NCAA 디비전 I 남자 농구 토너먼트
|현재 시즌, 대회 또는 에디션: |
2022 NCAA Division I 남자 농구 토너먼트
|가장 최근 |
|대부분의 타이틀||UCLA (11)|
|TV 파트너||NCAA March Madness|
( CBS / TBS / TNT / TruTV )
CBS Sports Network (재방송)
Galavisión (스페인어 방송 )
|공식 웹 사이트||NCAA.com|
NCAA 부 I 남자 농구 토너먼트 또한 알려진대로 브랜드, NCAA 월 광기 하는 것입니다 싱글 엘리 미 네이션 토너먼트는 현재 68 개 갖춘 미국에서 매년 봄을 연주 대학 농구 로부터 팀 부문 I의 의 수준의 국립 대학 운동 협회 (NCAA ), 전국 챔피언십을 결정합니다. 토너먼트는 1939년 전국 농구 코치 협회(National Association of Basketball Coaches)에 의해 만들어졌으며 오하이오 주립 코치 Harold Olsen 의 아이디어였습니다 . 주로 3월에 열리는 이 대회는 미국에서 가장 유명한 연례 스포츠 행사 중 하나가 되었습니다. [ 인용 필요 ]
스포츠 팬이 아니더라도 각 게임의 결과를 예측하는 것은 대중 문화에서 매우 일반적이 되었습니다. 매년 수천만 명의 미국인이 브래킷 풀 대회에 참가하는 것으로 추산됩니다. ESPN , CBS Sports 및 Fox Sports 와 같은 주류 언론 매체 는 참가자가 무료로 참가할 수 있는 온라인 토너먼트를 주최합니다. 또한 BigTourney.com과 같이 기업 마케팅 및 홍보를 위한 사이트가 많이 있습니다.  고용주는 또한 이 기간 동안 직원의 행동 변화를 감지했습니다. 사용하는 병가, 점심 시간 연장, 더 많은 토너먼트 시청을 위한 회의 일정 변경 등을 확인했습니다. 또한 자신의 브래킷에서 우승하기 위한 조언을 제공하는 많은 핸디캡 선수와 전문가가 있습니다.  
토너먼트 팀에는 32개의 Division I 컨퍼런스( 자동 입찰을 수신함 )의 챔피언 과 at-large berth를 수여하는 36개의 팀이 포함됩니다 . 이 "대규모" 팀은 NCAA 선발 위원회 에서 선택한 다음 일요일에 전국적으로 방송되는 행사에서 발표되고 선발 일요일 이라고 합니다. 68개 팀은 4개 지역으로 나뉘어 싱글 엘리미네이션 ' 브래킷 ' 으로 편성 돼 한 팀이 게임에서 이기면 다음 상대 팀이 어느 팀인지를 미리 결정한다. 각 팀은 "시드", 또는 이후에 제 1의 영역 내에서 기록되고 처음 네라운드에서 토너먼트는 세 주말 동안 미국 전역의 사전 선택된 중립 사이트에서 진행됩니다. 순위에 따라 시드된 팀은 단일 게임 제거 브래킷을 통해 한 주 동안 32개의 게임에서 플레이하는 64개 팀으로 구성된 첫 번째 라운드인 첫 번째 네 라운드, " Sweet Sixteen " 및 " Elite Eight " 라운드를 진행합니다. 다음 주와 주말, 그리고 토너먼트 마지막 주말에는 "Final Four" 라운드가 있습니다. 파이널 포는 일반적으로 4월 첫째 주말에 진행됩니다. 각 지역(동부, 남부, 중서부, 서부)에서 한 팀씩 이 4개 팀이 전국 챔피언십을 위해 미리 선택된 위치에서 경쟁합니다.
토너먼트는 1969년부터 네트워크 텔레비전을 통해 적어도 부분적으로 중계되었습니다.  현재 게임은 NCAA March Madness 라는 상품명 으로 CBS , TBS , TNT 및 truTV 에서 방송됩니다 . 이 네트워크는 2011년 NCAA에 게임 중계 비용을 지불했습니다. 계약은 14년이었고 108억 달러를 지불했습니다. 그러나 2018년에 그 계약이 7년 더 연장되어 2032년까지 유효합니다. 수년 동안의 평균 지불액은 연간 8억 9,100만 달러입니다. 2011년부터 모든 게임을 전국 및 해외에서 볼 수 있습니다. TV 보도가 커짐에 따라 토너먼트의 인기도 높아졌습니다. 현재 수백만 명의 미국인이  토너먼트의 63개 게임(처음 4개 게임 제외)의 결과를 정확하게 예측하기 위해 대괄호를 채우고 있습니다.
11개의 전국 타이틀을 보유한 UCLA 는 NCAA 남자 디비전 I 농구 챔피언십 최다 기록을 보유하고 있습니다. John Wooden 은 UCLA를 11개 타이틀 중 10개 타이틀로 지도했습니다. 켄터키 대학 (영국) 팔 국가 제목과 함께 두 번째입니다. 노스 캐롤라이나 대학은 여섯 국가의 제목으로, 세 번째이며, 듀크 대학 과 인디애나 대학은 5 개 국립 타이틀 공동 4된다. 코네티컷 대학교 (UConn의)는 네 개의 국내 타이틀 여섯 번째입니다. 캔자스 대학 (KU) 빌라 노바 대학3개의 국가 타이틀로 공동 7위입니다. University of Cincinnati, University of Florida, University of Louisville, [a] Michigan State University, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State 및 University of San Francisco에는 모두 두 개의 국가 타이틀이 있습니다. 대회는 1985년 64개 팀, 2001년 65개 팀, 2011년 68개 팀으로 확대됐다.
2020년 남자부와 여자부 토너먼트가 모두 COVID-19 전염병 으로 인해 취소되었습니다 .  2,021 토너먼트이어서 다양한 장소에서 재생 된 인디애나 , 토너먼트가 하나 개의 상태로 그 전체가 호스팅 된 것을 처음.
현재 토너먼트 형식
NCAA는 출범 이후 토너먼트 형식을 여러 번 변경했으며 대부분 팀 수를 늘렸습니다. 이 섹션에서는 2011년부터 운영된 토너먼트에 대해 설명합니다.
총 68개 팀이 3월과 4월에 열리는 토너먼트에 진출합니다. 32개 팀이 각각의 컨퍼런스 챔피언 으로 자동 입찰을 받습니다 . 모든 32개의 Division I "올스포츠" 컨퍼런스(남녀 농구를 후원하는 것으로 정의됨)는 현재 자동 자격을 받을 팀을 결정하기 위해 챔피언십 토너먼트를 개최합니다. 아이비 리그 토너먼트을 조회하지 마지막 부문 I 회견이었다; 2015-16 시즌을 통해 정규 시즌 챔피언에게 토너먼트 진출권을 부여했습니다. 두 개 이상의 Ivies가 정규 시즌 챔피언십을 공유하는 경우 플레이오프를 사용하여 토너먼트 참가자를 결정했습니다. 2017년부터 리그는 자체 포스트시즌 토너먼트를 개최합니다. 
나머지 36 개 경기 대회 슬롯에 부여 에서 대형 에 의해 결정되는 입찰, 선정위원회 불리는 일요일에 전국적으로 방송 이벤트에 선정 일요일 주로 회의 위원과 학교의 그룹에 의해, 언론과 팬들에 의해 운동 이사 사람 NCAA에 의해 서비스에 임명됩니다. 위원회는 또한 모든 68개 팀이 시드되고 브래킷에 배치되는 위치를 결정합니다.
토너먼트는 4개 지역으로 나뉘며 각 지역에는 최소 16개 팀이 있습니다. First Four 게임을 포함하지 않는 지역 에는 정확히 16개의 팀이 있습니다. 위원회는 출신 지역에 관계없이 팀의 전반적인 품질에 있어 4개 지역 각각을 가능한 한 가깝게 만드는 책임이 있습니다.
