, who had suffered a catastrophic leg injury during the tournament.[11] This tradition is credited to Everett Case, the coach of North Carolina State, who stood on his players' shoulders to accomplish the feat after the Wolfpack won the Southern Conference tournament in 1947.[12] CBS, since 1987 and yearly to 2015, in the odd-numbered years since 2017, and TBS, since 2016, the even-numbered years, close out the tournament with "One Shining Moment", performed by Luther Vandross.

Team awardsEdit

Just as the Olympics awards gold, silver, and bronze medals for first, second, and third place, respectively, the NCAA awards the National Champions a gold-plated Wooden NCAA national championship trophy. The loser of the championship game receives a silver-plated National Runner-Up trophy for second place. Since 2006, all four Final Four teams receive a bronze plated NCAA Regional Championship trophy; prior to 2006, only the teams who did not make the title game received bronze plated trophies for being a semifinalist.

The champions also receive a commemorative gold championship ring, and the other three Final Four teams receive Final Four rings.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches also presents a more elaborate marble/crystal trophy to the winning team. Ostensibly, this award is given for taking the top position in the NABC's end-of-season poll, but this is invariably the same as the NCAA championship game winner. In 2005, Siemens AG acquired naming rights to the NABC trophy, which is now called the Siemens Trophy. Formerly, the NABC trophy was presented right after the standard NCAA championship trophy, but this caused some confusion.[13] Since 2006, the Siemens/NABC Trophy has been presented separately at a press conference the day after the game.[14]

Most Outstanding PlayerEdit

After the championship trophy is awarded, one player is selected and then awarded the Most Outstanding Player award (which almost always comes from the championship team). It is not intended to be the same as a Most Valuable Player award although it is sometimes informally referred to as such.

Influence on the NBA draftEdit

Because the National Basketball Association Draft takes place just three months after the NCAA tournament, NBA executives have to decide how players' performances in a maximum of seven games, from the First Four to the championship game, should affect their draft decisions. A 2012 study for the National Bureau of Economic Research explores how the March tournament affects the way that professional teams behave in the June draft. The study is based on data from 1997 to 2010 that looks at how college tournament standouts performed at the NBA level.[15][16]

The researchers determined that a player who outperforms his regular season averages or who is on a team that wins more games than its seed would indicate will be drafted higher than he otherwise would have been. At the same time, the study indicated that professional teams don't take college tournament performance into consideration as much as they should, as success in the tournament correlates with elite professional accomplishment, particularly top-level success, where a player makes the NBA All-Star Team three or more times. "If anything, NBA teams undervalue the signal provided by unexpected performance in the NCAA March Madness tournament as a predictor of future NBA success."[15][16]

Television coverage and revenuesEdit

Current television contractsEdit

Since 2011, the NCAA has had a joint contract with CBS and Turner Broadcasting. The coverage of the tournament is split between CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV.[17]

Broadcasters from CBS, TBS, and TNT's sports coverage are shared across all four networks, with CBS' college basketball teams supplemented with Turner's NBA teams, while studio segments take place at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City and Turner's studios in Atlanta. In the New York-based studio shows, CBS' Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg are joined by Ernie Johnson, Jr., Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley of TNT's Inside the NBA while Seth Davis of CBS assists with Casey Stern and various NBA TV personalities. While two of Turner's NBA voices, Kevin Harlan and Ian Eagle, are already employed by CBS in other capacities, they also lend analysts Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Grant Hill, and Steve Smith and secondary play-by-play man Brian Anderson to CBS. In turn, CBS announcers Jim Nantz, Brad Nessler, Spero Dedes, Andrew Catalon, and Tom McCarthy appear on Turner network broadcasts along with analysts Jim Spanarkel, Bill Raftery, and Dan Bonner.

The most recent transaction in 2018 renews the contract through 2032 and, for the first time in history, provides for the nationwide broadcast each year of all games of the tournament. All First Four games air on truTV. A featured first- or second-round game in each time "window" is broadcast on CBS, while all other games are shown either on TBS, TNT or truTV. The regional semifinals, better known as the Sweet Sixteen, are split between CBS and TBS. CBS had the exclusive rights to the regional finals, also known as the Elite Eight, through 2014. That exclusivity extended to the entire Final Four as well, but after the 2013 tournament Turner Sports elected to exercise a contractual option for 2014 and 2015 giving TBS broadcast rights to the national semifinal matchups.[18] CBS kept its national championship game rights.[18]

Since 2015, CBS and TBS split coverage of the Elite Eight. Since 2016 CBS and TBS alternate coverage of the Final Four and national championship game, with TBS getting the final two rounds in even-numbered years, and CBS getting the games in odd-numbered years. March Madness On Demand would remain unchanged, although Turner was allowed to develop their own service.[19]

The CBS broadcast provides the NCAA with over $500 million annually, and makes up over 90% of the NCAA's annual revenue.[20] The revenues from the multibillion-dollar television contract are divided among the Division I basketball playing schools and conferences as follows:[21]

  • 1/6 of the money goes directly to the schools based on how many sports they play (one "share" for each sport starting with 14, which is the minimum needed for Division I membership).
  • 1/3 of the money goes directly to the schools based on how many scholarships they give out (one share for each of the first 50, two for each of the next 50, ten for each of the next 50, and 20 for each scholarship above 150).
  • 1/2 of the money goes to the conferences based on how well they did in the six previous men's basketball tournaments (counting each year separately, one share for each team getting in, and one share for each win except in the Final Four and, prior to the 2008 tournament, the Play-in game). In 2007, based on the 2001 through 2006 tournaments, the Big East received over $14.85 million, while the eight conferences that did not win a first-round game in those six years received slightly more than $1 million each. Most conferences distribute most of the revenue evenly to its member institutions, regardless of performance.[22] By 2021, the value of the shares or "units" to a conference was worth US$337,141.[23][24]

History of television coverageEdit

CBS has been the major partner of the NCAA in televising the tournament since 1982, but there have been many changes in coverage since the tournament was first broadcast in 1969.

Early broadcast coverageEdit

From 1969 to 1981, the NCAA tournament aired on NBC, but not all games were televised. The early rounds, in particular, were not always seen on TV.

In 1982, CBS obtained broadcast television rights to the NCAA tournament.

ESPN & CBS share coverageEdit

In 1980, ESPN began showing the opening rounds of the tournament. This was the network's first contract signed with the NCAA for a major sport, and helped to establish ESPN's following among college basketball fans. ESPN showed six first-round games on Thursday and again on Friday, with CBS, from 1982 to 1990, then picking up a seventh game at 11:30 pm ET. Thus, 14 of 32 first-round games were televised. ESPN also re-ran games overnight. At the time, there was only one ESPN network, with no ability to split its signal regionally, so ESPN showed only the most competitive games. During the 1980s, the tournament's popularity on television soared.[citation needed]

CBS takes overEdit

However, ESPN became a victim of its own success, as CBS was awarded the rights to cover all games of the NCAA tournament, starting in 1991. Only with the introduction of the so-called "play-in" game (between the 64 seed and the 65 seed) in the 2000s, did ESPN get back in the game (and actually, the first time this "play-in" game was played in 2001, the game was aired on The National Network, using CBS graphics and announcers, as both CBS and TNN were both owned by Viacom at the time.[25]

Through 2010, CBS broadcast the remaining 63 games of the NCAA tournament proper. Most areas saw only eight of 32 first-round games, seven of 16 second-round games, and four of eight regional semifinal games (out of the possible 56 games during these rounds; there would be some exceptions to this rule in the 2000s). Coverage preempted regular programming on the network, except during a 2-hour window from about 5 ET until 7 ET when the local affiliates could show programming. The CBS format resulted in far fewer hours of first-round coverage than under the old ESPN format but allowed the games to reach a much larger audience than ESPN was able to reach.[citation needed]

During this period of near-exclusivity by CBS, the network provided to its local affiliates three types of feeds from each venue: constant feed, swing feed, and flex feed. Constant feeds remained primarily on a given game, and were used primarily by stations with a clear local interest in a particular game. Despite its name, a constant feed occasionally veered away to other games for brief updates (as is typical in most American sports coverage), but coverage generally remained with the initial game. A swing feed tended to stay on games believed to be of natural interest to the locality, such as teams from local conferences, but may leave that game to go to other games that during their progress become close matches. On a flex feed, coverage bounced around from one venue to another, depending on action at the various games in progress. If one game was a blowout, coverage could switch to a more competitive game. A flex feed was provided when there were no games with a significant natural local interest for the stations carrying them, which allowed the flex game to be the best game in progress. Station feeds were planned in advance and stations had the option of requesting either constant or flex feed for various games.[citation needed]

Viewing options emergeEdit

In 1999, DirecTV began broadcasting all games otherwise not shown on local television with its Mega March Madness premium package. The DirecTV system used the subscriber's ZIP code to black out games which could be seen on broadcast television. Prior to that, all games were available on C-Band satellite and were picked up by sports bars.

In 2003, CBS struck a deal with Yahoo! to offer live streaming of the first three rounds of games under its Yahoo! Platinum service, for $16.95 a month.[26] In 2004, CBS began selling viewers access to March Madness On Demand, which provided games not otherwise shown on broadcast television; the service was free for AOL subscribers. In 2006, March Madness On Demand was made free, and continued to be so to online users through the 2011 tournament. For 2012, it once again became a pay service, with a single payment of $3.99 providing access to all 67 tournament games. In 2013, the service, now renamed March Madness Live, was again made free, but uses Turner's rights and infrastructure for TV Everywhere, which requires sign-in though the password of a customer's cable or satellite provider to watch games, both via PC/Mac and mobile devices. Those that do not have a cable or satellite service or one not participating in Turner's TV Everywhere are restricted to games carried on the CBS national feed and three hours (originally four) of other games without sign-in, or coverage via Westwood One's radio coverage. Effective with the 2018 tournament, the national semifinals and final are under TV Everywhere restrictions if they are aired by Turner networks; before then, those particular games were not subject to said restrictions.

