- NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
"NCAA Men's Basketball Championship" redirects here. For other division tournaments, see NCAA basketball tournament (disambiguation).
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Current season or competition:
2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
Sport College basketball Founded 1939 No. of teams 68 (since 2011) Country(ies) United States Most recent champion(s) Connecticut Huskies (3) Most titles UCLA Bruins (11) TV partner(s) CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV Official website NCAA.com
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball. The tournament, organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was the brainchild of Ohio State university coach Harold Olsen. Held mostly in March, it is known informally as March Madness or the Big Dance, and has become one of the most prominent annual sporting events in the United States.
The tournament teams include champions from 31 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids), and 37 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee, as detailed below. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single elimination "bracket", which predetermines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next. Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region. After an initial four games between eight lower-seeded teams, the tournament takes place over the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites around the United States. Lower-seeded teams are placed in the bracket against higher seeded teams. Each weekend cuts three-fourths of the teams, from a Round of 64, to a "Sweet Sixteen", to a "Final Four"; the Final Four usually play on the first weekend in April. These four teams, one from each region, battle it out in one destination for the national championship.
The tournament has been at least partially televised since 1969, and today, with games covered by CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV, all games are available for viewing nationwide. As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity and place in American culture. Today, millions of Americans "fill out a bracket", predicting winners of all 67 games.
With 11 national titles, UCLA holds the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; John Wooden coached UCLA to 10 of its 11 titles. The University of Kentucky is second, with 7 national titles, while Indiana University and the University of North Carolina are tied for third with 5 national titles. 2010 champion Duke University ranks fifth with 4 national titles.
Current tournament format
The NCAA has changed the tournament format several times since its inception, most often reflecting an expansion of the field. This section describes the tournament as it has operated since 2011. For changes over the course of its history, and to see how the tournament operated in past years, go to Format history, below.
A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament played in March and April. Thirty-one (31) teams earn automatic bids by winning their respective conference tournaments. Thirty (30) of the 31 conferences hold tournaments to determine their respective automatic qualifiers. Only the Ivy League does not conduct a post-season tournament; its automatic bid goes to the regular-season conference champion.
The remaining thirty-seven (37) tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee, a special committee appointed by the NCAA. The committee also determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket.
The tournament is split into four regions and each region has at least sixteen teams, but four additional teams are added per the decision of the Selection Committee. (See First Four). The committee is charged with making each of the four regions as close as possible in overall quality of teams.
The names of the regions vary from year to year, and are broadly geographic (such as "Southeast", "East" or "Midwest"). The selected names roughly correspond to the location of the four cities hosting the regional finals. For example, in 2011, the regions were named East (Newark, New Jersey), West (Anaheim, California), Southwest (San Antonio, Texas), and Southeast (New Orleans). However, oftentimes the chosen names for the regions appear counterintuitive to some observers, such as in 1990, when Atlanta hosted the East regional and Richmond hosted the Southeast regional.
Seeding and the Bracket
The selection committee seeds the whole field of 68 teams from 1-68, but does not make this information public. Instead, the committee divides the teams amongst the regions. The top four teams will be distributed among the four regions, and each will receive a #1 seed within that region. The next four ranked teams will also be distributed among the four regions, each receiving a #2 seed with their region, and the process continues down the line. Carried to its logical conclusion, this would give each region seventeen teams seeded 1-17, but as seen below, this is complicated somewhat (see The First Four).
The bracket is thus set in stone, and in the semifinals, the champion of top #1 seed's region will play against the champion of the fourth No. 1 seed's region, and the champion of the second-ranked #1 seed's region will play against the champion of third-ranked #1 seed's region.
The selection committee is also instructed to place teams so that whenever possible, conference teams cannot meet until the regional finals. In addition, they are also instructed to avoid any possible rematches of regular season or previous year's tournament games during the Rounds of 32 and 64.
In the men's tournament, all sites are nominally neutral: teams are prohibited from playing tournament games on their home courts prior to the Final Four (though in some cases, a team may be fortunate enough to play in or near its home state or city). Under current NCAA rules, any court on which a team hosts more than three regular-season games (in other words, not including conference tournament games) is considered a "home court".