지역 이름은 해마다 다르며 지리적으로 광범위합니다(예: "East", "South", "Midwest" & "West"). 1957년 부터 1984년 까지 대략 미국 남동부 지역에 해당하는 "중동"이라는 명칭이 사용되었습니다. 1985년 부터 1997년 까지 중동 지역은 "남동부"로 알려졌으며 1998년 부터 다시 "남부"로 변경되었습니다 . 선택된 이름은 지역 결승전을 개최하는 4개 도시의 위치와 대략 일치합니다. 에서 2004 년 에 2006 년, 지역은 예를 들어 2004년 피닉스 지역, 2005년 시카고 지역, 2006년 미니애폴리스 지역과 같이 호스트 도시의 이름을 따서 명명되었지만 2007년 부터 전통적인 지리적 지정으로 되돌아갔습니다 . 예를 들어, 2012년 동안 지역 이름은 남부(조지아 애틀랜타), 동부(매사추세츠주 보스턴), 중서부(미주리주 세인트루이스) 및 서부(애리조나주 피닉스)로 명명되었습니다. 
시드 및 브래킷
선발 위원회는 68개 팀의 전체 필드를 1에서 68까지 순위를 매깁니다. (이 정보는 2012년까지 공개되지 않았습니다.) 그런 다음 위원회는 팀을 지역으로 나눕니다. 상위 4 팀은 4 개 개의 영역들 사이에 분배되며, 각각은 제 1 시드를 수신처 그 영역 내에. 그런 다음 순위가 매겨진 다음 4개 팀은 4개 지역에 분배되며, 각각은 해당 지역에서 2번 시드를 받으며 프로세스는 일부 예외를 제외하고 계속 진행됩니다(아래 설명 참조). 따라서 각 지역은 1번부터 16번까지 시드합니다. 첫 번째 4개 게임의 승자가 "두 배로" 채워진 4개의 시드가 있습니다. 아래에서 볼 수 있듯이 실제 시드 배정은 (다른 요소들 중에서도) 위원회가 1차 4차 라운드를 위해 선택한 8개 팀의 순위에 따라 달라집니다(다음 단락 및 아래 1차 4개 섹션 참조).
선발 위원회는 또한 가능한 한 같은 회의의 팀이 지역 결승전까지 만날 수 없도록 팀을 배치하도록 지시받습니다. 또한 1라운드와 2라운드 동안 정규 시즌 또는 전년도 토너먼트 게임의 재대결 가능성을 피하라는 지시도 받았습니다.  추가 제한 사항은 아래 의 장소 섹션에 나열되어 있습니다. 이러한 다른 요구 사항을 준수하기 위해 선발 위원회는 하나 또는 여러 팀을 각각의 원래 시드 라인에서 하나의 시드 위 또는 아래로 이동할 수 있습니다. 따라서 예를 들어, 원래 특정 지역 내에서 10번 시드가 될 예정이었던 전체 순위 40위 팀은 대신 9번 시드로 올라가거나 11번 시드로 내려갈 수 있습니다. 또한, 1차 4차에 선발된 8개 팀의 순위도 최종 묘목에 영향을 미칩니다.
이렇게 브래킷이 설정되고 준결승에서 상위 1위 시드 지역의 챔피언과 4위 1번 시드 지역의 챔피언과 2위 1번 시드 지역의 챔피언이 대결합니다. 3위 1번 시드 지역의 챔피언과 대결합니다. 
남자 토너먼트에서 모든 사이트는 명목상 중립입니다. 팀은 파이널 4 이전에 홈 코트에서 토너먼트 게임을 하는 것이 금지됩니다(경우에 따라 팀이 홈 주 또는 도시에서 또는 그 근처에서 플레이할 수 있을 만큼 운이 좋을 수도 있음). 현재 NCAA 규칙에 따르면 팀이 3개 이상의 정규 시즌 게임(즉, 컨퍼런스 토너먼트 게임을 포함하지 않음)을 주최하는 모든 코트는 "홈 코트"로 간주됩니다.  이 규칙에 대한 예외 는 데이턴 대학교로 , 2015년에 했던 것처럼 홈 경기장 에서 1차 4라운드 경기를 할 수 있습니다  .
그러나 토너먼트의 처음 2주 동안 홈 코트를 사용하는 경우 팀을 다른 지역으로 이동할 수 있지만 파이널 4의 장소는 몇 년 전에 결정되며 참가자와 관계없이 변경할 수 없습니다. 이러한 이유로 팀은 홈 코트에서 파이널 포에서 경기를 할 수 있지만, 파이널 포는 대부분의 대학 농구 경기장보다 큰 경기장에서 진행되기 때문에 그럴 가능성은 없습니다. (가장 최근에 홈 도시에서 파이널 4를 치른 팀은 2010년 버틀러였습니다 . 당시 홈 코트 는 10,000명에 불과 했지만 파이널 4 경기장 인 Lucas Oil Stadium의 수용 인원 은 70,000명 이상 이었습니다 .)
토너먼트는 여러 라운드로 구성됩니다. 현재 이름은 처음부터 마지막 순서로 지정됩니다.
- 처음 4
- 지역 준결승(참가 팀은 일반적으로 " Sweet Sixteen " 으로 알려져 있음 )
- 지역 결승전(참가 팀은 일반적으로 " 엘리트 에이트 " 로 알려져 있음 )
- 전국 준결승전(참가팀을 공식적으로 " Final Four "라고 함)
- 내셔널 챔피언십
토너먼트는 싱글 엘리미네이션 으로 진행되며, 이는 약자 및 하위 시드 " 신데렐라 팀"이 다음 라운드에 진출할 가능성을 높 입니다. 이 낮은 순위의 팀은 더 강한 팀과 경기를 해야 하지만, 진격하려면 단 한 번의 승리만 필요합니다(프로 농구에서와 같이 시리즈에서 대부분의 게임을 이겨야 하는 대신).
2011년에 처음 개최된 First Four는 최하위 4개 팀과 최하위 4개 자동 입찰(컨퍼런스 챔피언) 팀 간의 게임입니다.
- 처음 4개의 At-large 종자
- 참고: 매년 가장 낮은 순위의 4개 자동 입찰 팀이 16번 시드로 경쟁하고 가장 낮은 순위의 4개 팀이 상위 시드로 경쟁합니다. 2011년부터 2014년까지 대규모 팀은 11번, 12번, 13번 또는 14번 시드로 퍼스트 4 라운드에서 경쟁했습니다. 아래 표는 대규모 팀이 4개의 시드로 경쟁한 연도를 보여줍니다. 2015년부터 2021년까지 대규모 팀은 11번 시드로 퍼스트 4 라운드에서 경쟁했습니다.
|11||삼||2011년, 2013년, 2014년|
|12||삼||2011년, 2012년, 2014년|
1라운드(64강)에서는 1번 시드가 모든 지역에서 16번 시드를 담당합니다. 2위 팀이 15위를 하는 식입니다. 이 시드 구조의 효과는 팀의 순위가 높을수록(따라서 시드됨) 상대 팀의 순위가 더 낮고(아마도 더 약해질 수 있음) 보장합니다. 16개의 1차 게임은 1차 4차 라운드 다음 목요일에 진행됩니다. 나머지 16개의 1차 경기는 금요일에 치러집니다. (2021년에는 1차 4차전이 목요일에, 1차전이 그 다음 금요일과 토요일에 치러졌습니다.) 이 시점에서 토너먼트는 32개 팀으로 축소됩니다.
2차 라운드(32강)는 1차 라운드 직후 토요일과 일요일에 진행됩니다. (2021년에는 32강전이 1라운드 직후 일요일과 월요일에 진행되었습니다.) 2라운드는 목요일의 승자가 토요일에 8경기를 치르고 금요일의 승자가 일요일에 나머지 8번의 2차 경기를 치르는 방식으로 진행됩니다. 따라서 첫 번째 주말이 지나면 일반적으로 "Sweet Sixteen"으로 알려진 16개 팀이 남습니다.
하키와 달리 팀은 각 지역의 가장 높은 잔여 시드가 항상 가장 낮은 순위의 남은 시드를 플레이하는 방식으로 다시 시드되지 않습니다. 대신, 처음 4개 라운드의 대진표는 이전 라운드에서 가장 낮은 "가장 높은" 시드를 포함하는 게임의 승자와 각 라운드에서 남은 가장 높은 시드를 일치시키도록 배열됩니다. 따라서 두 번째 라운드에서는 1 대 16 게임의 승자가 8 대 9 게임의 승자와 2 대 15 게임의 승자가 7 대 10 게임의 승자와 겨루는 식입니다.