In addition, CBS Sports Network (formerly CBS College Sports Network) had broadcast two "late early" games that would not otherwise be broadcast nationally. These were the second games in the daytime session in the Pacific Time Zone, to avoid starting games before 10 AM. These games are also available via March Madness Live and on CBS affiliates in the market areas of the team playing. In other markets, newscasts, local programming or preempted CBS morning programming are aired. CBSSN is scheduled to continue broadcasting the official pregame and postgame shows and press conferences from the teams involved, along with overnight replays.[27]

HDTV coverageEdit

The Final Four has been broadcast in HDTV since 1999. From 2000 to 2004, only one first/second round site and one regional site were designated as HDTV sites. In 2005, all regional games were broadcast in HDTV, and four first and second round sites were designated for HDTV coverage. Local stations broadcasting in both digital and analog had the option of airing separate games on their HD and SD channels, to take advantage of the available high definition coverage. Beginning in 2007, all games in the tournament (including all first and second-round games) were available in high definition, and local stations were required to air the same game on both their analog and digital channels. However, due to satellite limitations, first round "constant" feeds were only available in standard definition.[28] Moreover, some digital television stations, such as WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina, choose to not participate in HDTV broadcasts of the first and second rounds and the regional semifinals, and used their available bandwidth to split their signal into digital subchannels to show all games going on simultaneously.[29] By 2008, upgrades at the CBS broadcast center allowed all feeds, flex and constant, to be in HD for the tournament.

International broadcastsEdit

As of 2011, ESPN International holds international broadcast rights to the tournament, distributing coverage to its co-owned networks and other broadcasters. ESPN produces the world feed for broadcasts of the Final Four and championship game, produced using ESPN College Basketball staff and commentators.[30][31][32]


NCAA tournament all-time victoriesEdit

The following are the top ten programs in all-time NCAA victories

Rank School #
1 North Carolina 131
2 Kentucky 131*
3 Duke 118
4 Kansas 115
5 UCLA 114*
6 Michigan State 71
7 Indiana 67
8 Syracuse 70*
9 Louisville 76*
9 Villanova 71*

* Denotes vacated records not included

Most Final Four and championship appearancesEdit

The following programs have five or more appearances in the Final Four:

School National

Semifinal Appearances


Championship Game Appearances



North Carolina 21 12 6
UCLA 19* 13* 11
Kentucky 17 12 8
Duke 17 11 5
Kansas 16 10 4
Ohio State 11* 5 1
Louisville 10* 3* 3*
Michigan State 10 3 2
Michigan 8* 7* 1
Indiana 8 6 5
Villanova 7* 4* 3
UConn 6 4 4
Cincinnati 6 3 2
Oklahoma State 6 3 2
Syracuse 6 3 1
Arkansas 6 2 1
Houston 6 2 0
Georgetown 5 4 1
Florida 5 3 2
Oklahoma 5 2 0
Illinois 5 1 0

* Denotes vacated records not included

No. 1 seedsEdit

Since 1979, the NCAA has seeded each region. Beginning in 2004, the Selection Committee announced the rankings among the 1 seeds, designating an overall #1 seed and pairing the regions so that the overall #1 seed would meet the #4 overall seed in the Final Four if both advanced to it. The overall rankings are denoted with the numbers in parenthesis. The following teams received the top ranking in each region:

Year East Midwest[i] South[ii] West
1979 North Carolina Indiana State Notre Dame UCLA
1980 Syracuse LSU Kentucky DePaul
1981 Virginia LSU DePaul Oregon State*
1982 North Carolina DePaul Virginia Georgetown
1983 St. John's Houston Louisville Virginia
1984 North Carolina DePaul Kentucky Georgetown
1985 Georgetown Oklahoma Michigan St. John's
1986 Duke Kansas Kentucky St. John's
1987 North Carolina Indiana Georgetown UNLV
1988 Temple Purdue Oklahoma Arizona
1989 Georgetown Illinois Oklahoma Arizona
1990 Connecticut Oklahoma Michigan State UNLV
1991 North Carolina Ohio State Arkansas UNLV
1992 Duke Kansas Ohio State UCLA
1993 North Carolina Indiana Kentucky Michigan*
1994 North Carolina Arkansas Purdue Missouri
1995 Wake Forest Kansas Kentucky UCLA
1996 Massachusetts* Kentucky Connecticut Purdue
1997 North Carolina Minnesota* Kansas Kentucky
1998 North Carolina Kansas Duke Arizona
1999 Duke Michigan State Auburn Connecticut
2000 Duke Michigan State Stanford Arizona
2001 Duke Illinois Michigan State Stanford
2002 Maryland Kansas Duke Cincinnati
2003 Oklahoma Kentucky Texas Arizona
2004[iii] (4) St. Joseph's (1) Kentucky (2) Duke (3) Stanford
2005[iv] (2) North Carolina (1) Illinois (3) Duke (4) Washington
2006[v] (2) Connecticut (3) Villanova (1) Duke (4) Memphis
2007 (2) North Carolina (1) Florida (3) Ohio State (4) Kansas
2008 (1) North Carolina (4) Kansas (2) Memphis* (3) UCLA
2009 (2) Pittsburgh (1) Louisville (3) North Carolina (4) Connecticut
2010 (2) Kentucky (1) Kansas (3) Duke (4) Syracuse
2011 (1) Ohio State (2) Kansas (3) Pittsburgh (4) Duke
2012 (2) Syracuse (3) North Carolina (1) Kentucky (4) Michigan State
2013 (3) Indiana (1) Louisville* (2) Kansas (4) Gonzaga
2014 (4) Virginia (3) Wichita State (1) Florida (2) Arizona
2015 (2) Villanova (1) Kentucky (3) Duke (4) Wisconsin
2016 (4) North Carolina (3) Virginia (1) Kansas (4) Oregon
2017 (1) Villanova (2) Kansas (3) North Carolina (4) Gonzaga
2018 (2) Villanova (3) Kansas (1) Virginia (4) Xavier
2019 (1) Duke (3) North Carolina (2) Virginia (4) Gonzaga
2020 Tournament canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak
2021[vi] (4) Michigan (3) Illinois (2) Baylor (1) Gonzaga
2022 (4) Baylor (3) Kansas (2) Arizona (1) Gonzaga
2023 (4) Purdue (2) Houston (1) Alabama (3) Kansas

* Vacated.
Bold denotes team also won tournament

  1. ^ The Midwest Region was designated the Southwest Region in 2011.
  2. ^ The South Region was designated the Mideast Region from 1979–1984 and the Southeast Region from 1985–1999 and in 2011.
  3. ^ Regions were named after host cities: East Rutherford Regional (East), St. Louis Regional (Midwest), Atlanta Regional (South), and Phoenix Regional (West).
  4. ^ Regions were named after host cities: Syracuse Regional (East), Chicago Regional (Midwest), Austin Regional (South), and Albuquerque Regional (West).
  5. ^ Regions were named after host cities: Washington, D.C., Regional (East); Minneapolis Regional (Midwest); Atlanta Regional (South); and Oakland Regional (West).
  6. ^ All games were played in Indiana as a COVID-19 precaution.

No. 1 seeds by schoolEdit

#1 seeds Schools
17 North Carolina
16 Kansas
14 Duke
12 Kentucky
7 Arizona, Virginia
5 Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Oklahoma, UConn
4 DePaul, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, UCLA, Villanova
3 Indiana, St. John's, Stanford, Syracuse, UNLV
2 Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Houston, Louisville*, LSU, Michigan*, Pittsburgh
1 Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Indiana State, Maryland, Memphis*, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, St. Joseph's, Temple, Texas, Wake Forest, Washington, Wichita State, Wisconsin, Xavier

Last updated through 2023 tournament.
* Vacated appearances excluded (see #1 seeds by year and region).

All No. 1 seeds in the Final FourEdit

Rank #1 vs. other ranks (prior to 2018)

It has happened only once that all four No. 1 seeds made it to the Final Four:

Final Fours without a No. 1 seedEdit

Four times (including thrice since the field expanded to 64 teams) the Final Four has been without a No. 1 seed:

Since 1985, there have been 4 instances of three No. 1 seeds reaching the Final Four; 13 instances of two No. 1 seeds making it; and 14 instances of just one No. 1 seed reaching the Final Four. 2023 was the first Final Four without a 1, 2, or 3 seed.

No. 1 seeds in the championship gameEdit

There have been nine occasions (eight times since the field expanded to 64) that the championship game has been played between two No. 1 seeds:

  • 1982 – North Carolina beat Georgetown
  • 1993 – North Carolina beat Michigan
  • 1999 – Connecticut beat Duke
  • 2005 – North Carolina beat Illinois
  • 2007 – Florida beat Ohio State
  • 2008 – Kansas beat Memphis
  • 2015 – Duke beat Wisconsin
  • 2017 – North Carolina beat Gonzaga
  • 2021 – Baylor beat Gonzaga

Since 1985 there have been 18 instances of one No. 1 seed reaching the Championship Game (No. 1 seeds are 13–5 against other seeds in the title game) and 8 instances where no No. 1 seed made it to the title game.

Additional No. 1 seed statsEdit

  • In 1997, Arizona achieved a record when it became the only team to beat three No. 1 seeds in a single tournament. Arizona (No. 4 seed) beat Kansas in its own Southeast region, then beat North Carolina in the Final Four and finally Kentucky in the Championship game. The most No. 1 seeds any team can face in the tournament is three (provided that the team itself is not a No. 1 seed, in which case it can only face two No. 1 seeds in the tournament).
  • In 2011, the highest seed to advance to the Final Four was No. 3 seed Connecticut, making the 2011 tournament the first time that neither a No. 1 seed nor a No. 2 seed advanced into the final weekend of play. In the same tournament, Butler made history as the first program to make consecutive Final Fours while not being seeded No. 1 or No. 2 in either season.
  • There have been 16 teams that have entered the tournament unbeaten. Four of those teams were from UCLA, and all those Bruin teams won each of those tournaments. However, of the other 12 teams entering the tournament unbeaten, just three went on to win the tournament. For details, see table below.
  • In 1980, 1981, and 1982, when the tournament was 48 teams, DePaul was seeded No. 1 but was defeated in the first round.
  • Theoretically, a No. 1 seed's most difficult six-game path to win the tournament is to defeat a No. 16, a No. 8, a No. 4, a No. 2, a No. 1, and a No. 1 – the highest possible opposing seeds in successive rounds. No No. 1 seed has ever won all six such games, though two teams have won the first five.
    • In the 2002 tournament, Maryland reached the final after defeating teams seeded 16/8/4/2/1; they won the tournament after defeating No. 5 Indiana in the final.
    • In the 2015 tournament, Wisconsin reached the final after defeating teams seeded 16/8/4/2/1. In the final, they faced No. 1 Duke with a chance to complete the full six-game path. However, Wisconsin lost the final.
  • In 2023, no No. 1 seeds advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time ever. Purdue lost to Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round; Kansas lost to Arkansas in the second round, and both Alabama and Houston lost in the Sweet Sixteen, respectively to San Diego State and Miami.