However, while a team can be moved to a different region if its home court is being used in any of the first two weeks of the tournament, the Final Four venue is determined years in advance, and cannot be changed regardless of participants. For this reason, in theory a team could play in a Final Four on its home court; in reality, this would be unlikely, since the Final Four is usually staged at a venue larger than most college basketball arenas.
The tournament has several rounds. They are currently called
- The First Four
- The Second Round (also known as "the Round of 64")
- The Third Round (also known as "the Round of 32")
- The Regional Semi-finals (participating teams are popularly known as the "Sweet Sixteen")
- The Regional Finals (participating teams are commonly known as the "Elite Eight")
- The National Semi-finals (participating teams are officially referred to as the "Final Four")
- The National Final
The tournament is single-elimination; this format increases the chance of Cinderella advancing in the tournament. This is because, although these lower-seeded teams are forced to play stronger teams, they need only win once to advance, instead of winning a majority of games in a series, such as is done in professional basketball.
The First Four
The appellation "First Four" refers to the number of games played, not the number of teams. First held in 2011, the First Four is played between the lowest four at-large qualifying teams and the lowest four automatic bid (conference champion) teams. This does not, however, mean that these are necessarily the lowest eight teams in the field. The four games are held to determine which four teams will assume a place amongst the teams participating in the Round of 64. Unlike all the other early games in the tournament, the teams are not matched with an eye toward disparity, but rather, of equality. This is because in one game two teams may be vying for a #16 seed in the Round of 64, but in another game the two teams may be vying for perhaps a #12 seed, or even higher.
While most NCAA tournament games are played over the weekend, the First Four games are played during the week, between Selection Sunday and the weekend immediately following. Once the First Four games are played, the four winning teams assume their places in the bracket of 64 teams, and must play again that weekend, with little rest.
The Round of 64 and the Round of 32
In the Second Round (the Round of 64), the #1 seed plays the #16 seed in all regions; the #2 team plays the #15, and so on. The effect of this seeding structure ensures that the better a team is seeded, the worse-seeded (and presumably weaker) their opponents will be. Sixteen second-round games are played on the Thursday following the "First Four" round. The remaining sixteen second-round games are played Friday. At this point the field is whittled down to 32 teams.
The Third Round (the Round of 32) is played on Saturday and Sunday immediately following the second round. The third round consists of Thursday's winners playing in eight games on Saturday, followed by Friday's winners playing in the remaining eight third-round games on Sunday. Thus, after the first weekend, 16 teams remain, commonly called the "Sweet Sixteen."
Regional semifinals and finals
The teams that are still alive after the first weekend advance to the regional semifinals (the Sweet Sixteen) and finals (the Elite Eight), which are played on the second weekend of the tournament (again, the games are split into Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday). Four regional semi-final games are played Thursday and four are played Friday. After Friday's games, 8 teams (the Elite Eight) remain. Saturday features two regional final games matching Thursday's winners and Sunday's two final games match Friday's winners. After the second weekend of the tournament, the four regional champions emerge as the "Final Four."
The winners of each region advance to the Final Four, where the national semifinals are played on Saturday and the national championship is played on Monday. As noted above, which regional champion play which, and in which semifinal they play, is determined by the overall rankings of the four #1 seeds in the original bracket, not on the seeds of the eventual Final Four teams themselves.
Tournament associated terms
As indicated below, none of these phrases are exclusively used in regards to the NCAA tournament. Nonetheless, they are widely associated with the tournament, sometimes for legal reasons, sometimes just because it's become part of the American sports vernacular.
March Madness is a popular term for season-ending basketball tournaments played in March. March Madness is also a registered trademark currently owned exclusively by the NCAA.
H. V. Porter, an official with the Illinois High School Association (and later a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame), was the first person to use March Madness to describe a basketball tournament. Porter published an essay named March Madness in 1939, and in 1942 used the phrase in a poem, Basketball Ides of March. Through the years the use of March Madness picked up steam, 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. In 1977 Jim Enright published a book about the Illinois tournament entitled March Madness.
Fans began connecting the term to the NCAA tournament in 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.
Only in the 1990s did either the IHSA or NCAA think about trademarking the term, and by that time a small television production company named Intersport had beaten them both to the punch. 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. In 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.
Following 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. In 2003, in March Madness Athletic Association v. Netfire, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that March Madness was not a generic term, and ordered Netfire to relinquish the domain name to the NCAA.