지역 준결승 및 결승
첫 번째 주말 이후에 여전히 경쟁 중인 팀은 토너먼트의 두 번째 주말에 진행되는 지역 준결승( Sweet Sixteen )과 결승( Elite Eight )에 진출합니다(다시, 게임은 목요일/토요일과 금요일/일요일). 4개의 지역 준결승 경기는 목요일에, 4개는 금요일에 진행됩니다. 금요일 경기가 끝난 후 8개 팀(엘리트 에이트)이 남았습니다. 토요일에는 목요일의 승자와 일치하는 2개의 지역 결승전이 있고 일요일의 2개의 최종 게임은 금요일의 승자와 일치합니다. 토너먼트의 두 번째 주말이 지나면 4명의 지역 챔피언이 "Final Four"입니다.
각 지역의 승자는 4강에 진출하여 토요일에 전국 준결승전, 월요일에 전국 선수권 대회가 진행됩니다. 위에서 언급 했듯이 어떤 지역 챔피언이 플레이하고 어떤 준결승에서 플레이할지는 최종 4강 팀 자체의 순위가 아니라 원래 대진표에 있는 4개의 1위 시드의 전체 순위에 따라 결정됩니다.
- 다음은 NCAA 남자 농구 토너먼트에서 최소 한 번 이상 우승한 모든 학교의 목록과 챔피언십 우승 연도입니다.
|UCLA||11||1964년, 1965년, 1967년, 1968년, 1969년, 1970년, 1971년, 1972년, 1973년, 1975년, 1995년|
|켄터키||8||1948년, 1949년, 1951년, 1958년, 1978년, 1996년, 1998년, 2012년|
|노스 캐롤라이나||6||1957년, 1982년, 1993년, 2005년, 2009년, 2017년|
|공작||5||1991년, 1992년, 2001년, 2010년, 2015년|
|인디애나||5||1940년, 1953년, 1976년, 1981년, 1987년|
|유콘||4||1999년, 2004년, 2011년, 2014년|
|캔자스||삼||1952년, 1988년, 2008년|
|빌라노바||삼||1985년, 2016년, 2018년|
|루이빌||2*||1980년, 1986년, 2013년*|
|미시간 주립||2||1979년, 2000년|
|NC 주||2||1974년, 1983년|
|오클라호마 주||2||1945년, 1946년|
* 2013 타이틀 은 NCAA에 의해 비워졌습니다 .
중간 메이저 팀
Mid-major 팀 - 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 Conference (CAA), Conference USA (C-USA), Horizon League (Horizon), Ivy League (Ivy), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Mid-American Conference (MAC) , 중동 체육 회의 (MEAC), 미주리 밸리 회의(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) 및 Western Athletic Conference (WAC)는 여러 차례 토너먼트에서 성공을 거두었습니다. 
마지막으로는 2021 년 기준으로, 중앙의 주요 팀은 내셔널 챔피언십이었다 원 1,990 때 네바다 주립대가 이상 103-73 승리를 원 듀크 네바다 주립대 후 빅 웨스트의 일원 이었기 때문에, 1999 년부터의 일원이었다 MW; 당시 Big West는 전력 회의 로 간주되지 않았으며 오늘날의 MW도 아닙니다. 그러나 당시 UNLV의 코치였던 Jerry Tarkanian 의 재직 기간 동안 Runnin' Rebels는 회의 소속에도 불구하고 주요 프로그램으로 널리 간주되었습니다( 21세기 초부터 Gonzaga 의 상황과 유사한 상황 ). 또한 Big West는 1990년 토너먼트에서 세 번의 입찰을 받았습니다. 지난 2021년 현재 독립중반 주요 팀은 내셔널 챔피언십이었다 원 1,977 때 마켓이 이상 67-59을 수상 노스 캐롤라이나 . 그러나 그 당시 Marquette는 "중급" 프로그램으로 간주되지 않았습니다. "중급"이라는 용어는 1977년까지 만들어지지 않았으며 1990년대까지 널리 사용되지 않았습니다. 더 의미심장하게도, Marquette는 1970년대 후반에 여전히 NCAA Division I 무소속이었던 몇몇 전통적인 농구 강국 중 하나였습니다. 또한 Marquette는 1991년부터 널리 알려진 "주요" 농구 컨퍼런스의 멤버였으며 현재 부정할 수 없는 주요 Big East 컨퍼런스에 있습니다. 지난 2021년 현재 소규모 미디어 시장( 2019년 미국 상위 25개 TV 시장 중 시장으로 정의) 의 중견팀)는 전국 선수권 대회는 틀림없이 있었다 원 1,962 때 신시내티는 다음 MVC에 걸쳐 71-59을 수상 오하이오 주 신시내티의 TV 시장은 그러나 2021 년 기준으로 전국에 35 나열되면, MVC는 일반적으로 볼 이후, 빅 10 그날은 메이저 농구 대회로.
마지막 시간 결승 포는 적어도 75 % 중반 주요 팀의 2021 년의로 구성되었다 (3/4), 즉, 모든 현재의 주요 회의 또는 그들의 전임자를 제외하고는했다 1979 곳, 인디애나 주 , 다음과 같은 지금 의 미주리 밸리 컨퍼런스 (신시내티 그 중 가장 눈에 띄는 프로그램의 여러 잃은, 이전 10 년 동안) Penn , 지금 처럼 Ivy League 에서 ; 그리고 당시 무소속이었던 DePaul 은 파이널 4에 참가했지만 인디애나 주가 미시간 주에 패하는 것을 보았습니다 . 마지막 시간은 2021 년 기준으로, 마지막 4가 적어도 50 %로 구성되어 중반 주요 팀 (2/4)를했다 2011 ,당시 Colonial Athletic Association 의 VCU 와 Horizon League 의 Butler 는 Final Four에 참가했지만 Butler가 코네티컷에 패하는 것을 보았습니다 . 4 개의 가장 최근 최종 발로 세 사용하는 정의에 의해 하나의 "중앙 중요한"팀이 참여했다 여기를 - 더 2017 , 2018 및 2021 대회, 곤자가 모두에 나타나는와 2017 및 2021 과 로욜라 - 시카고에 나타나는 2018 (비록 2017년까지 21세기의 모든 NCAA 토너먼트에 등장한 Gonzaga는 Mid-major WCC 멤버십에도 불구하고 일반적으로 주요 프로그램으로 간주되었습니다.[나] ). 현재까지 2021년 현재까지 4강전은 100% 미드메이저 팀으로 구성되지 않았기 때문에(4/4), 미드메이저 팀이 내셔널 챔피언십 우승을 보장합니다.
틀림없이 가장 중간 규모의 성공을 거둔 토너먼트 는 1970년 토너먼트로 , Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four 및 National Championship Game은 Sweet 16(10/16), 75에서 중간 메이저 팀의 63%를 차지했습니다. Elite 8의 점유율(6/8), Final 4의 75%(3/4), 내셔널 챔피언십 게임의 50%(1/2). 잭슨빌 은 내셔널 챔피언십에서 UCLA 에 패했고 뉴멕시코 주에서는 세인트 보나벤투어 를 꺾고 3위에 올랐 습니다.
아래는 대회 첫해인 1939년부터 현재까지 Sweet Sixteen 라운드부터 전국 챔피언십 게임까지의 중간 메이저 팀들의 성과를 보여주는 표입니다.
- 첫 번째 열은 모든 중간 회의 목록입니다. 전임자 이름이 있는 회의의 경우 각주(표 아래)에 해당 이름과 연도가 나열됩니다. 각 회의의 이름 맞은편에는 학교가 회의 또는 이전 회의의 멤버였을 때 Sweet Sixteen부터 토너먼트에 등장한 학교가 있습니다.