Teams No. 1 in national pollsEdit

The following teams entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in at least one of the AP, UPI, or USA Today polls and won the tournament:[33]

  • 1949: Kentucky (AP)
  • 1951: Kentucky (AP/UPI)
  • 1953: Indiana (AP/UPI)
  • 1955: San Francisco (AP/UPI)
  • 1956: San Francisco (AP/UPI)
  • 1957: North Carolina (AP/UPI)
  • 1964: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1967: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1969: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1971: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1972: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1973: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1974: NC State (AP/UPI)
  • 1976: Indiana (AP/UPI)
  • 1978: Kentucky (AP/UPI)
  • 1982: North Carolina (AP/UPI)
  • 1992: Duke (AP/UPI)
  • 1994: Arkansas (USA Today)
  • 1995: UCLA (AP/USA Today)
  • 2001: Duke (AP/USA Today)
  • 2012: Kentucky (AP/USA Today)

Undefeated teams in the tournamentEdit

The team's record here refers to their record before the first game of the NCAA tournament.

Year Team Record Result
1951 Columbia 21–0 Lost Sweet 16 game to Illinois
1956 San Francisco 24–0 Won the tournament, beat Iowa
1957 North Carolina 27–0 Won the tournament, beat Kansas
1961 Ohio State 24–0 Lost in championship game to Cincinnati
1964 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament, beat Duke
1967 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament, beat Dayton
1968 Houston 28–0 Lost in national semifinal game to UCLA
1968 St. Bonaventure 22–0 Lost Sweet 16 game to North Carolina
1971 Pennsylvania 26–0 Lost Elite 8 game to Villanova
1971 Marquette 26–0 Lost Sweet 16 game to Ohio State
1972 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament, beat Florida State
1973 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament, beat Memphis State
1975 Indiana 29–0 Lost Elite 8 game to Kentucky
1976 Indiana 27–0 Won the tournament, beat Michigan
1976 Rutgers 27–0 Lost in national semifinal game to Michigan
1979 Indiana State 28–0 Lost in championship game to Michigan State
1991 UNLV 30–0 Lost in national semifinal game to Duke
2014 Wichita State 34–0 Lost in Round of 32 to Kentucky
2015 Kentucky 34–0 Lost in national semifinal game to Wisconsin
2021 Gonzaga 26–0 Lost in championship game to Baylor

Undefeated teams not in the tournamentEdit

The NCAA tournament has undergone dramatic expansion since 1975, and since the tournament was expanded to 48 teams in 1980, no unbeaten teams have failed to qualify. As, by definition, a team would have to win its conference tournament, and thus secure an automatic bid to the tournament, to be undefeated in a season, the only way a team could finish undefeated and not reach the tournament is if the team is banned from postseason play. As of 2021, no team banned from postseason play has finished undefeated since 1980. Other possibilities for an undefeated team to fail to qualify: the team is independent; the conference does not yet have an automatic bid; or the team is transitioning from a lower NCAA division or the NAIA, during which time it is barred from NCAA-sponsored postseason play (currently, the NCAA tournament or NIT). No men's team from a transitional D-I member has been unbeaten after its conference tournament, but one such women's team has been—California Baptist in 2021. (CBU was able to play in the women's NIT, which has never been operated by the NCAA.)

Before 1980, there were occasions on which a team achieved perfection in the regular season, yet did not appear in the NCAA tournament.

  • During 1939, Long Island University finished the regular season 20–0 but decided to accept instead an invitation to the second NIT (which they won) instead of the first and only NABC tournament (later called the NCAA tournament), as the NIT was more prestigious at the time. It wasn't until the mid-1950s that the NCAA required that its tournament would have "first choice" in determining teams for their field. Before then, many of the more successful teams during the regular season chose to play in the NIT instead of the NCAA tournament.
  • During 1940, Seton Hall finished the regular season 19–0, but their record had been built largely against weak teams and thus did not earn them an invitation to the postseason tournament.
  • During 1941, Milwaukee State finished the regular season 16–0, but their record had been built largely against weak teams and thus did not earn them an invitation to the postseason tournament.
  • During 1944, Army finished the regular season 15–0 but owing to World War II, the Cadets did not accept an invitation to postseason play.
  • During 1954, Kentucky finished 25–0 and were invited to the tournament, but declined the invitation, due their star players being ineligible due to already graduating.
  • During 1973, NC State finished the regular season 27–0 and ranked #2 (behind undefeated and eventual tournament champion UCLA) but were barred from participating in the NCAA tournament while on probation for recruiting violations.
  • During 1979, Alcorn State finished the regular season 27–0, but did not receive an invitation to the NCAA tournament. The Braves accepted a bid to the NIT, where they lost in the second round to eventual NIT champion Indiana.[34]

Reigning champions in the tournamentEdit

Seven programs have won national championships in successive years. UCLA achieved this feat seven times, including a run of from 1967 to 1973 of six back-to-back championships. These programs are:

There have been nine times in which the tournament did not include the reigning champion (the previous year's winner):

Upsets by lowly-seeded teamsEdit

Most successful low seedsEdit

Best outcomes for low seeds since expansion to 64 teams in 1985:

Seed 2nd Round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Championship Game National Champion
No. 16

UMBC (2018)
Fairleigh Dickinson (2023)

No. 15

Richmond (1991)
Santa Clara (1993)
Coppin State (1997)
Hampton (2001)
Norfolk State (2012)
Lehigh (2012)
Middle Tennessee (2016)

Florida Gulf Coast (2013)
Oral Roberts (2021)
Princeton (2023)

Saint Peter's (2022)
No. 14 numerous (20 teams)
No. 13 numerous (25 teams)
No. 12 numerous (31 teams)

numerous (20 teams)

No. 11 numerous (31 teams)

numerous (17 teams)

No. 10 numerous (34 teams)

numerous (15 teams)

No. 9 numerous (66 teams)
No. 8
No. 7 numerous (15 teams)

Best performances by No. 16 seedsEdit

In 2018, UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in the men's tournament, shocking Virginia 74–54. Before this breakthrough, five other 16 seeds lost by 4 or fewer points:

In 2023, Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in the tournament, beating Purdue 63–58.

Lowest-seeded pairings by roundEdit

  • The lowest-seeded combination in the national championship game is the 2014 pairing of No. 7 seed UConn and No. 8 seed Kentucky. UConn won, to become the second-lowest-seeded team to win the tournament.
  • The pairing of No. 8 seed Butler and No. 11 seed VCU in the 2011 National semifinals game was the lowest seeded combination to play in a National semifinals game.
  • The pairing of No. 8 seed North Carolina and No. 15 seed Saint Peter's in the 2022 East Regional Final was the lowest-seeded combination to play in a Regional Final.
  • The pairing of No. 10 seed Providence and No. 14 seed Chattanooga in the 1997 Southeast Regional semifinal was the lowest-seeded combination to play in a Regional semifinal.
  • There have been twenty-five Round of 32 matchups between two seeds who had won as the underdogs in the Round of 64: twelve 12-13 matchups, six 11-14 matchups, five 10-15 matchups, and two 9-16 matchups. The seeds add to 25 in each case, which is the lowest possible total for the second round.

Additional low-seed statsEdit

  • Villanova in 1985, a No. 8 seed, was the lowest seeded team to win the tournament.
  • Penn's 1979 Final Four appearance is also notable as they made it as a No. 9 seed—out of 10 teams in their region—making them the lowest seed to make the Final Four in the pre-64-team era.[37]
  • Butler is the only team to make consecutive Final Fours (let alone Championship Games) while not being a No. 1 or No. 2 seed either time (No. 5 in 2010, No. 8 in 2011).
  • In 1989, the four 11-seeds swept the first round against their 6-seed opponents. As of 2022 this is the only time that 11-seeds have achieved this feat, and no lower seed ever has. Three out of four 12-seeds have advanced five times, in 2002, 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2019. The 10-seeds also swept the 7-seeds once, in 1999.
  • Richmond is the only team to win first-round games ranked as a No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, and No. 12 seed.
  • The most Round of 64 upsets over top-3 seeds occurring in a single tournament has been two, which has occurred ten times:
    • 1986, 1995, 2015: Two No. 14 seeds over No. 3 seeds
    • 1991, 1997, 2013, 2016, 2021: One No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed and one No. 14 seed over a No. 3 seed
      • In 1991, 2013, 2016, and 2021, at least one team of every seed between No. 1 and No. 15 advanced to the round of 32.
    • 2012: Two No. 15 seeds over No. 2 seeds
    • 2023: One No. 16 seed over a No. 1 seed and one No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed
  • 2021 produced the highest total seed differential in an NCAA Tournament, with 128 across all the rounds of play. That is, the sum of seed differences among the 19 games won by lower-seeded teams was 128. This surpassed the previous mark of 111 in 2014, in which 22 games were won by lower seeded teams.
  • 2013 was the only tournament to have three teams seeded No. 12 or lower in the Sweet Sixteen: No. 12 Oregon, No. 13 La Salle, and No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast.
  • The 2018 South Region was the first region since seeding began in 1979 in which no top-4 seed advanced to the Sweet Sixteen (No. 5 Kentucky, No. 7 Nevada, No. 9 Kansas State, No. 11 Loyola–Chicago).
  • Georgetown is the only team to lose in five consecutive tournament appearances against a team seeded at least five spots lower:
  • In 2021, Houston, a 2 seed, was the first team ever to reach the Final Four by defeating only double-digit seeds—in order, Cleveland State (15), Rutgers (10), Syracuse (11), and Oregon State (12).
  • 2021 featured 14 upsets, the most upsets in a single tournament. NCAA defines an upset as 5 seed lines or more between teams.[38]

Notable point spread upsetsEdit

As noted above, despite numerous instances of early-round tournament upsets, only two No. 1 seeds have lost in the first round to a No. 16 seed. However, while seeding is one way of measuring the impact of an upset, prior to the implementation of seeding, point spread was the better determinant of an upset, and a loss by a highly favored team remains for many the definition of "upset". As the NCAA forbids any association with gambling, and point spreads vary depending on the bookie taking the bets, these are unofficial.

