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Men's Basketball Final Four History

 

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four is the national semifinals of the major college basketball teams in Division 1.

The event normally takes place on the first Saturday in April with the two winners eventually meeting on Monday for the championship.

The tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 with four 16-team regional brackets and those four winners advance to "The Final Four" and our history below shows the final four schools going back to 1985.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA Tournament was canceled in 2020.

The 2021 Final Four will take place at at Lucas Oil Stadium from Indianapolis, Indiana.

NCAA Tournament Final Four History

NCAA Final Four History (1985-Present)
Year (Seed) Schools - Winner in Bold
2021 (1) Gonzaga (1) Baylor (2) Houston (11) UCLA
2020 **Postponed**
2019 (1) Virginia (2) Michigan State (3) Texas Tech (5) Auburn
2018 (1) Villanova (1) Kansas (3) Michigan (11) Loyola-Chicago
2017 (1) Gonzaga (1) North Carolina (3) Oregon (7) South Carolina
2016 (1) North Carolina (2) Oklahoma (2) Villanova (10) Syracuse
2015 (1) Kentucky (1) Duke (1) Wisconsin (7) Michigan State
2014 (1) Florida (2) Wisconsin (7) UConn (8) Kentucky
2013 (1) Louisville (4) Syracuse (4) Michigan (9) Wichita State
2012 (1) Kentucky (2) Kansas (2) Ohio State (4) Louisville
2011 (3) UConn (4) Kentucky (8) Butler (11) VCU
2010 (1) Duke (2) West Virginia (5) Butler (5) Michigan State
2009 (1) North Carolina (1) Connecticut (2) Michigan State (3) Villanova
2008 (1) Kansas (1) Memphis (1) North Carolina (1) UCLA
2007 (1) Florida (1) Ohio State (2) Georgetown (2) UCLA
2006 (2) UCLA (3) Florida (4) LSU (11) George Mason
2005 (1) North Carolina (1) Illinois (4) Louisville (5) Michigan State
2004 (1) Duke (2) Connecticut (2) Oklahoma State (3) Georgia Tech
2003 (1) Texas (2) Kansas (3) Marquette (3) Syracuse
2002 (1) Maryland (1) Kansas (2) Oklahoma (5) Indiana
2001 (1) Duke (1) Michigan State (2) Arizona (3) Maryland
2000 (1) Michigan State (5) Florida (8) North Carolina (8) Wisconsin
1999 (1) Connecticut (1) Duke (1) Michigan State (4) Ohio State
1998 (1) North Carolina (2) Kentucky (3) Stanford (3) Utah
1997 (1) Kentucky (1) Minnesota (1) North Carolina (4) Arizona
1996 (1) Kentucky (1) UMass (4) Syracuse (5) Mississippi State
1995 (1) UCLA (2) Arkansas (2) North Carolina (4) Oklahoma State
1994 (1) Arkansas (2) Arizona (2) Duke (3) Florida
1993 (1) North Carolina (1) Kentucky (1) Michigan (2) Kansas
1992 (1) Duke (2) Indiana (4) Cincinnati (6) Michigan
1991 (1) UNLV (1) North Carolina (2) Duke (3) Kansas
1990 (1) UNLV (3) Duke (4) Georgia Tech (4) Arkansas
1989 (1) Illinois (2) Duke (3) Seton Hall (3) Michigan
1988 (1) Arizona (1) Oklahoma (2) Duke (6) Kansas
1987 (1) UNLV (1) Indiana (2) Syracuse (6) Providence
1986 (1) Duke (1) Kansas (2) Louisville (11) LSU
1985 (1) St. John's (1) Georgetown (2) Memphis (8) Villanova

NCAA Final Four Betting Notes

-- Since the tournament expanded in 1985 to 64 teams, there have only been two years where the Final Four didn’t have a No. 1 seed which occurred in 2011 and 2006.

-- Meanwhile, there has only been one instance where all four No. 1 seeds reached the Final Four, which took place in 2008 when Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina and UCLA earned regional bids.

-- The school with the most Final Four appearances since 1985 is Duke with 12 and right behind them is Kentucky with eight.

-- The Duke Blue Devils have made the most consecutive appearances with five between 1988 and 1992.

-- The highest seed ever to reach the Final Four was the No. 11, which has happened five times.

  • 1986 - LSU
  • 2006 - George Mason
  • 2011 - VCU
  • 2018 - Loyola-Chicago
  • 2021 - UCLA

-- Outside of the group above, only one double-digit seed has made the Final Four and that happened in 2016 when No. 10 Syracuse earned a trip.

-- The most teams from a conference that made the same Final Four was three, which occurred in 1985 when St. John’s, Georgetown and Villanova earned bids from the Big East.

NCAA Final Four Champion Success

For those bettors looking for long shots, the NCAA Tournament may not be for you. 31 of 36 champions in the NCAA Tournament were top three seeds (1, 2, 3) and you dismiss the first four years of the event, 30 of the last 32 NCAA champions have been 1, 2 or a 3-seed.

Seed (Championships)

  • 1 - 22
  • 2 - 5
  • 3 - 4
  • 4 - 1
  • 5 - 0
  • 6 - 1
  • 7 - 1
  • 8 - 1

Ironically, the lowest seed to win the NCAA Tournament was No. 8 in Villanova and that was the inaugural year in 1985 when the event expanded to 64 schools.

Kansas (6) and Connecticut (7) were the only other outliers to win, doing so in 1988 and 2014 respectively.


  
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