Later in the 2000s, the IHSA relinquished its ownership share in the trademark, although it retained the right to use the term in connection with high school championships. In October 2010, the NCAA reached a settlement with Intersport, paying $17.2 million for the latter company's license to use the trademark.
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 in 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” in the 1974 tournament. The NCAA started capitalizing the term in 1978 and turning it into a trademark several years later.
In recent years, the term Final Four has spread into 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 called the Final Four.
Although there is no official definition of what constitutes a Cinderella team, there does seem to be a consensus that such teams represent small schools, are seeded rather low in the tournament, and achieve at least one unexpected win in the tournament. The term became popularized as a result of CCNY's run through the tournament in 1950. Since 1950, the term has seen use in other sports as well, though nowhere is it as prominent as in the NCAA tournament.
For decades, fans have been entering into office pools or private gambling-related contests as to who can predict the tournament most correctly; Barack Obama has referred to the filling out of a tournament bracket 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 radio show, a wide variety of celebrities from various fields (such as Darius Rucker, Charlie Sheen, and Brooklyn Decker) have posted full brackets with predictions. President Obama's bracket is posted on the White House website.
There are many different 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.
There are 2^63 or 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (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, the odds are now increased to 2^67 or 147,573,952,589,676,412,928 (147.57 quintillion) possibilities.
Evolution of the Tournament
The NCAA tournament has changed its format many times over the years. Below are listed many of these changes.
Expansion of field
- The NCAA tournament has expanded a number of times throughout its history. This is a breakdown of the history of the tournament format:
- 1939–1950: eight teams
- 1951–1952: 16 teams
- 1953–1974: varied between 22 and 25 teams
- 1975–1978: 32 teams
- 1979: 40 teams
- 1980–1982: 48 teams
- 1983: 52 teams (four play-in games before the tournament)
- 1984: 53 teams (five play-in games before the tournament)
- 1985–2000: 64 teams
- 2001–2010: 65 teams (with an opening round game to determine whether the 64th or 65th team plays in the first round)
- 2011–present: 68 teams (four play-in games in the first round before all remaining teams compete in the second round)
- After the conclusion of the 2010 tournament, there was much speculation about increasing the tournament size to as many as 128 teams. On April 1, 2010, the NCAA announced that it was looking at expanding to 96 teams for 2011. On April 22, 2010, the NCAA announced a new television contract with CBS/Turner and that the field would expand the field, but only to 68 teams.
- 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 conference play in 1970, Southern Cal which was ranked #2 in the nation in 1971, and Maryland which was ranked #3 in the nation in 1974), the NCAA began to place at-large teams in the tournament, instead of just conference champions.
- Currently, there are no consolation games, but there was a third-place game until 1981. Additionally, each regional had 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 in 1999. Originally, the winner of the MWC 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 Men's Division I 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.
- In 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."
- In the 1985 to 2002 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 regional bracket is divided into four-team pods. The possible pods by seeding are:
- Pod #1: 1v16, 8v9
- Pod #2: 2v15, 7v10
- Pod #3: 3v14, 6v11
- Pod #4: 4v13, 5v12
- Each of the eight second- and third-round (formerly 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.
- 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. Prior to 2004, the pitting of regional champions in the semi-finals was simply random.
- 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". Starting in 2011, the "First Four" became the first round. The round after the "First Four" is now called the "second round", and consists of 64 teams playing 32 games; it is played on Thursday and Friday. The next round, the "third round", consists of 32 teams playing 16 games that are played on Saturday and Sunday.
For a list of all the cities and stadiums that have hosted the Final Four, go to Host cities, below.
Stadium size and domes
Since 1997, the NCAA has required that all Final Four sessions take place in domed stadiums with a minimum capacity of 40,000, usually having only a half of the dome in use. The last small arena to host the Final Four was The Meadowlands in 1996. As of 2009, the minimum was raised 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 Minnesota's Metrodome.
The first instance of a domed stadium being used for a NCAA Tournament Final Four was the Houston Astrodome in 1971, but the Final Four would not return to a dome until 1982, when the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans hosted the event for the first time.