- 지금은 중전으로 여겨지는 컨퍼런스 중 일부는 과거에는 메이저 컨퍼런스로 여겨졌다. 예를 들어:
- Missouri Valley Conference는 1970년대 중반(Indiana State가 1979년 타이틀 게임에 진출하기 전)에 많은 저명한 회원들이 떠날 때까지 주요 농구 대회로 간주되었습니다.
- Conference USA는 1995년 결성 당시 주요 컨퍼런스로 간주되었습니다. 2005년에 미드 메이저 대회가 되었으며, 2010년대 초 재편성 과정에서 더 많은 저명한 팀이 Big East 컨퍼런스로 떠나면서 의심할 여지 없이 중간 메이저 대회가 되었습니다. 주기 .
- WAC는 1999년까지 주요 회의로 간주되었으며 16명의 회원 중 8명이 Mountain West Conference를 구성하기 위해 떠났습니다.
- MW는 2011년 까지 주요 농구 컨퍼런스로 간주되었으며 , 그 때 가장 유명한 두 개의 농구 프로그램(BYU 및 유타)이 다른 컨퍼런스(각각 West Coast Conference 및 Pac-12)로 떠났습니다.
- 위에서 언급한 바와 같이, 딥 토너먼트가 진행되는 동안 "중급" 회의의 구성원이었던 특정 프로그램은 그럼에도 불구하고 당시 주요 프로그램으로 널리 간주됩니다. 1980년대 이전에 독립된 많은 프로그램에도 동일하게 적용됩니다. 예로는 1950년대 샌프란시스코, 1970년대 Marquette, 20세기 후반의 UNLV, 오늘날의 Gonzaga가 있습니다(이에 국한되지 않음).
|중간 회의||달콤한 16||엘리트 에이트||파이널 포||챔피언십 게임||내셔널 챔피언|
|아메리카 동부 [nb 1]||–||–||–||–||–|
|아순 [NB 2]||플로리다만 연안 ( 2013 )||–||–||–||–|
|큰 하늘||웨버 주 ( 1969 , 1972 ), 몬태나 ( 1975 ), 아이다호 ( 1982 )||아이다호 주 ( 1977 )||–||–||–|
|빅 웨스트 [NB 3]||롱비치 주 ( 1973 ), UNLV ( 1975 , 1976 , 1984 , 1986 ), 프레즈노 주 ( 1982 ), 뉴멕시코 주 ( 1992 )||롱비치 주 ( 1972 ), 캘리포니아 주립 풀러턴 ( 1978 ), UNLV ( 1989 )||UNLV ( 1977 , 1987 , 1991 )||–||UNLV ( 1990 )|
|CAA [NB 4]||리치먼드 ( 1988 )||네이비 ( 1986 )||조지 메이슨 ( 2006 ), VCU ( 2011 )||–|
|C-USA||루이빌 ( 1996 ), 신시내티 ( 2001 ), UAB ( 2004 ), 멤피스 ( 2009 )||신시내티 ( 1996 ), 루이빌 ( 1997 ), 멤피스 ( 2006 , 2007 )||마케트 ( 2003 ), 루이빌 ( 2005 )||멤피스 ( 2008 [NB 5] )||–|
|호라이즌 [NB 6]||로욜라(시카고) ( 1985 ), 자비에 ( 1990 ), 버틀러 ( 2003 , 2007 ), 밀워키 ( 2005 )||–||–||집사 ( 2010 , 2011 )||–|
|여자 이름||프린스턴 ( 1967 ), 컬럼비아 ( 1968 ), 코넬 ( 2010 )||다트머스 ( 1958 )||프린스턴 ( 1965 ), 펜 ( 1979 )||–||–|
|맥||볼링 그린 ( 1963 ), 중부 미시간 ( 1975 ), 서부 미시간 ( 1976 ), 톨레도 ( 1979 ), 볼 스테이트 ( 1990 ), 동부 미시간 ( 1991 ), 마이애미(오하이오) ( 1999 ), 오하이오 ( 2012 )||오하이오 ( 1964 ), 켄트 주 ( 2002 )||–||–||–|
|MVC||세인트 루이스 ( 1957 ), 신시내티 ( 1958 , 1966 ), 크레이 톤 ( 1962 , 1964 , 1974 ), 툴사 ( 1994 , 1995 ), 사우스 웨스트 미주리 주 ( 1999 ), 남부 일리노이 ( 1977, 2002 , 2007 ), 위치 타 스테이트 ( 2006 , 2015 ), 브래들리 ( 2006 ), 북부 아이오와 ( 2010 ),로욜라-시카고 ( 2021 )||Creighton ( 1941 ), Saint Louis ( 1952 ), Bradley ( 1955 ), Wichita State ( 1964 , 1981 ), Drake ( 1970 , 1971 )||오클라호마 A&M ( 1949 ), 신시내티 ( 1960 ), 위치타 주 ( 1965 , 2013 ), 드레이크 ( 1969 ), 로욜라-시카고 ( 2018 )||브래들리 ( 1950 , 1954 ), 신시내티 ( 1963 ), 인디애나 주 ( 1979 )||오클라호마 A&M ( 1945 , 1946 ), 신시내티 ( 1961 , 1962 )|
|MW||유타 ( 2005 ), UNLV ( 2007 ), BYU ( 2011 ), 샌디에고 주 ( 2011 , 2014 ), 네바다 ( 2018 )||–||–||–||–|
|NEC [NB 7]||–||–||–||–||–|
|OVC||모어헤드 스테이트 ( 1961 ), 오스틴 페이 ( 1973 )||–||–||–||–|
|애국자 [NB 8]||–||–||–||–||–|
|소콘||테네시 동부 ( 1968 ), Furman ( 1974 ), VMI ( 1977 ), 채터누가 ( 1997 )||VMI ( 1976 ), 데이비슨 ( 1968 , 1969 , 2008 )||–||–||–|
|남국||라마 ( 1980 ), 루이지애나 공과 ( 1985 )||–||–||–||–|
|정상 [NB 9]||클리블랜드 스테이트 ( 1986 ), 발파라이소 ( 1998 ), 오럴 로버츠 ( 2021 )||–||–||–||–|
|태양 벨트||서부 켄터키주 ( 1993 , 2008 )||UAB ( 1982 )||유엔사 샬럿 ( 1977 )||–||–|
|WCC [NB 10]||산타 클라라 ( 1970 ), 태평양 ( 1971 ), 페퍼 다인 ( 1976 ), 샌프란시스코 ( 1979 ), 곤자가 ( 2000 , 2001 , 2006 , 2009 , 2016 , 2018 ), 성모 (캘리포니아) ( 2010 )||세인트 메리스(캘리포니아) ( 1959 ), 퍼시픽 ( 1967 ), 산타클라라 ( 1969 ), 샌프란시스코 ( 1974 ), 로욜라 메리마운트 ( 1990 ), 곤자가 ( 1999 , 2015 , 2019 )||산타클라라 ( 1952 ), 샌프란시스코 ( 1957 )||곤자가 ( 2017 , 2021 )||샌프란시스코 ( 1955 , 1956 )|
|WAC||콜로라도 주 ( 1969 ), 뉴멕시코 ( 1974 ), 와이오밍 ( 1987 ), 유타 ( 1991 , 1996 ), UTEP ( 1992 ), 네바다 ( 2004 )||BYU ( 1981 ), 유타 ( 1997 ), 털사 ( 2000 )||유타 ( 1966 )||유타 ( 1998 )||텍사스 서부 ( 1966 )|
- 1979년부터 1988년까지는 이스턴 칼리지 체육 대회-노스로, 1988년부터 1996년까지는 북대서양 대회로 알려짐.
- 1978년부터 2001년까지 TAAC(Trans America Athletic Conference)로, 2001년부터 2015년까지 Atlantic Sun Conference로 알려짐.
- 1969년부터 1988년까지 태평양 연안 체육 협회(PCAA)로 알려짐.
- 1979년부터 1985년까지 동부 대학 체육 대회-남부로 알려짐.
- Derrick Rose 에게 주어진 학업 부적격 및 허용되지 않는 혜택으로 인해 공석
- 1979년부터 1985년까지 Midwestern City Conference로, 1985년부터 2001년까지 Midwestern Collegiate Conference로 알려짐.