Biggest point-spread upsets since expansion to 64 teams in 1985:
Biggest point-spread upsets in NCAA Championship Game history:

Mid-major teamsEdit

Mid-major teams—which are defined as teams from the America East Conference (America East), ASUN Conference (ASUN), Atlantic 10 (A-10), Big Sky Conference (Big Sky), Big South Conference (Big South), Big West Conference (Big West), Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Conference USA (C-USA), Horizon League (Horizon), Ivy League (Ivy), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Mid-American Conference (MAC), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), Mountain West Conference (MW), Northeast Conference (NEC), Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), Patriot League (Patriot), Southern Conference (SoCon), Southland Conference (Southland), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Summit League (Summit), Sun Belt Conference (Sun Belt), West Coast Conference (WCC), and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC)[42]—have experienced success in the tournament at various times.

The last time, as of 2023, a mid-major team won the National Championship was 1990 when UNLV won with a 103–73 win over Duke, since UNLV was then a member of the Big West and since 1999 has been a member of the MW; the Big West was not then considered a power conference, nor is the MW today. However, during the tenure of UNLV's coach at the time, Jerry Tarkanian, the Runnin' Rebels were widely viewed as a major program despite their conference affiliation (a situation similar to that of Gonzaga since the first years of the 21st century). Additionally, the Big West received three bids in the 1990 tournament. The last time, as of 2023, an independent mid-major team won the National Championship was 1977 when Marquette won 67–59 over North Carolina. However, Marquette was not considered a "mid-major" program at that time. The very term "mid-major" was not coined until 1977, and did not see wide use until the 1990s. More significantly, Marquette was one of several traditional basketball powers that were still NCAA Division I independents in the late 1970s. Also, Marquette has been a member of widely acknowledged "major" basketball conferences since 1991, and is currently in the undeniably major Big East Conference. The last time, as of 2023, a mid-major team from a small media market (defined as a market that is outside of the top 25 television markets in the United States in 2019) won the National Championship was arguably 1962 when Cincinnati, then in the MVC, won 71–59 over Ohio State of the Big Ten, since Cincinnati's TV market is listed 35th in the nation as of 2023. However, the MVC was generally seen in that day as a major basketball conference.

The last time the Final Four was composed, as of 2023, of at least 75% mid-major teams (3/4), i.e. excluding all present-day major conferences or their predecessors, was 1979, where Indiana State, then as now of the Missouri Valley Conference (which had lost several of its most prominent programs, among them Cincinnati, earlier in the decade); Penn, then as now in the Ivy League; and DePaul, then an independent, participated in the Final Four, only to see Indiana State lose to Michigan State. The last time, as of 2023, the Final Four has been composed of at least 50% mid-major teams (2/4) was 2011, when VCU, then of the Colonial Athletic Association, and Butler, then of the Horizon League, participated in the Final Four, only to see Butler lose to Connecticut. Three of the four most recent Final Fours have involved a single "mid-major" team by the definition used here—the 2017, 2018, and 2021 tournaments, with Gonzaga appearing in both 2017 and 2021 and Loyola Chicago appearing in 2018 (although by 2017 Gonzaga, which has appeared in every NCAA tournament in the 21st century, was generally considered a major program despite its membership in the mid-major WCC[a][b]). To date, as of 2023, no Final Four has been composed of 100% mid-major teams (4/4), therefore guaranteeing a mid-major team winning the National Championship.

Arguably the tournament with the most mid-major success was the 1970 tournament, which had 63% representation of mid-major teams in the Sweet 16 (10/16), 75% representation in the Elite 8 (6/8), 75% representation in the Final 4 (3/4), and 50% representation in the national championship game (1/2). Jacksonville lost to UCLA in the National Championship, with New Mexico State defeating St. Bonaventure for third place.

Below is a table that shows the performance of mid-major teams from the Sweet Sixteen round to the national championship game from 1939—the tournament's first year—to the present day.

  • The first column is a list of every mid-major conference. For the conferences that have predecessor names, a footnote (below the table) lists those names and years. Opposite each conference's name are the schools that have appeared in the tournament from the Sweet Sixteen onwards when the school was a member of the conference or a predecessor conference.
  • Some of the conferences that are now considered mid-majors were regarded as major conferences in the past. For example:
    • The Missouri Valley Conference was considered a major basketball conference until many of its most prominent members left in the mid-1970s (before Indiana State's 1979 run to the title game).
    • Conference USA was considered a major conference at its formation in 1995. It arguably became a mid-major in 2005, when several of its more prominent teams left for the Big East Conference, and unquestionably became a mid-major during the early-2010s realignment cycle.
    • The WAC was considered a major conference until 1999, when 8 of its 16 members left to form the Mountain West Conference.
    • The MW was considered a major basketball conference until 2011, when two of its most prominent basketball programs (BYU and Utah) left for other conferences (West Coast Conference and Pac-12, respectively).
  • As alluded to above, certain programs that were members of "mid-major" conferences during deep tournament runs are nonetheless widely viewed as having been major programs at that time. The same applies to many programs that were independent before the 1980s. Examples include (but are not limited to) San Francisco in the 1950s, Marquette in the 1970s, UNLV in the last part of the 20th century, and Gonzaga since the mid-2010s.[44]
Mid-Major Conference Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Championship Game National Champion
America East[nb 1]
ASUN [nb 2] Florida Gulf Coast (2013)
Big Sky Weber State (1969, 1972), Montana (1975), Idaho (1982) Idaho State (1977)
Big South
Big West[nb 3] Long Beach State (1973), UNLV (1975, 1976, 1984, 1986), Fresno State (1982), New Mexico State (1992) Long Beach State (1972), Cal State Fullerton (1978), UNLV (1989) UNLV (1977, 1987, 1991) UNLV (1990)
CAA[nb 4] Richmond (1988) Navy (1986) George Mason (2006), VCU (2011)
C-USA Louisville (1996), Cincinnati (2001), UAB (2004), Memphis (2009) Cincinnati (1996), Louisville (1997), Memphis (2006, 2007) Marquette (2003), Louisville (2005), Florida Atlantic (2023) Memphis (2008[nb 5])
Horizon[nb 6] Loyola (Chicago) (1985), Xavier (1990), Butler (2003, 2007), Milwaukee (2005) Butler (2010, 2011)
Ivy Princeton (1967, 2023), Columbia (1968), Cornell (2010) Dartmouth (1958) Princeton (1965), Penn (1979)
MAAC Saint Peter's (2022)
MAC Bowling Green (1963), Central Michigan (1975), Western Michigan (1976), Toledo (1979), Ball State (1990), Eastern Michigan (1991), Miami (Ohio) (1999), Ohio (2012) Ohio (1964), Kent State (2002)
MVC Saint Louis (1957), Cincinnati (1958, 1966), Creighton (1962, 1964, 1974, 2023), Tulsa (1994, 1995), Southwest Missouri State (1999), Southern Illinois (1977, 2002, 2007), Wichita State (2006, 2015), Bradley (2006), Northern Iowa (2010), Loyola–Chicago (2021) Creighton (1941), Saint Louis (1952), Bradley (1955), Wichita State (1964, 1981), Drake (1970, 1971) Oklahoma A&M (1949), Cincinnati (1960), Wichita State (1965, 2013), Drake (1969), Loyola–Chicago (2018) Bradley (1950, 1954), Cincinnati (1963), Indiana State (1979) Oklahoma A&M (1945, 1946), Cincinnati (1961, 1962)
MW Utah (2005), UNLV (2007), BYU (2011), San Diego State (2011, 2014), Nevada (2018) San Diego State (2023)
NEC[nb 7]
OVC Morehead State (1961), Austin Peay (1973)
Patriot[nb 8]
SoCon East Tennessee State (1968), Furman (1974), VMI (1977), Chattanooga (1997) VMI (1976), Davidson (1968, 1969, 2008)
Southland Lamar (1980), Louisiana Tech (1985)
Summit[nb 9] Cleveland State (1986), Valparaiso (1998), Oral Roberts (2021)
Sun Belt Western Kentucky (1993, 2008) UAB (1982) UNC Charlotte (1977)
WCC[nb 10] Santa Clara (1970), Pacific (1971), Pepperdine (1976), San Francisco (1979), Gonzaga (2000, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2016, 2018, 2023), St. Mary's (California) (2010) St. Mary's (California) (1959), Pacific (1967), Santa Clara (1969), San Francisco (1974), Loyola Marymount (1990), Gonzaga (1999, 2015, 2019) Santa Clara (1952), San Francisco (1957) Gonzaga (2017, 2021) San Francisco (1955, 1956)
WAC Colorado State (1969), New Mexico (1974), Wyoming (1987), Utah (1991, 1996), UTEP (1992), Nevada (2004) BYU (1981), Utah (1997), Tulsa (2000) Utah (1966) Utah (1998)
  1. ^ Known as the Eastern College Athletic Conference-North from 1979 to 1988 and the North Atlantic Conference from 1988 to 1996.
  2. ^ Known as the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) from 1978 to 2001 and as the Atlantic Sun Conference from 2001 to 2016.
  3. ^ Known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) from 1969 to 1988.
  4. ^ Known as the Eastern College Athletic Conference-South from 1979 to 1985.
  5. ^ Vacated due to academic ineligibility and impermissible benefits given to Derrick Rose
  6. ^ Known as the Midwestern City Conference from 1979 to 1985 and the Midwestern Collegiate Conference from 1985 to 2001.
  7. ^ Known as the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Metro from 1979 to 1988.
  8. ^ Known as the Colonial League from 1986 to 1990, a period in which it was a football-only conference.
  9. ^ Known as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities from 1982 to 1989 and the Mid-Continent Conference (MCC) until 2007.
  10. ^ Known as the California Basketball Association from 1952 to 1956 and the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC) from 1956 to 1989.