"Home court" advantage
Since the inception of the modern Final Four in 1952, only once has a team played a Final Four on its actual home court. But through the 2011 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 2010 tournament. Kentucky (1958), UCLA (1968, 1972, 1975) and North Carolina State (1974) won the national title; Louisville (1959) and Purdue (1980) lost in the Final Four; and California (1960), Duke (1994), Michigan State (2009) and Butler (2010) lost in the final.
The biggest advantage was in 1959 when Louisville played at its regular home of Freedom Hall; however, they lost to West Virginia in the semifinals. The following year, Cal had nearly as large an edge, as they only had to cross 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 (and also UCLA's home arena before the latter venue opened in 1965); unlike Louisville and Cal, the Bruins won the national title on both occasions. Butler lost the 2010 title 6 miles (9.7 km) from its Indianapolis campus.
Before the Final Four was established, the East and West regionals were held at separate sites, with the winners advancing to the title game. During that era, three 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 their home state, North Carolina. The team was put in the East Region, and played its regional games at home arena Reynolds Coliseum. NC State played the final four and national championship games at nearby Greensboro Coliseum.
While not their home state, Kansas has played in the championship game in Kansas City, Missouri, only 45 minutes from their campus in Lawrence, Kansas, not just once, but four times. In 1940, 1953, and 1957 they 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.
The NCAA has banned the Bi-Lo Center and Colonial Life Arena 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 take down the Confederate Battle Flag from their state capitol. 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.
Trophies and rituals
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. 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.
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. All four Final Four teams receive a bronze plated NCAA Regional Championship trophy.
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 come 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.
Television coverage and revenues
Current television contracts
Since 2010, the NCAA has had a joint contract with CBS and Turner Sports, a division of Time Warner (which co-owns the CW Television Network with CBS). 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 second- or third-round game in each time "window" is broadcast on CBS, while all other games are shown either on TBS, TNT or truTV. Sweet 16 (regional semifinal) games are broadcast on CBS and TBS. Through 2015, all games from the Elite Eight (regional final) onwards are shown on CBS exclusively. Beginning in 2016, CBS and TBS will split coverage of the Elite Eight. CBS and TBS will 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 is allowed to develop their own service.
The CBS broadcast provides the NCAA with over 500 million dollars annually, and makes up over 90% of the NCAA's annual revenue. The revenues from the multi-billion-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.
The Division I Men's Basketball tournament is the only NCAA championship tournament where the NCAA does not keep the profits.
History of television coverage
CBS has been the major partner of the NCAA in televising the tournament for much of its history, 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.
The same year as CBS obtained rights to the Big Dance, 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 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, no doubt due to the extensive coverage provided by ESPN.
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 TNN, using CBS graphics and announcers. CBS and TNN were both owned by Viacom at the time.)
Through 2010, CBS broadcasted the remaining 63 games of the NCAA tournament proper. Most areas saw only eight of 32 first round games, seven second round games, and four 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 remain primarily on a given game, and are used primarily by stations with a clear local interest in a particular game. Despite its name, a constant feed will occasionally veer away to other games for brief updates (as is typical in most American sports coverage), but coverage generally remains with the initial game. A swing feed tends 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 bounces around from one venue to another, depending on action at the various games in progress. If one game is a blowout, coverage can switch to a more competitive game. A flex feed is provided when there are not games that have a significant natural local interest for the stations carrying them, allowing the flex game to be the best game in progress. Station feeds are planned in advance and stations have 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 continues to be so today to online users.
In addition, CBS College Sports Network (formerly CSTV) 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 on Demand 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. CBS-CS is scheduled to continue broadcasting the official pregame and postgame shows and press conferences from the teams involved.
NCAA partner AT&T Mobility also broadcasts all games via the MobiTV infrastructure, which is available on phones compatible with AT&T's Mobile TV service. For the iPhone, a premium-charge application is available via the App Store to watch the games.
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.
Outside of the United StatesSee also: List of NCAA Final Four Broadcasters
Though it is an American sporting event, the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament is watched in some other countries.
- In Canada, TSN has owned the rights to the tournament since 2011, as a result of an international deal between the NCAA and ESPN International (which is a minority investor in TSN).
- In Australia, the ONE HD network simulcasts the CBS game coverage in HD. ESPN Australia and ESPNHD Australia also simulcast CBS game coverage. As with the Canadian telecast, ONE HD only airs selected games during the later stages of the tournament.