- 1979년부터 1988년까지 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Metro로 알려짐.
- 1986년부터 1990년까지 콜로니얼 리그(Colonial League)로 알려진 당시 축구 전용 대회였다.
- 1982년부터 1989년까지는 중대륙 대학 연합으로, 2007년까지는 중대륙 회의(MCC)로 알려짐.
- 1952년부터 1956년까지 캘리포니아 농구 협회로, 1956년부터 1989년까지 WCAC(West Coast Athletic Conference)로 알려짐.
없어진 회의 및 무소속
이 표는 지금은 없어진 컨퍼런스에서 토너먼트에서 성공을 거둔 팀이나 무소속 팀을 보여줍니다.
여기에 나열된 하나의 컨퍼런스인 사우스웨스트 컨퍼런스는 그 역사를 통틀어 보편적으로 주요 컨퍼런스로 간주되었습니다. 마지막 8명 중 5명은 현재 일반적으로 농구에서 "주요"로 간주되는 컨퍼런스에 참석하고 있습니다. 3명은 Big 12, 1명은 SEC, 1명은 The American에 있습니다. SWC의 지난 10년 동안 떠난 또 다른 회원은 현재 SEC에 있습니다. 1975년부터 1995년까지 운영 된 Metro Conference 는 역사상 주요 농구 대회로 간주되었기 때문에 여기에 나열되지 않습니다. 무엇보다 루이빌리그의 전체 존재에 대한 회원이었던 는 메트로에 있는 동안 NCAA 승인 타이틀(1980, 1986)을 모두 획득했습니다. 그것은 오늘날의 Conference USA를 형성하기 위해 합병된 두 리그 중 하나였습니다. 합병에 관련된 다른 리그인 Great Midwest Conference는 틀림없이 메이저 대회였습니다. 1990년에 결성되었으며, 1991년에 Metro의 가장 강력한 농구 프로그램 중 일부가 그 리그를 떠났을 때 시작되었습니다.
|중간 회의||달콤한 16||엘리트 에이트||파이널 포||챔피언십 게임||내셔널 챔피언|
|국경 대학 간 체육 대회 [nb 1]||뉴멕시코주 ( 1952년 )||애리조나 주 ( 1961 )||–||–||–|
|이스트 코스트 컨퍼런스 [NB 2]||–||성 요셉의 ( 1981 )||–||–||–|
|동부 대학 농구 리그 [nb 3]||–||다트머스 ( 1941 )||–||다트머스 ( 1942 , 1944 )||–|
|그레이트 중서부 컨퍼런스 [nb 4]||마켓 ( 1994 ), 멤피스 ( 1995 )||멤피스 주 ( 1992 ), 신시내티 ( 1993 )||신시내티 ( 1992 )||–||–|
|메트로폴리탄 뉴욕 컨퍼런스 [nb 5]||NYU ( 1943 , 1946 , 1951 , 1962 , 1963 ), 맨해튼 ( 1958 )||뉴욕시립대학 ( 1947 )||뉴욕대학교 ( 1960 )||뉴욕대학교 ( 1952 )||뉴욕시립대학 ( 1950 )|
|중간 대서양 회의 [nb 6]||성 요셉의 ( 1959 , 1960 , 1962 , 1965 , 1966 )||성 요셉의 ( 1963 )||성 요셉의 ( 1961 )||–||–|
|산악 국가 회의 [nb 7]||BYU ( 1950 , 1951 , 1957 )||와이오밍주 ( 1941년 )||유타 주 ( 1939 )||–||와이오밍주 ( 1943년 )|
|뉴저지-뉴욕 7 회의 [NB 8]||–||세인트 존스 ( 1979 )||–||–||–|
|남부 대학 간 체육 협회 [nb 9]||–||서부 켄터키주 ( 1940년 )||–||–||–|
|사우스웨스트 컨퍼런스 [nb 10]||텍사스 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), Butler (1962), Utah State (1962, 1964), St. Bonaventure (1968), Niagara (1970), Cincinnati (1975), Detroit (1977)||Brown (1939), Springfield (1940), 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)||Utah (1944), Holy Cross (1947), La Salle (1954), Loyola (Chicago) (1963), Texas Western (1966), Marquette (1977)|
- Established in 1931 and dissolved in 1962.
- Established in 1958 and dissolved in 1994.
- Established in 1901 and dissolved in 1955, though claimed by the Ivy League as a part of its own history.
- Established in 1990 and merged into Conference USA in 1995.
- Established in 1933 and dissolved in 1963.
- Established in 1912 and became a Division III conference after 1974.
- Established in 1938 and known as the Skyline Conference from 1951 to 1962 before the conference dissolved in early 1962.
- Established in 1976 and dissolved in 1979.
- Established in 1894 and dissolved in 1942.
- Established in 1914 and dissolved in 1996.
- Established in 1946 and dissolved in 1958.
- 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.
- Vacated by the NCAA
Tournament appearances streaks
- 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 2021 tournament.
|School||Start of streak||Last appearance in streak||Years|
|North Carolina||1975||2001||27 years|
|Michigan State||1998||2021||23 years|
- Louisville won three tournaments on the court; however, the third title in 2013 was vacated by the NCAA due to sanctions stemming from a sex scandal that became public in 2015.
- 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."
- Two of Arizona's appearances in this period (1999, 2008) were later vacated due to NCAA sanctions.
- List of schools with the longest time between NCAA tournament appearances (minimum 20-year drought).
- Bold Indicates an active current streak as of the 2021 tournament:
|Tennessee Tech||1963||58 years|
|Bowling Green||1968||–||53 years|
|Seattle||1969||52 years (not in Division I in 29 of those years)|
|Air Force||1962||2004||42 years|
|Iowa State||1944||1985||41 years|
|Washington State||1941||1980||39 years|
|Saint Mary's||1959||1989||30 years|
|Cal State Fullerton||1978||2008|
|Louisiana Tech||1991||–||30 years|
|Mississippi State||1963||1991||28 years|
|East Carolina||1993||–||28 years|
|Penn State||1965||1991||26 years|
|Texas State||1997||–||24 years|
|Illinois State||1998||–||23 years|
|St. Bonaventure||1978||2000||22 years|
|East Carolina||1972||1993||21 years|
|Western Kentucky||1940||1960||20 years|
- Gonzaga also has an ongoing streak of 22 consecutive tournament appearances (1999–2021).
As of 2021, four schools that were considered "major college" by the Associated Press when it published its first college basketball rankings in 1948, and have been continuously in the AP's "major" classification, have yet to reach the national tournament. While the NCAA did not split into divisions until 1956 (university and college), the AP has distinguished "major colleges" from "small colleges" throughout the history of its basketball rankings.
|St. Francis Brooklyn|
|William & Mary|
Evolution of the tournament
The NCAA tournament has changed its format many times over the years, many of which are listed below.
Expansion of field
The NCAA tournament field has expanded a number of times throughout its history.
Years Teams Byes Play-in
1939–1950 8 1951–1952 16 1953–1968 22–25 7–10 1969–1974 25 7 1975–1978 32 0 1979 40 24 1980–1982 48 16 1983 52 16 4 1984 53 16 5 1985–2000 64 0 0 2001–2010 65 0 1 2011– 68 0 4
After the conclusion of the 2010 tournament, 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.
From 2011 to 2015, the round of 64 was deemed to be the second round; beginning in 2016, the round of 64 was again deemed to be the first round.
Seeding history and statistics
The process of seeding was first used in 1978 for automatically qualified (Q) and at-large (L) teams respectively, and then for all teams within their respective region in 1979. Starting in 2004, the NCAA began releasing full seeding numbers making known the overall #1 seed.
No. 1 seeds by year and region
When seeding, the NCAA has used the following names for the four regions with the exception of 2004 to 2006 when they were named after host cities:
- Midwest ("Southwest" in 2011)
- South (1998–2010 and 2012–present, "Mideast" 1957–1984, "Southeast" 1985–1999 and 2011)
|1979||North Carolina||Indiana State||Notre Dame||UCLA|
|1991||North Carolina||Ohio State||Arkansas||UNLV|
|2007||North Carolina||Florida†||Ohio State||Kansas|
|2012||Syracuse||North Carolina||Kentucky†||Michigan State|
|2020||Tournament canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak|
Bold denotes team also won tournament.