Defunct conferences and independentsEdit

This table shows teams that saw success in the tournament from now-defunct conferences or were independents.

One conference listed here, the Southwest Conference, was universally considered a major conference throughout its history. Of its final eight members, five are now in conferences typically considered "major" in basketball—three in the Big 12, one in the SEC, and one in The American. Another member that left during the SWC's last decade is now in the SEC. The Metro Conference, which operated from 1975 to 1995, is not listed here because it was considered a major basketball conference throughout its history. Most notably, Louisville, which was a member for the league's entire existence, won both of its NCAA-recognized titles (1980, 1986) while in the Metro. It was one of the two leagues that merged to form today's Conference USA. The other league involved in the merger, the Great Midwest Conference, was arguably a major conference; it was formed in 1990, with play starting in 1991, when several of the Metro's strongest basketball programs left that league.

Mid-Major Conference Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Championship Game National Champion
Border Intercollegiate Athletic Conference[nb 1] New Mexico State (1952) Arizona State (1961)
East Coast Conference[nb 2] Saint Joseph's (1981)
Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League[nb 3] Dartmouth (1941) Dartmouth (1942, 1944)
Great Midwest Conference[nb 4] Marquette (1994), Memphis (1995) Memphis State (1992), Cincinnati (1993) Cincinnati (1992)
Metropolitan New York Conference[nb 5] NYU (1943, 1946, 1951, 1962, 1963), Manhattan (1958) City College of New York (1947) NYU (1960) NYU (1952) City College of New York (1950)
Middle Atlantic Conference[nb 6] Saint Joseph's (1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966) Saint Joseph's (1963) Saint Joseph's (1961)
Mountain States Conference[nb 7] BYU (1957) Wyoming (1941), BYU (1950, 1951) Utah State (1939) Wyoming (1943)
New Jersey-New York 7 Conference[nb 8] St. John's (1979)
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association[nb 9] Western Kentucky (1940)
Southwest Conference[nb 10] Texas A&M (1956, 1969, 1980) Texas (1939, 1943, 1947, 1990), Rice (1940, 1942) Texas (1943, 1947) Houston (1983, 1984)
Western New York Little Three Conference[nb 11] Canisius (1957) Canisius (1955, 1956)
Yankee Conference[nb 12] UConn (1956, 1976) UConn (1964)
Independents Montana State (1951), Dayton (1952, 1965, 1966, 1974), DePaul (1953, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1976, 1984, 1986[nb 13], 1987[nb 13]), Seattle (1953, 1955, 1956, 1964), Marquette (1959, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1979), Butler (1962), Utah State (1962, 1964), St. Bonaventure (1968), Niagara (1970), Cincinnati (1975), Detroit (1977) Brown (1939), Springfield (1940), Marquette (1955, 1969, 1976), Oklahoma City (1957), Boston University (1959), Utah State (1970), DePaul (1978), Dayton (1984) Duquesne (1940), DePaul (1943, 1979), Bradley (1955), New Mexico State (1970), St. Bonaventure (1970), Rutgers (1976) Bradley (1954), La Salle (1955), Seattle (1958), Dayton (1967), Jacksonville (1970), Marquette (1974) Utah (1944), Holy Cross (1947), La Salle (1954), Loyola (Chicago) (1963), Texas Western (1966), Marquette (1977)
  1. ^ Established in 1931 and dissolved in 1962.
  2. ^ Established in 1958 and dissolved in 1994.
  3. ^ Established in 1901 and dissolved in 1955, though claimed by the Ivy League as a part of its own history.
  4. ^ Established in 1990 and merged into Conference USA in 1995.
  5. ^ Established in 1933 and dissolved in 1963.
  6. ^ Established in 1912 and became a Division III conference after 1974.
  7. ^ Established in 1938 and known as the Skyline Conference from 1951 to 1962 before the conference dissolved in early 1962.
  8. ^ Established in 1976 and dissolved in 1979.
  9. ^ Established in 1894 and dissolved in 1942.
  10. ^ Established in 1914 and dissolved in 1996.
  11. ^ Established in 1946 and dissolved in 1958.
  12. ^ Established in 1946 by former members of the New England Conference, which was founded in 1938 but never placed a team in the NCAA tournament; became a football-only conference in 1976 and dissolved in 1997.
  13. ^ a b Vacated by the NCAA

Coaching recordsEdit

Most national championshipsEdit

  • 10 National Championships
John Wooden (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975)
  • 5 National Championships
Mike Krzyzewski (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)[45]
  • 4 National Championships
Adolph Rupp (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958)
  • 3 National Championships
Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004, 2011)
Bob Knight (1976, 1981, 1987)
Roy Williams (2005, 2009, 2017)
  • 2 National Championships
Denny Crum (1980, 1986)
Billy Donovan (2006, 2007)
Henry Iba (1945, 1946)
Ed Jucker (1961, 1962)
Branch McCracken (1940, 1953)
Bill Self (2008, 2022)
Dean Smith (1982, 1993)
Phil Woolpert (1955, 1956)
Jay Wright (2016, 2018)
  • 1 National Championship
Phog Allen (1952)
Tony Bennett (2019)
Jim Boeheim (2003)
Larry Brown (1988)
John Calipari (2012)
Everett Dean (1942)
Scott Drew (2021)
Steve Fisher (1989)
Bud Foster (1941)
Joe B. Hall (1978)
Jim Harrick (1995)
Don Haskins (1966)
Jud Heathcote (1979)
Howard Hobson (1939)
Nat Holman (1950)
George Ireland (1963)
Tom Izzo (2000)
Doggie Julian (1947)
Ken Loeffler (1954)
Rollie Massimino (1985)
Al McGuire (1977)
Frank McGuire (1957)
Pete Newell (1959)
Kevin Ollie (2014)
Lute Olson (1997)
Vadal Peterson (1944)
Rick Pitino (1996)[c]
Nolan Richardson (1994)
Everett Shelton (1943)
Norm Sloan (1974)
Tubby Smith (1998)
Jerry Tarkanian (1990)
Fred Taylor (1960)
John Thompson (1984)
Jim Valvano (1983)
Gary Williams (2002)

National championships among active coachesEdit

Schools winning a national championship under multiple coachesEdit

  • Five coaches
Kentucky: Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, and John Calipari
  • Three coaches
Kansas: Phog Allen, Larry Brown, and Bill Self
North Carolina: Frank McGuire, Dean Smith, and Roy Williams
  • Two coaches
UConn: Jim Calhoun and Kevin Ollie
Indiana: Branch McCracken and Bob Knight
Michigan State: Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo
North Carolina State: Norm Sloan and Jim Valvano
UCLA: John Wooden and Jim Harrick
Villanova: Rollie Massimino and Jay Wright

Most teams from different schools taken to the Final FourEdit

Rick Pitino is the only coach to have officially taken three teams to the Final Four: Providence (1987), Kentucky (1993, 1996, 1997) and Louisville (2005, 2012).

There are 14 coaches who have officially coached two schools to the Final Four – Roy Williams, Eddie Sutton, Frank McGuire, Lon Kruger, Hugh Durham, Jack Gardner, Lute Olson, Gene Bartow, Forddy Anderson, Lee Rose, Bob Huggins, Lou Henson, Kelvin Sampson and Jim Larrañaga.

  • Larry Brown took UCLA to the Final Four in 1980, but it was vacated due to NCAA violations. He also took Kansas in 1986 and 1988.

Point differentialsEdit

Point differentials, or margin of victory, can be viewed either by the championship game, or by a team's performance over the whole tournament.

Championship victory marginsEdit

Largest margin of victory in a championship game

30 points, by UNLV in 1990 (103–73, over Duke)

Smallest margin of victory in a championship game

1 point, on six occasions

Championship games that went to overtime

Eight times the championship game has been tied at the end of regulation. On one of those occasions (1957) the game went into double and then triple overtime.

