Final Four Fun Facts

Jay Fisher

I thought I would pass on 12 interesting and fun facts about the Final Four.

It’s been 36 years since Michigan State and Magic Johnson beat Indiana State and Larry Bird for the national championship. That remains the highest TV rated tournament game in history. Also the only time Michigan State has ever beaten a No. 1 ranked team.

The only time that all four final spots were held by #1 seeded teams was in 2008, with Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina, and UCLA.

The lowest-seeded team to ever win the whole tournament: #8 Villanova, which in 1985 beat the heavily favored top-ranked Georgetown.

Most lopsided championship game for UNLV fans: in 1990, UNLV beat Duke 103 to 73, a difference of 30 points.

Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden (“The Wizard of Westwood”) took his team to 12 Final Four appearances, a record, and all over a 14-year period. Wooden won 10 championships overall in that time, including seven in a row.

March Madness pulls in more national TV revenue (as of 2013) than any other postseason sports franchise: $1.15 billion. A lot of that money comes from fast-food franchises, which know you like to eat while watching the games.

Odds of picking a perfect bracket are 9.2 quintillion to 1, assuming each team has a 50% chance of winning every game. Odds of winning Powerball: about 175 million to 1. Good luck!

A total of 312 different schools have participated in the NCAA Tournament during its history.

Five teams are tied for the most title game appearances without winning (2) – Oklahoma, Butler, Houston, Bradley and Dartmouth.

Doctors report up to a 50% rise in the number of vasectomies during the NCAA tournament. Well, if you have to spend a few days resting on the couch.

UCLA (11), Kentucky (eight), Indiana (five) and North Carolina (five) are first, second and third in the number of all-time national championships. Among that group, the Tar Heels and Wildcats are tied for the most titles (three) since the expansion to a 64-team bracket.

And finally, the blue elephant in the room – Kentucky. The Wildcats (34-0) are the overwhelming favorite to win the tourney, but history is not on their side. No team since Indiana in 1976 has been an undefeated champion. Only three other schools have done it – San Francisco (1956); North Carolina (1957); UCLA (1964, 1967, 1972, 1973).

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