† Overall #1 Seed starting in 2004.
To date, only Kentucky and Virginia have had a #1 seed in each of the four regions
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire 2021 tournament will be played in the state of Indiana, rather than at venues across the country.
Number of #1 seeds by school
|5||UConn, Georgetown, Michigan State, Oklahoma|
|4||DePaul, Gonzaga, Illinois, Ohio State, UCLA, Villanova|
|3||Indiana, Purdue, St. John's, Stanford, Syracuse, UNLV|
|2||Arkansas, Florida, Louisville*, LSU, Michigan*, Pittsburgh|
|1||Auburn, Baylor, Cincinnati, Houston, Indiana State, Maryland, Memphis*, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, St. Joseph's, Temple, Texas, Wake Forest, Washington, Wichita State, Wisconsin, Xavier|
Last updated through 2021 tournament.
* Vacated appearances excluded (see #1 seeds by year and region).
For a list of all the cities and arenas that have hosted the Final Four, go to Host cities, below.
Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, hosted the Final Four nine times, followed by the third Madison Square Garden in New York City, which hosted seven times, and Louisville's Freedom Hall, which hosted six times. Additionally, Indianapolis has hosted the Final Four seven times, across three venues.
Stadium size and domes
From 1997 to 2013, the NCAA required that all Final Four sessions take place in domed stadiums with a minimum capacity of 40,000, usually having only half of the dome in use. The Metrodome in Minneapolis, which usually hosted baseball and football, had one of the long ends of the court along the first baseline with temporary stands surrounding the court so that much of the outfield is isolated from the action. The same was true of football stadiums like the Alamodome in San Antonio and the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. The last NBA arena to host the Final Four was the Meadowlands Arena, then known as Continental Airlines Arena, in 1996. 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, which is usually crowned for football, like the setup at Ford Field in Detroit which hosted the 2009 Final Four.
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 ESPN.com 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." 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.
Under then-current criteria, only eleven stadiums, all but two of which are current NFL venues, could be considered as Final Four locations:
- AT&T Stadium, Arlington (opened in 2009)
- AT&T Stadium, originally known as Cowboys Stadium, holds the world record basketball attendance when 108,713 attended the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.
- Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas (opened in 2020)
- The Dome at America's Center, St. Louis (opened in 1995)
- Ford Field, Detroit (opened in 2002)
- Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis (opened in 2008)
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta (opened in 2017)
- replaced the Georgia Dome, operational August 1992 to March 2017
- Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans (opened in 1975)
- NRG Stadium, Houston (opened in 2002)
- State Farm Stadium, Glendale (opened in 2007)
- SoFi Stadium, Inglewood (opened in 2020)
- U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis (opened in 2016)
- replaced the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, operational April 1982 to January 2014
- Alamodome, San Antonio (opened in 1990)
Two domed stadiums that have hosted past Final Fours—the Alamodome (1998, 2004, 2008, 2018) and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida (1999)—were considered too small to be eligible to host, despite the Alamodome being a college football stadium and having a permanent seating capacity of 65,000. The basketball setup at the Alamodome prior to 2018 used only half of the stadium and had a capacity of 39,500. This was changed for the 2018 Final Four to place a raised court at the center of the stadium as has been done with other football facilities.
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.
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. At least one other report indicated that the new policy would still allow a completely new domed stadium, or an existing dome that has never hosted a Final Four (such as State Farm Stadium), to receive a regional if it is awarded a future Final Four. In November 2014, reflecting the new policy's effect, the NCAA announced that what is now State Farm Stadium would host the Final Four in 2017.
Bids per conferences
Prior to 1975, only one team per conference could be in the NCAA tournament. However, after several highly ranked teams in the country were denied entrance into the tournament (e.g., South Carolina, which was 14–0 in ACC regular season play during 1970 but lost in the ACC tournament; Southern Cal, which was ranked #2 in the nation during 1971; and Maryland, which was ranked #3 in the nation in 1974 but lost the ACC tournament championship game to eventual national champion North Carolina State), the NCAA began to place at-large teams in the tournament, instead of just conference champions. At times during the pre-at-large era, the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) competed for prestige with the NCAA tournament. However, in the 1950s the NCAA ruled that no team could compete in both tournaments. But when 8th ranked Marquette declined its invitation in 1970 after coach Al McGuire complained about the Warriors' regional placement and instead went to the NIT (which it won), the NCAA changed the rule to forbid a team that declines an NCAA Tournament bid from participating in any post-season tournament. 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.
A third-place game was held from 1946 to 1981. Additionally, when the tournament was first held in 1939 with only two regionals (East and West), the West held a third-place game, but the East did not. The East began holding its own third-place game in 1941, and from then on every regional held a third-place game through the 1975 tournament.
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, and doing so would mean the elimination of 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 the 16a/16b 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.
During 2011, the tournament expanded to 68 teams. Four "play-in" games are now played, officially known as the First Four". However, the teams playing in the First Four are not automatically seeded #16; their seeding is determined by the committee on Selection Sunday. 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."
Play-In round naming
From 1985 to 2010, the round consisting of 64 teams and 32 games was called the "first round", while the round consisting of 32 teams and 16 games was called the "second round". From 2011 to 2015, the First Four became the first round. The round after the First Four, the round of 64 played on Thursday and Friday, was called the "second round"; the round of 32 was then called the "third round", consisting of games played on Saturday and Sunday. In 2016, the naming reverted to the round of 64 being the "first round" once again, and the round of 32 being the "second round".
For the 1985 to 2001 tournaments, all teams playing at a first- or second-round site fed into the same regional site. Since 2002, the tournament has used the "pod system" designed to limit the early-round travel of as many teams as possible. In the pod system, each of the eight first- and second-round sites is assigned two pods, where each group of four teams play each other. A host site's pods may be from different regions, and thus the winners of each pod would advance into separate regional tournaments.
The possible pods by seeding are:
- Pod #1: 1v16, 8v9
- Pod #2: 2v15, 7v10
- Pod #3: 3v14, 6v11
- Pod #4: 4v13, 5v12
National Semifinal seeding
Since 2004, the semi-final matches during the first day of the Final Four weekend have been determined by a procedure based upon the original seeding of the full field. From 1973 through 2003, the pitting of regional champions in the semi-finals was on a rotational basis. Prior to 1973, one semifinal matched the champions of the eastern regions, and the other matched the champions of the western regions.
Home court advantage
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. 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 suburban San Francisco), 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 and was regarded as the host school, as it is most times whenever the NCAA holds a tournament in Indianapolis (in the 2013 tournament, Butler's former conference, the Horizon League, was considered the host for the Midwest Regional rather than Butler).
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.
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. 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).
House Bill 2
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]". Bon Secours Wellness Arena was able to secure the bid to be the replacement site.
Rituals and influence
Cutting down the nets
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 of each net; the head coach cuts the last strand connecting the net to the hoop, claiming the net itself. 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. 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. 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.
Just as the Olympics awards gold, silver, and bronze medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 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. Since 2006, the Siemens/NABC Trophy has been presented separately at a press conference the day after the game.
Most Outstanding Player
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 draft
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.
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."
Television coverage and revenues
Current television contracts
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.
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 Carter Blackburn appear on Turner network broadcasts along with analysts Jim Spanarkel, Bill Raftery, and Dan Bonner.
The current contract runs through 2024 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. CBS kept its national championship game rights.
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.
The CBS broadcast provides the NCAA with over $500 million annually, and makes up over 90% of the NCAA's annual revenue. The revenues from the multibillion-dollar television contract are divided among the Division I basketball playing schools and conferences as follows:
- 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. By 2021, the value of the shares or "units" to a conference was worth US$337,141.
History of television coverage
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 coverage
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.
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.
CBS takes over
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.
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.
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.
Viewing options emerge
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. 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.
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. 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. By 2008, upgrades at the CBS broadcast center allowed all feeds, flex and constant, to be in HD for the tournament.
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.