Accumulated victory marginsEdit

Largest point differential accumulated over the entire tournament by championship teams

Teams that played 6 games

  • +129 Kentucky 1996
  • +124 Villanova 2016
  • +121 North Carolina 2009
  • +112 UNLV 1990
  • +106 Villanova 2018

Teams that played 5 games

  • +115 Loyola Chicago 1963
  • +113 Indiana 1981
  • +104 Michigan State 1979
  • +69 San Francisco 1955
  • +66 Indiana 1976

Teams that played 4 games

  • +95 UCLA 1967
  • +85 UCLA 1968
  • +78 Ohio State 1960
  • +76 UCLA 1969
  • +72 UCLA 1970
  • +72 UCLA 1972

Teams that played 3 games

  • +56 Oklahoma A&M 1945
  • +52 Kentucky 1949
  • +51 Indiana 1940
  • +47 Kentucky 1948
  • +46 Oregon 1939
Teams winning the championship and obtaining a margin of 10 points in every game of the tournament

Achieved 13 times by 10 schools

Seed pairing resultsEdit

NCAA Tournament % Wins per rank (as of 2010)

Since the inception of the 64-team tournament in 1985, each seed-pairing has played 152 games in the Round of 64, with the following results:

Round of 64 resultsEdit

  • The No. 1 seed is 150–2 against the No. 16 seed (.987)
  • The No. 2 seed is 141–11 against the No. 15 seed (.928)
  • The No. 3 seed is 130–22 against the No. 14 seed (.855)
  • The No. 4 seed is 120–32 against the No. 13 seed (.789)
  • The No. 5 seed is 99–53 against the No. 12 seed (.651)
  • The No. 6 seed is 94–58 against the No. 11 seed (.618)
  • The No. 7 seed is 93–59 against the No. 10 seed (.612)
  • The No. 8 seed is 74–78 against the No. 9 seed (.487)

Round of 32 resultsEdit

  • In the 1/16 vs. 8/9 bracket:
vs. No. 8 vs. No. 9 Total
No. 1 58–16 (.784) 70–6 (.921) 128–22 (.853)
No. 16 0–2 (.000) 0–2 (.000)
Total 16–58 (.216) 8–70 (.103)
  • In the 2/15 vs. 7/10 bracket:
vs. No. 7 vs. No. 10 Total
No. 2 60–27 (.690) 35–19 (.648) 95–46 (.674)
No. 15 4–2 (.667) 0–5 (.000) 4–7 (.364)
Total 29–64 (.312) 24–35 (.407)
  • In the 3/14 vs. 6/11 bracket:
vs. No. 6 vs. No. 11 Total
No. 3 48–30 (.615) 32–20 (.615) 80–50 (.615)
No. 14 2–14 (.125) 0–6 (.000) 2–20 (.091)
Total 44–50 (.468) 26–32 (.448)
  • In the 4/13 vs. 5/12 bracket:
vs. No. 5 vs. No. 12 Total
No. 4 44–35 (.557) 28–13 (.683) 72–48 (.600)
No. 13 3–17 (.150) 3–9 (.250) 6–26 (.188)
Total 52–47 (.525) 22–31 (.415)

Round of 16 resultsEdit

  • In the 1/8/9/16 vs. 4/5/12/13 bracket:
vs. No. 4 vs. No. 5 vs. No. 12 vs. No. 13 Total
No. 1 41–16 (.719) 36–11 (.766) 20–0 (1.000) 4–0 (1.000) 101–27 (.789)
No. 8 6–5 (.545) 2–0 (1.000) 0–2 (.000) 1–0 (1.000) 9–7 (.563)
No. 9 2–2 (.500) 2–1 (.667) 1–0 (1.000) 5–3 (.625)
No. 16
Total 23–49 (.319) 12–40 (.231) 2–20 (.091) 0–6 (.000)
  • In the 2/7/10/15 vs. 3/6/11/14 bracket:
vs. No. 3 vs. No. 6 vs. No. 11 vs. No. 14 Total
No. 2 30–18 (.625) 23–6 (.793) 15–3 (.833) 68–27 (.716)
No. 7 6–10 (.375) 3–5 (.375) 0–4 (.000) 1–0 (1.000) 10–19 (.345)
No. 10 4–9 (.308) 2–4 (.333) 2-2 (.500) 1–0 (1.000) 9–15 (.375)
No. 15 1–2 (.333) 0–1 (.000) 1–3 (.250)
Total 39–41 (.488) 16–28 (.364) 9–17 (.346) 0–2 (.000)

Regional finals resultsEdit

vs. No. 2 vs. No. 3 vs. No. 6 vs. No. 7 vs. No. 10 vs. No. 11 vs. No. 14 vs. No. 15 Total
No. 1 23–24 (.489) 16–10 (.615) 8–2 (.800) 4–0 (1.000) 5–1 (.833) 4–4 (.500) 60–41 (.594)
No. 4 4–3 (.571) 3–2 (.600) 2–1 (.667) 2–3 (.400) 2–0 (1.000) 13–9 (.591)
No. 5 4–1 (.800) 1–2 (.333) 1–0 (1.000) 1–0 (1.000) 7–3 (.700)
No. 8 3–2 (.600) 0–1 (.000) 1–0 (1.000) 1–0 (1.000) 1–0 (1.000) 6–3 (.667)
No. 9 1–0 (1.000) 1–2 (.333) 0–1 (.000) 2–3 (.400)
No. 12 0–2 (.000) 0–2 (.000)
No. 13
No. 16
Total 32–35 (.478) 17–21 (.447) 3–12 (.200) 3–7 (.300) 1–8 (.111) 5–4 (.556) 0–1 (.000)

Host citiesEdit

Final Four venuesEdit

Until 1952, the National Championship was played at a separate site from the National Semifinal games, which were considered Regional Finals. Forty-one different venues have hosted the final rounds, and several have hosted more than five times:

Among cities, Kansas City has hosted the Final Four a total of ten times, with Kemper Arena hosting in 1988 in addition to Municipal Auditorium. New York and Indianapolis have both hosted seven times, with the later doing so at three venues: Market Square Arena in 1980, four times in the RCA Dome between 1991 and 2006, and three times in Lucas Oil Stadium, between 2010 and 2021. The state of Texas has hosted the Final Four eleven times in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Arlington between 1971 and 2023.

For most of the tournament's history, the National Championship game and National Semifinal games have been played in basketball arenas. The first instance of a domed stadium being used for an NCAA Tournament Final Four was the Houston Astrodome in 1971, but the Final Four would not return to a dome until 1982 when the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans hosted the event for the first time. The last on-campus venue to host the Final Four was University Arena in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1983. The last venue primarily built for a college basketball team to host the Final Four was Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1985. The last NBA arena to host the Final Four was the Meadowlands Arena, then known as Continental Airlines Arena, in 1996. From 1997 to 2013, the NCAA required that the Final Four be played in domed stadiums with a minimum capacity of 40,000. As of 2009, the minimum was increased to 70,000, by adding additional seating on the floor of the dome, and raising the court on a platform three feet above the dome's floor.

In September 2012, the NCAA began preliminary discussions on the possibility of returning occasional Final Fours to basketball-specific arenas in major metropolitan areas. According to writer Andy Katz, when Mark Lewis was hired as NCAA executive vice president for championships during 2012, "he took out a United States map and saw that both coasts are largely left off from hosting the Final Four."[46] Lewis added in an interview with Katz,

I don't know where this will lead, if anywhere, but the right thing is to sit down and have these conversations and see if we want our championship in more than eight cities or do we like playing exclusively in domes. None of the cities where we play our championship is named New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago or Miami. We don't play on a campus. We play in professional football arenas.[46]

Under then-current criteria, only eleven stadiums could be considered as Final Four locations.[46] On June 12, 2013, Katz reported that the NCAA had changed its policy. In July 2013, the NCAA had a portal available on its website for venues to make Final Four proposals in the 2017–2020 period, and there were no restrictions on proposals based on venue size. Also, the NCAA decided that future regionals will no longer be held in domes. In Katz' report, Lewis indicated that the use of domes for regionals was intended as a dry run for future Final Four venues, but this particular policy was no longer necessary because all of the Final Four sites from 2014 to 2016 had already hosted regionals.[47] The policy was changed to only be used if a new venue would be hosting the subsequent tournament's Final Four.[48][49]

Home court advantageEdit

On several occasions NCAA tournament teams played their games in their home arena. In 1959, Louisville played at its regular home of Freedom Hall; however, the Cardinals lost to West Virginia in the semifinals. In 1984, Kentucky defeated Illinois, 54–51 in the Elite Eight on its home court of Rupp Arena. Also in 1984, #6 seeded Memphis played the first 2 rounds on its home court, defeating Oral Roberts and Purdue. In 1985, Dayton played its first-round game against Villanova (it lost 51–49) on its home floor. In 1986 (beating Brown before losing to Navy) and '87 (beating Georgia Southern and Western Kentucky), Syracuse played the first 2 rounds of the NCAA tournament in the Carrier Dome. Also in 1986, LSU played in Baton Rouge on its home floor for the first 2 rounds despite being an 11th seed (beating Purdue and Memphis State). In 1987, Arizona lost to UTEP on its home floor in the first round. In 2015, Dayton played at its regular home of UD Arena, and the Flyers beat Boise State in the First Four.

Since the inception of the modern Final Four in 1952, only once has a team played a Final Four on its actual home court—Louisville in 1959. But through the 2015 tournament, three other teams have played the Final Four in their home cities, one other team has played in its metropolitan area, and six additional teams have played the Final Four in their home states through the 2015 tournament. Kentucky (1958 in Louisville), UCLA (1968 and 1972 in Los Angeles, 1975 in San Diego), and North Carolina State (1974 in Greensboro) won the national title; Louisville (1959 at its home arena, Freedom Hall); Purdue (1980 in Indianapolis) lost in the Final Four; and California (1960 in the San Francisco Bay Area), Duke (1994 in Charlotte), Michigan State (2009 in Detroit), and Butler (2010 in Indianapolis) lost in the final.

In 1960, Cal had nearly as large an edge as Louisville had the previous year, only having to cross the San Francisco Bay to play in the Final Four at the Cow Palace in Daly City; the Golden Bears lost in the championship game to Ohio State. UCLA had a similar advantage in 1968 and 1972 when it advanced to the Final Four at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, not many miles from the Bruins' homecourt of Pauley Pavilion (also UCLA's home arena before the latter venue opened in 1965, and again during the 2011–12 season while Pauley was closed for renovations); unlike Louisville and Cal, the Bruins won the national title on both occasions. Butler lost the 2010 title 6 miles (9.7 km) from its Indianapolis campus.

Before the Final Four was established, the East and West regionals were held at separate sites, with the winners advancing to the title game. During that era, three New York City teams, all from Manhattan, played in the East Regional at Madison Square Garden—frequently used as a "big-game" venue by each team—and advanced at least to the national semifinals. NYU won the East Regional in 1945 but lost in the title game, also held at the Garden, to Oklahoma A&M. CCNY played in the East Regional in both 1947 and 1950; the Beavers lost in the 1947 East final to eventual champion Holy Cross but won the 1950 East Regional and national titles at the Garden.

In 1974, North Carolina State won the NCAA tournament without leaving its home state of North Carolina. The team was put in the East Region, and played its regional games at its home arena Reynolds Coliseum. NC State played the final four and national championship games at nearby Greensboro Coliseum.