Low seeded teams
Most successful low seeds
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)||–||–||–||–||–|
Florida Gulf Coast (2013)
|No. 14||numerous (20 teams)||–||–||–||–|
|No. 13||numerous (24 teams)||–||–||–||–|
|No. 12||numerous (29 teams)|
numerous (20 teams)
|No. 11||numerous (30 teams)|
numerous (15 teams)
|No. 10||numerous (34 teams)|
numerous (15 teams)
|No. 9||numerous (66 teams)||–||–|
|No. 7||N/A||numerous (15 teams)||–|
Best performances by No. 16 seeds
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:
- While ultimately Murray State lost to Michigan State by 4 points (75–71) in 1990, it was the only No. 16 team to take a game into overtime.
- East Tennessee State lost to Oklahoma in 1989 (1 point, 72–71)
- Princeton lost to Georgetown in 1989 (1 point, 50–49)
- Western Carolina lost to Purdue in 1996 (2 points, 73–71)
- Fairleigh Dickinson lost to Michigan in 1985 (4 points, 59–55)
Additional low-seed stats
- Villanova in 1985, a No. 8 seed, was the lowest seeded team to win the tournament.
- 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 had the lowest seeded combination (No. 8 v. No. 11) to play in a National Semifinals game.
- 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.
- 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 2021 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. 10-seeds also swept 7-seeds once, in 1999.
- 1991, 2013, 2016, and 2021 were the only years where at least one team of every seed (other than the No. 16s) advanced to the Round of 32.
- Richmond is the only team to win first-round games ranked as a No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, and No. 12 seed.
- 2012 was the only tournament to feature two upsets by No. 15 seeds over No. 2 seeds in the round of 64 (there have been eight all-time).
- 1986, 1995, and 2015 were the only tournaments to feature two upsets by No. 14 seeds over No. 3 seeds in the round of 64.
- 2014 produced the highest total seed differential in an NCAA Tournament, with 111 across all the rounds of play. That is, the aggregate seed difference among the 22 games won by lower-seeded teams (e.g., No. 14 Mercer over No. 3 Duke, No. 8 Kentucky over No. 1 Wichita State) was 111. This total was surpassed by the end of the Sweet 16 in 2021 with 18 games and a 118 aggregate seed difference. Before the start of the Final Four, the total had increased to 19 games with a 128 seed difference.
- 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.
- 2017, South Carolina entering as a 7th seed in their region, beat Duke a No. 2 seed, Baylor, a No. 3 seed and Florida, a No. 4 seed to reach the Final Four.
- 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).
- Furthermore, the Elite Eight pairing of No. 9 Kansas State and No. 11 Loyola-Chicago was the lowest-seeded pairing to play in a Regional Final.
- Georgetown is the only team to lose in five consecutive tournament appearances against a team seeded at least five spots lower:
- 2008 (Round of 32): No. 10 Davidson 74, No. 2 Georgetown 70.
- 2010 (Round of 64): No. 14 Ohio 97, No. 3 Georgetown 83.
- 2011 (Round of 64): No. 11 VCU 74, No. 6 Georgetown 56.
- 2012 (Round of 32): No. 11 NC State 66, No. 3 Georgetown 63.
- 2013 (Round of 64): No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast 78, No. 2 Georgetown 68.
- 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).
Notable point spread upsets
As noted above, despite numerous instances of early-round tournament upsets, only one No. 1 seed has 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:
- Norfolk State +21.5 over Missouri 86–84 in 2012
- UMBC +20.5 over Virginia 74–54 in 2018
- Santa Clara +20 over Arizona 64–61 in 1993.
- Coppin State +18.5 over South Carolina 78–65 in 1997
- Arkansas–Little Rock +17.5 over Notre Dame 90–83 in 1986
- Hampton +17.5 over Iowa State 58–57 in 2001
- Biggest point-spread upsets in NCAA Championship Game history:
- Connecticut +9.5 over Duke, 77–74, in 1999
- Villanova +9 over Georgetown, 66–64, in 1985
- Kansas +8 over Oklahoma, 83–79, in 1988
- North Carolina State +7.5 over Houston, 54–52 in 1983
- Texas Western +6.5 over Kentucky, 72–65 in 1966
Highly seeded teams
All No. 1 seeds in the Final Four
It has happened only once that all four No. 1 seeds made it to the Final Four:
- 2008 – Kansas (champion), North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis
Final Fours without a No. 1 seed
Thrice (twice since the field expanded to 64 teams) the Final Four has been without a No. 1 seed:
- 1980 – No. 2 Louisville (champion), No. 5 Iowa, No. 6 Purdue, No. 8 UCLA
- 2006 – No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Florida (champion), No. 4 LSU, No. 11 George Mason
- 2011 – No. 3 Connecticut (champion), No. 4 Kentucky, No. 8 Butler, No. 11 VCU
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.
No. 1 seeds in the Championship Game
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 stats
- 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 only 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.
Teams No. 1 in national polls
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:
- 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)
Performance of undefeated teams
The team's record here refers to their record before the first game of the NCAA tournament.
|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 tournament
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.
- During 1973 the North Carolina State Wolfpack 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, the Alcorn State Braves 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.
Champions absent the next year
There have been nine times in which the tournament did not include the reigning champion (the previous year's winner):
- 1978 champion Kentucky went 19–12 in 1979. The Wildcats accepted an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament, losing their first-round game 68–67 in overtime to Clemson.
- Both 1979 champion Michigan State (12–15) and 1979 runner up Indiana State (16–11) failed to qualify for the 1980 NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, neither was invited to the National Invitation Tournament, and Michigan State is the only team to finish the subsequent season with a losing record. Following the 1979 NCAA tournament, Indiana State lost Larry Bird to graduation, and Magic Johnson left Michigan State after his sophomore season to enter the NBA draft.
- 1983 champion North Carolina State went 19–13 in 1984. The Wolfpack accepted an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament, losing their first-round game 74–71 to Florida State in Reynolds Coliseum.
- 1986 champion Louisville went 18–14 in 1987. The team declined an invitation to the postseason National Invitation Tournament.
- 1988 champion Kansas went 19–12 in 1989. However, the team was ineligible for participation in the 1989 NCAA Tournament due to NCAA sanctions for recruiting violations.
- 2007 champion Florida and 2007 runner-up Ohio State both failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2008. Both accepted invitations to that year's postseason National Invitation Tournament, and both made it to the semifinals. Florida fell to Massachusetts in the semifinals, and Ohio State beat UMass in the NIT Championship Game to win the tournament.
- 2009 champion North Carolina went 20–17 in 2010. The Tar Heels accepted an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament, and reached the finals, losing to Dayton.
- 2012 champion Kentucky went 21–11 in 2013 and failed to make that tournament. The Wildcats were invited to the National Invitation Tournament, where they lost to Robert Morris in the first round of the tournament.
- 2014 champion UConn went 20–14 in 2015 and failed to make that tournament. The Huskies were invited to the National Invitation Tournament and lost to Arizona State in the first round.
Most national championships
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)[a]
- Nolan Richardson (1994)
- Bill Self (2008)
- 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 coaches
Coaches in italics are active at levels below NCAA Division I.
- 5 Mike Krzyzewski (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)
- 3 Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004, 2011)
- 2 Jay Wright (2016, 2018)
- 1 Tony Bennett (2019)
- 1 Jim Boeheim (2003)
- 1 John Calipari (2012)
- 1 Scott Drew (2021)
- 1 Tom Izzo (2000)
- 1 Rick Pitino (1996)
- 1 Bill Self (2008)
- 1 Tubby Smith (1998)
Schools winning a national championship under multiple coaches
- 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 Four
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).
There are 13 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, and Kelvin Sampson.
- 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 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 margins
- 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
- Indiana 69, Kansas 68 (1953)
- North Carolina 54, Kansas 53/3OT (1957)
- California 71, West Virginia 70 (1959)
- North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62 (1982)
- Indiana 74, Syracuse 73 (1987)
- Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79/OT (1989)
- 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.
- North Carolina 54, Kansas 53/3OT (1957)
- Utah 42, Dartmouth 40 (1944)
- Cincinnati 65, Ohio St. 60 (1961)
- Loyola 60, Cincinnati 58 (1963)
- Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79 (1989)
- Arizona 84, Kentucky 79 (1997)
- Kansas 75, Memphis 68 (2008)
- Virginia 85, Texas Tech 77 (2019)
Accumulated victory margins
- 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
- Oregon (1939)
- Kentucky (1949)
- San Francisco (1956)
- Ohio State (1960)
- UCLA (1967, 1970 and 1973)
- Michigan State (1979 and 2000)
- Indiana (1981)
- Duke (2001)
- North Carolina (2009)
- Villanova (2018)
Seed pairing results
Since the inception of the 64-team tournament in 1985, each seed-pairing has played 144 games in the Round of 64, with the following results:
Round of 64 results
- The No. 1 seed is 143–1 against the No. 16 seed (.993)
- The No. 2 seed is 135–9 against the No. 15 seed (.938)
- The No. 3 seed is 122–22 against the No. 14 seed (.847)
- The No. 4 seed is 113–31 against the No. 13 seed (.785)
- The No. 5 seed is 93–51 against the No. 12 seed (.646)
- The No. 6 seed is 90–54 against the No. 11 seed (.625)
- The No. 7 seed is 87–57 against the No. 10 seed (.604)
- The No. 8 seed is 71–73 against the No. 9 seed (.493)
Round of 32 results
- In the 1/16 vs. 8/9 bracket:
|vs. No. 8||vs. No. 9||Total|
|No. 1||57–14 (.803)||66–6 (.917)||123–20 (.860)|
|No. 16||–||0–1 (.000)||0–1 (.000)|
|Total||14–57 (.197)||7–66 (.096)|
- In the 2/15 vs. 7/10 bracket:
|vs. No. 7||vs. No. 10||Total|
|No. 2||57–26 (.687)||34–18 (.654)||91–44 (.674)|
|No. 15||2–2 (.500)||0–5 (.000)||2–7 (.222)|
|Total||28–59 (.322)||23–34 (.404)|
- In the 3/14 vs. 6/11 bracket:
|vs. No. 6||vs. No. 11||Total|
|No. 3||45–29 (.608)||30–18 (.638)||75–47 (.615)|
|No. 14||2–14 (.125)||0–6 (.000)||2–20 (.091)|
|Total||43–47 (.478)||24–30 (.444)|
- In the 4/13 vs. 5/12 bracket:
|vs. No. 5||vs. No. 12||Total|
|No. 4||41–33 (.554)||26–13 (.667)||67–46 (.593)|
|No. 13||3–16 (.158)||3–9 (.250)||6–25 (.194)|
|Total||49–44 (.527)||22–29 (.431)|
Round of 16 results
- 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||40–15 (.727)||36–8 (.818)||20–0 (1.000)||4–0 (1.000)||100–23 (.813)|
|No. 8||5–4 (.556)||2–0 (1.000)||0–2 (.000)||1–0 (1.000)||8–6 (.571)|
|No. 9||1–2 (.333)||2–1 (.667)||–||1–0 (1.000)||4–3 (.571)|
|Total||21–46 (.313)||9–40 (.184)||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||28–17 (.622)||23–6 (.793)||14–3 (.824)||–||65–26 (.714)|
|No. 7||6–9 (.400)||3–5 (.375)||0–4 (.000)||1–0 (1.000)||10–18 (.357)|
|No. 10||4–9 (.308)||2–4 (.333)||1–2 (.333)||1–0 (1.000)||8–15 (.348)|
|No. 15||0–2 (.000)||–||–||–||0–2 (.000)|
|Total||37–38 (.493)||15–28 (.349)||9–15 (.375)||0–2 (.000)|
Regional finals results
|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)||4–1 (.800)||4–4 (.500)||–||–||59–41 (.590)|
|No. 4||4–2 (.667)||3–2 (.600)||2–1 (.667)||2–3 (.400)||2–0 (1.000)||–||–||–||13–8 (.619)|
|No. 5||4–0 (1.000)||1–2 (.333)||1–0 (1.000)||–||1–0 (1.000)||–||–||–||7–2 (.778)|
|No. 8||3–2 (.600)||0–1 (.000)||1–0 (1.000)||1–0 (1.000)||–||–||–||–||5–3 (.625)|
|No. 9||1–0 (1.000)||0–2 (.000)||–||–||–||0–1 (.000)||–||–||1–3 (.250)|
|No. 12||0–2 (.000)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||0–2 (.000)|
|Total||30–35 (.462)||17–20 (.459)||3–12 (.200)||3–7 (.300)||1–7 (.125)||5–4 (.556)||–||–|
This table lists all the cities that have hosted or will host the Final Four, as well as the venues in which the Final Four was or will be played. For additional information about a particular year's tournament, click on the year to go directly to that year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament or go to the main article.
|1939||Evanston, Illinois||Patten Gymnasium||Oregon|
|1940||Kansas City||Municipal Auditorium||Indiana|
|1943||New York City||Madison Square Garden||Wyoming|
|1949||Seattle||Hec Edmundson Pavilion|
|1950||New York City||Madison Square Garden||CCNY|
|1952||Seattle||Hec Edmundson Pavilion||Kansas|
|1953||Kansas City||Municipal Auditorium||Indiana|
|1956||Evanston, Illinois||McGaw Hall|
|1957||Kansas City||Municipal Auditorium||North Carolina|
|1960||Daly City, California||Cow Palace||Ohio State|
|1961||Kansas City||Municipal Auditorium||Cincinnati|
|1964||Kansas City||Municipal Auditorium||UCLA|
|1966||College Park, Maryland||Cole Field House||Texas Western|
|1968||Los Angeles||Memorial Sports Arena|
|1970||College Park, Maryland||Cole Field House|
|1972||Los Angeles||Memorial Sports Arena|
|1973||St. Louis||St. Louis Arena|
|1974||Greensboro||Greensboro Coliseum||NC State|
|1975||San Diego||San Diego Sports Arena||UCLA|
|1978||St. Louis||The Checkerdome||Kentucky|
|1979||Salt Lake City||Special Events Center||Michigan State|
|1980||Indianapolis||Market Square Arena||Louisville|
|1982||New Orleans||Louisiana Superdome||North Carolina|
|1983||Albuquerque||University Arena||NC State|
|1987||New Orleans||Louisiana Superdome||Indiana|
|1988||Kansas City||Kemper Arena||Kansas|
|1990||Denver||McNichols Sports Arena||UNLV|
|1993||New Orleans||Louisiana Superdome||North Carolina|
|1996||East Rutherford||Continental Airlines Arena||Kentucky|
|1999||St. Petersburg||Tropicana Field||Connecticut|
|2000||Indianapolis||RCA Dome||Michigan State|
|2003||New Orleans||Louisiana Superdome||Syracuse|
|2005||St. Louis||Edward Jones Dome||North Carolina|
|2009||Detroit||Ford Field||North Carolina|
|2010||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||Duke|
|2012||New Orleans||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Kentucky|
|2015||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||Duke|
|2017||Phoenix||University of Phoenix Stadium||North Carolina|
|2019||Minneapolis||U.S. Bank Stadium||Virginia|
|2020||Tournament canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2021||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||Baylor|
|2022||New Orleans||Caesars Superdome|
|2024||Glendale, Arizona||State Farm Stadium|
|2026||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium|
Bracketology and pools
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." 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 President Barack Obama's bracket was posted on the White House website.
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. 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.
Tournament associated terms
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 just because it's become part of the American sports vernacular.
March Madness is a popular on-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 was 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.
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.
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 marchmadness.com 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Although there is not any official definition of what constitutes a Cinderella team, there does seem to be a consensus that such teams represent small schools, are usually low-seeded in the tournament, and achieves at least one unexpected win in the tournament. A recent example of this is Florida Gulf Coast University, a relatively new school that held its first classes in 1997 and became Division I postseason eligible in 2011. They made their first appearance in the 2013 tournament, winning two games to become the first #15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The term was popularized as a result of City College of New York's successful run in the 1950 tournament.
- 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.
- Title vacated due to NCAA sanctions.
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- Odds of a perfect bracket 1 in 9.2 quintillion