While not its home state, Kansas has played in the championship game in Kansas City, Missouri, only 45 minutes from the campus in Lawrence, Kansas, on four different occasions. In 1940, 1953, and 1957 the Jayhawks lost the championship game each time at Municipal Auditorium. In 1988, playing at Kansas City's Kemper Arena, Kansas won the championship, over Big Eight–rival Oklahoma. Similarly, in 2005, Illinois played in St. Louis, Missouri, where it enjoyed a noticeable homecourt advantage, yet still lost in the championship game to North Carolina.

In 2002, Texas was paired with Mississippi State in Dallas despite being the lower seed. The #6 seeded Longhorns defeated the #3 seeded Bulldogs 68–64 in front of a predominately Texas crowd.

Previously banned venuesEdit

South CarolinaEdit

The NCAA had banned the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, originally known as Bi-Lo Center, and Colonial Life Arena, originally Colonial Center, in South Carolina from hosting tournament games, despite their sizes (16,000 and 18,000 seats, respectively) because of an NAACP protest at the Bi-Lo Center during the 2002 first and second round tournament games over that state's refusal to completely remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the state capitol grounds, although it had already been relocated from atop the capitol dome to a less prominent place in 2000. Following requests by the NAACP and Black Coaches Association, the Bi-Lo Center, and the newly built Colonial Center, which was built for purposes of hosting the tournament, were banned from hosting any future tournament events.[50] As a result of the removal of the battle flag from the South Carolina State Capitol, the NCAA lifted its ban on South Carolina hosting games in 2015, and it was able to host in 2017 due to House Bill 2 (see next section).[51]

North CarolinaEdit

On September 12, 2016, the NCAA stripped the State of North Carolina of hosting rights for seven upcoming college sports tournaments and championships held by the association, including early round games of the 2017 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament scheduled for the Greensboro Coliseum. The NCAA argued that House Bill 2 made it "challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver [an inclusive atmosphere]".[52][53] Bon Secours Wellness Arena was able to secure the bid to be the replacement site.[54]

Popular cultureEdit

The NCAA tournament and the Super Bowl are the two American sports events that draw both fans and non-fans.[55][56] Many people are connected to a school in the tournament, having been an alumni of one of the participants, knowing someone from the college, or living close to the school.[56]

Bracketology and poolsEdit

There are pools or private gambling-related contests as to who can predict the tournament most correctly. The filling out of a tournament bracket has been referred to as a "national pastime." Its popularity grew around 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 games, forming four symmetrical regions with 15 games apiece to decide the Final Four.[57] Filling out a tournament bracket with predictions is called the practice of "bracketology" and sports programming during the tournament is rife with commentators comparing the accuracy of their predictions. On The Dan Patrick Show, a wide variety of celebrities from various fields (such as Darius Rucker, Charlie Sheen, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Grohl, and Brooklyn Decker) have posted full brackets with predictions. Former U.S. president Barack Obama began releasing his bracket annually in 2009, his first year in office.[58] While in office, he filled out the men's and women's brackets on ESPN with reporter Andy Katz,[59] and they were also posted on the White House website.[60] He continued releasing his picks after leaving office.[61]

There are many tournament prediction scoring systems. Most award points for correctly picking the winning team in a particular match up, with increasingly more points being given for correctly predicting later round winners. Some provide bonus points for correctly predicting upsets, the amount of the bonus varying based on the degree of upset. Some just provide points for wins by correctly picked teams in the brackets.

There are 2^63 or 9.2 quintillion possibilities for the possible winners in a 64-team NCAA bracket, making the odds of randomly picking a perfect bracket (i.e. without weighting for seed number) 9.2 quintillion to 1.[62] With the expansion of the tournament field to 68 teams in 2011, there are now 2^67 or 147.57 quintillion possibilities if one includes the First Four opening round games.

There are numerous awards and prizes given by companies for anyone who can make the perfect bracket. One of the largest was done by a partnership between Quicken Loans and Berkshire Hathaway, which was backed by Warren Buffett, with a $1 billion prize to any person(s) who could correctly predict the outcome of the 2014 tournament. No one was able to complete the challenge and win the $1 billion prize.[63]

Workplace productivityEdit

During the tournament, American workers take extended lunch breaks at sports bars to follow the game. They also use company computer and internet access to view games, scores, and bracket results. Some workplaces block access to sports and entertainment sites, but the rise of mobile devices and live-streamed games bypassed those restrictions, and even workers not normally in front of computers then had access.[55] Workers spend an estimated average of six hours on the tournament each year,[64] and U.S. employers are projected to lose around $13 billion due to lost productivity during the tournament.[65][66]

Tournament-associated termsEdit

As indicated below, none of these phrases are exclusively used in regard to the NCAA tournament. Nonetheless, they are associated widely with the tournament, sometimes for legal reasons, sometimes as part of the American sports vernacular.

March MadnessEdit

March Madness is a popular term for season-ending basketball tournaments played in March. March Madness is also a registered trademark currently owned exclusively by the NCAA.

H. V. Porter, an official with the Illinois High School Association (and later a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame), was the first person to use March Madness to describe a basketball tournament. Porter published an essay named March Madness during 1939, and during 1942, he used the phrase in a poem, Basketball Ides of March. Through the years the use of March Madness increased, especially in Illinois, Indiana, and other parts of the Midwest. During this period the term was used almost exclusively in reference to state high school tournaments. During 1977, Jim Enright published a book about the Illinois tournament entitled March Madness.[67]

Fans began associating the term with the NCAA tournament during the early 1980s. Evidence suggests that CBS sportscaster Brent Musburger, who had worked for many years in Chicago before joining CBS, popularized the term during the annual tournament broadcasts. The NCAA has credited Bob Walsh of the Seattle Organizing Committee for starting the March Madness celebration in 1984.[68]

Only during the 1990s did either the IHSA or the NCAA think about trademarking the term, and by that time a small television production company named Intersport had already trademarked it. IHSA eventually bought the trademark rights from Intersport, and then went to court to establish its primacy. IHSA sued GTE Vantage, an NCAA licensee that used the name March Madness for a computer game based on the college tournament. During 1996, in a historic ruling, Illinois High School Association v. GTE Vantage, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit created the concept of a "dual-use trademark", granting both the IHSA and NCAA the right to trademark the term for their own purposes.

After the ruling, the NCAA and IHSA joined forces and created the March Madness Athletic Association to coordinate the licensing of the trademark and investigate possible trademark infringement. One such case involved a company that had obtained the internet domain name and was using it to post information about the NCAA tournament. During 2003, by March Madness Athletic Association v. Netfire, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decided that March Madness was not a generic term, and ordered Netfire to relinquish the domain name to the NCAA.[69]

Later during the 2000s, the IHSA relinquished its ownership share in the trademark, although it retained the right to use the term in association with high school championships. During October 2010, the NCAA reached a settlement with Intersport, paying $17.2 million for the latter company's license to use the trademark.[70]

Sweet SixteenEdit

This is a popular term for the regional semifinal round of the tournament, consisting of the final 16 teams. As in the case of "March Madness", this was first used by a high school federation—in this case, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), which has used the term for decades to describe its own season-ending tournaments. It officially registered the trademark in 1988. Unlike the situation with "March Madness", the KHSAA has retained sole ownership of the "Sweet Sixteen" trademark; it licenses the term to the NCAA for use in collegiate tournaments.[71]

Elite EightEdit

The Elite Eight is a popular term to describe the two teams in each of the four regional championship games. The NCAA officially uses the term for the eight-team final phase of the Division II men's and women's basketball tournaments. The winners of these games in the D-I tournament advance to the Final Four (the NCAA does not use the term "Final Four" in D-II). The NCAA trademarked this phrase in 1997. Like "March Madness," the phrase "Elite Eight" originally referred to the Illinois High School Boys Basketball Championship, the single-elimination high school basketball tournament run by the Illinois High School Association. In 1956, when the IHSA finals were reduced from sixteen to eight teams, a new nickname for Sweet Sixteen was needed, and Elite Eight won the vote. The IHSA trademarked the term in 1995; the trademark rights are now held by the March Madness Athletic Association, a joint venture between the NCAA and IHSA formed after a 1996 court case allowed both organizations to use "March Madness" for their own tournaments.

Final FourEdit

The term Final Four refers to the last four teams remaining in the playoff tournament. These are the champions of the tournament's four regional brackets, and are the only teams remaining on the tournament's final weekend. (While the term "Final Four" was not used during the early decades of the tournament, the term has been applied retroactively to include the last four teams in tournaments from earlier years, even when only two brackets existed.)

Some claim that the phrase Final Four was first used to describe the final games of Indiana's annual high school basketball tournament. But the NCAA, which has a trademark on the term, says Final Four was originated by a Plain Dealer sportswriter, Ed Chay, in a 1975 article that appeared in the Official Collegiate Basketball Guide.[72] The article stated that Marquette University "was one of the final four" of the 1974 tournament. The NCAA started capitalizing the term during 1978 and converting it to a trademark several years later.

During recent years, the term Final Four has been used for other sports besides basketball. Tournaments which use Final Four include the EuroLeague in basketball, national basketball competitions in several European countries, and the now-defunct European Hockey League. Together with the name Final Four, these tournaments have adopted an NCAA-style format in which the four surviving teams compete in a single-elimination tournament held in one place, typically, during one weekend. The derivative term "Frozen Four" is used by the NCAA to refer to the final rounds of the Division I men's and women's ice hockey tournaments. Until 1999, it was just a popular nickname for the last two rounds of the hockey tournament; officially, it was also known as the Final Four.

Cinderella teamEdit

A Cinderella team, both in NCAA basketball and other sports, is one that achieves far greater success than would reasonably have been best expected.[73][74] In the NCAA tournament, teams may earn the Cinderella title after multiple wins in a single tournament against higher seeded teams. The term first came into widespread usage in 1950, when the City College of New York unexpectedly won the tournament in the same month that a film adaptation of Cinderella was released in the United States.

Notable Cinderella teams include North Carolina State in 1983 (the subject of a 30 for 30 documentary titled Survive and Advance), Villanova in 1985 (the lowest-seeded team to ever win the tournament), LSU in 1986 (the only team to defeat the top three seeds in their region in the same tournament), UMBC in 2018 (the first No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed), and Saint Peter's in 2022 (the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight).[75]


  1. ^ In a 2019 story on the rise of Murray State point guard Ja Morant, veteran sportswriter Pat Forde argued that as early as 2006, Gonzaga was no longer a mid-major program. Forde stated that Morant could be the first "true mid-major" player to be selected in the top five of the NBA draft since 1998, specifically saying that 2006 third pick Adam Morrison was from "decided non-mid-major Gonzaga."[43]
  2. ^ In January 2022, ESPN's Kevin Connors defined mid-majors as "programs outside the top 7 conferences (Power Five, Big East, AAC) and Gonzaga" (emphasis added).[42]
  3. ^ Under Pitino, Louisville won the title in 2013, but the NCAA vacated the 2013 title in February 2018 as a result of a 2015 sex scandal.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Ivy League Adds Men's, Women's Basketball Tournaments Beginning in 2017" (Press release). Ivy League. March 10, 2016. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "Bracketology: Alabama is NCAA selection committee's early top seed with Houston, Purdue and Kansas also No. 1s". Retrieved 2023-03-17.
  4. ^ "NCAA OK with Dayton Flyers playing in First Four at home". February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  5. ^ Fraley, Oscar (March 5, 1951). "Scandal Brings More Prestige to NCAA". The Times-News. Hendersonville, North Carolina. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  6. ^ McPhee, John (1999). A Sense of Where You Are: Bill Bradley at Princeton. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. pp. 114–115. ISBN 0374526893.
  7. ^ a b c NCAA reveals format of new 68-team tournament – ESPN. (2010-07-13). Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  8. ^ Leger, Justin (November 17, 2014). "NCAA To Rename 'Rounds of 64 and 32' To 'First And Second Rounds' In 2016". NESN. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Staff, KOIN 6 News (2017-03-28). "Can Ducks echo The Tall Firs after 78 years?". KOIN 6. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  10. ^ Gluskin, Michael (March 23, 2005). "The Tournament Trim". USA Today.
  11. ^ O'Neil, Dana (April 9, 2013). "Louisville's song finishes in glory". Retrieved April 9, 2013. And at one end of the court, there was Kevin Ware on his crutches, the net lowered to accommodate him and his crutches, making the final snip on the only nets Louisville has cut all season.
  12. ^ "Why do NCAA teams cut down the nets?". CNN. April 5, 2011.
  13. ^ NCAA Men's Basketball Trophy Visits UT Medical Center, University of Tennessee press release, January 15, 2007
  14. ^ NABC Basic Info Archived 2009-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b "Does March Madness Lead to Irrational Exuberance in the NBA Draft?"., retrieved April 13, 2012
  16. ^ a b Ichniowski, Casey; Preston, Anne E. (2012). "Does March Madness Lead to Irrational Exuberance in the NBA Draft? High-Value Employee Selection Decisions and Decision-Making Bias". National Bureau of Economic Research.
  17. ^ "CBS Sports, Turner Broadcasting, NCAA Reach 14-Year Agreement" (Press release). National Collegiate Athletic Association. April 22, 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  18. ^ a b DeCourcy, Mike (May 7, 2013). "Putting Final Four games on cable saved college hoops from 96-team mess". Sporting News. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  19. ^ "CBS, Turner win TV rights to tourney". ESPN. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  20. ^ "NCAA, TV talk about bigger men's tourney".
  21. ^ "NCAA 2006–07 Revenue Distribution Plan". NCAA. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-15. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
  22. ^ "Distribution of Basketball-Related Funds According to Number of Units by Conference, 2001–2006". NCAA. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
  23. ^ Caron, Emily - March Madness Daily: How Much is an NCAA Tournament Win Worth?. Sportico, via Yahoo Sports, March 19, 2021 "This year’s units carry a $337,141 annual value, according to the NCAA. That number changes each year, typically increasing by about 3% annually.
  24. ^ Wilner, John - Saturday Night One: Pac-12 unbeaten through first round, in range of record-breaking NCAA cash haul. East Bay Times, March 20, 2021
  25. ^ Romano, Alison (22 February 2002). "ESPN gets jump on NCAA basketball rights". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Yahoo unveils Platinum paid service". CNET Retrieved 2007-03-17.
  27. ^ "COLLEGE SPORTS OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE – Men's Basketball". Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Mercury News – San Diego Hotels Review". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  29. ^ "WRAL Digital Airs Entire NCAA basketball tournament – Capitol Broadcasting Company". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  30. ^ Dowbiggin, Bruce (February 24, 2011). "TSN catches March Madness". Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  31. ^ chappelll (2011-03-10). "ESPN Europe » ESPN America Tipping Off Exclusive Coverage of NCAA® March Madness®". Archived from the original on 2011-09-09. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  32. ^ "Dick Vitale, finally, to call NCAA Final Four action". USA Today. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  33. ^ "Final Four Record Book" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  34. ^ MacMullan, Jackie (March 7, 2004). "Undefeated and unnoticed". The Boston Globe.
  35. ^ "2009–2010 North Carolina Tar Heels Men's Basketball". Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  36. ^ "2009–2010 North Carolina Tar Heels Men's Basketball" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  37. ^ "NCAA Final Four Tournament Seeds". Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  38. ^ "UCLAs win over Michigan". Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  39. ^ Trotter, Jake (March 17, 2023). "16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson, a 23.5-point underdog, shocks No. 1 Purdue". Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  40. ^ a b c d Kraemer, Mackenzie; Nelson, Rob (March 16, 2018). "Biggest NCAA tournament upsets of the 64-team era". Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  41. ^ "Summary: UMBC vs. Virginia". March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  42. ^ a b Connors, Kevin (January 6, 2022). "Loyola Chicago Ramblers lead Kevin Connors' weekly Mid-Major Top 10". Retrieved January 9, 2022.
  43. ^ Forde, Pat (January 29, 2019). "How a hungry coach led to the discovery of viral college sensation Ja Morant". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  44. ^ Sherman, Rodger (2021-03-18). "Gonzaga Outgrew Its Crystal Slipper. Now It's the Best Program in College Hoops". The Ringer. Retrieved 2023-03-19.
  45. ^ Garcia, Marlen (March 24, 2011). "Duke's Mike Krzyzewski looks golden in chase for fifth title". USA Today.
  46. ^ a b c Katz, Andy (September 7, 2012). "Talks of Move in Early Stages". Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  47. ^ Katz, Andy (June 12, 2013). "3-point shot: UConn gets APR on track". College Basketball Nation Blog. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  48. ^ Norlander, Matt (June 12, 2013). "Report: NCAA ditching domes prior to Final Four". Eye on College Basketball. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  49. ^ "Metro Phoenix lands 2017 NCAA Final Four". November 14, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  50. ^ "Colonial Life Arena History". Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  51. ^ "NCAA lifts ban on holding championships in South Carolina -". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  52. ^ "NCAA moving tournament games from North Carolina starting this December". Outsports (SB Nation). Vox Media. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  53. ^ Stack, Liam (12 September 2016). "N.C.A.A. Moves Championship Events From North Carolina, Citing Anti-Gay Laws". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  54. ^ "NCAA picks Greenville, S.C., as replacement site for Greensboro for 2017 tournament". NCAA BB (CBS Sports). CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  55. ^ a b Petrecca, Laura (March 15, 2012). "March Madness in the Office: Work Come in Second". USA Today. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  56. ^ a b Jensen, Phil; Burgarino, Paul (August 15, 2016). "A maddeningly addictive event". East Bay Times. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  57. ^ Pells, Eddie (March 15, 2022). "Hoop hype: March Madness brackets get America talking again". Associated Press. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  58. ^ Pitofsky, Marina (March 18, 2021). "Obama unveils NCAA Tournament bracket". The Hill. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  59. ^ "Trump declines ESPN invite to fill out NCAA bracket". Reuters. February 16, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  60. ^ Horsley, Scott (March 19, 2014). "In ACA March Madness, Obama's Bracket Is Just A Role Player". NPR. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  61. ^ Wittry, Andy (March 18, 2021). "President Barack Obama's 2021 NCAA tournament bracket: His upsets and national champion". Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  62. ^ Ask Dr. Math, The Math Forum @ Drexel; March 14, 2001; accessed March 7, 2010
  63. ^ Ogul, David. "Perfect NCAA Bracket Could Win You $1B Thanks to Warren Buffett". Retrieved 2014-01-22.
  64. ^ Melore, Chris (March 15, 2022). "Businesses lose nearly $14 billion from workers watching NCAA Tournament: study". CBS 17. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  65. ^ Barrabi, Thomas (March 21, 2019). "NCAA March Madness to cost employers $13.3B in lost productivity, firm says". Fox Business. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  66. ^ Cavazos, Steven. "Employers lose billions in productivity during NCAA tournament, research firm estimates". KSAT. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  67. ^ James Enright: Shaping the Game From Inside and Out Archived 2011-05-01 at the Wayback Machine. (2006-06-01). Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  68. ^ Quote from Jim Host, former Radio and Television and Marketing Director, NCAA ISBN 1-883697-67-0 Page 103
  69. ^ Baker Botts L.L.P. | Newsroom | Resources | The Trademark "March Madness" Withstands a Genericness Attack Archived 2011-03-17 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  70. ^ Weiberg, Steve (May 10, 2011). "NCAA paid $17M to protect 'March Madness' term". USA Today. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  71. ^ Garmon, Jay (April 6, 2004). "Geek Trivia: Basket cases". Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  72. ^ "NCAA March Madness Directory". Archived from the original on February 24, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  73. ^ Merron, Jeff. " Page 2 : Who are the greatest Cinderella stories?". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  74. ^ Kim, Suzie (March 26, 2004). "Cinderella stories: Battling from the bottom up". The Gazette. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  75. ^ Boozell, Joe (March 2, 2021). "The 11 greatest March Madness Cinderella stories". NCAA. Retrieved March 29, 2022.

External linksEdit