- In Europe, ESPN America simulcasts the NCAA tournament, including games shown on CBS College Sports, taking the suggested national feed.
Cinderella teams are responsible for much of the excitement in the tournament, and sometimes the performance of Cinderellas prove to be more memorable than the actual tournament victories.
Most successful low seeds
These are the lowest seeds to reach each round since expansion to 64 teams in 1985:
- A #15 seed has reached the Round of 32 four times:
- A #14 seed has reached the Sweet Sixteen (Regional Semi-finals) twice:
- Cleveland State in 1986
- Chattanooga in 1997
- A #12 seed has reached the Elite Eight (Regional Finals) once:
- An #11 seed has reached the Final Four and played in the national semi-final game three times:
- A #8 seed has reached the National Finals (Championship Game) three times, though one was vacated by the NCAA:
- UCLA in 1980, though the Bruins' appearance was vacated due to recruiting violations involving two players on that team.
- Villanova in 1985
- Butler in 2011
- A #8 seed has won the National Championship once:
- Villanova Wildcats in the 1985 tournament.
Best performances by #16 seeds
No team as a #16 seed has ever defeated a #1 seed since the field was expanded to 64 teams, though on four occasions, a #16 seed has come within a single basket of winning:
- Princeton lost to Georgetown in 1989 (1 point, 50–49)
- East Tennessee State lost to Oklahoma in 1989 (1 point, 72–71)
- Western Carolina lost to Purdue in 1996 (2 points, 73–71)
- Additionally, while ultimately Murray State lost to Michigan State by 4 points in 1990, they were the only #16 team to ever take a game into overtime.
Additional low-seed trivia
- The University of Pennsylvania's 1979 Final Four appearance is also notable as they made it as a #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.
- The pairing of #8 seed Butler and #11 seed Virginia Commonwealth in the 2011 National Semifinals game had the lowest seeded combination (#8 v. #11) ever to play in a National Semifinals game.
- Richmond is the only team to win first round games ranked as a #15, #14, #13, and #12 seed.
- Butler is the only team to make consecutive Final Fours while not being a #1 or #2 seed either time (#5 in 2010, #8 in 2011).
Notable point spread upsets
As noted above, despite numerous instances of early-round tournament upsets, no #1 seed has ever lost in the first round to a #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".
- Biggest point-spread upsets since expansion to 64 teams in 1985:
- Santa Clara +19.5 over Arizona 64–61 in 1993
- Coppin State +18.5 over South Carolina 78–65 in 1997
- 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
While people are often fascinated by the improbable Cinderella stories, sometimes unusual things have happened with the top-seeded teams, as well.
#1 seeds and the Final Four
- All four #1 seeds making it to the Final Four
Has happened only once, in 2008, when Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, and Memphis all won their regionals. (Memphis's season was later vacated by the NCAA due to use of an ineligible player).
- Two #1 seeds making it to the championship game
Has happened six times:
- 1982 North Carolina defeated Georgetown
- 1993 North Carolina defeated Michigan
- 1999 Connecticut defeated Duke
- 2005 North Carolina defeated Illinois
- 2007 Florida defeated Ohio State
- 2008 Kansas defeated Memphis
- Tournaments with NO #1 seeds in the Final Four
Has happened three times:
- 1980 – Louisville – #2 (champion), Iowa – #5, Purdue – #6, UCLA – #8
- 2006 – UCLA – #2, Florida – #3 (champion), LSU – #4, George Mason – #11
- 2011 – Connecticut – #3 (champion), Kentucky – #4, Butler – #8, Virginia Commonwealth – #11
- Additional #1 seed trivia
- In 1997, Arizona achieved a record that can never be broken, when it became the only team to beat three #1 seeds in a single tournament. (Due to tournament structure, it is impossible to play a team from each one of the regions in a single tournament, thus the most #1 seeds any team can play in a single tournament is three.)
- In 2011, the highest seed to advance to the Final Four was #3 seed Connecticut, making the 2011 tournament the only time that neither a #1 seed nor a #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 #1 or #2 in either season.
- There have been sixteen teams that have entered the tournament undefeated. Four of those teams were from UCLA, and those four UCLA teams won each of those tournaments. However, of the other twelve teams entering the tournament undefeated, only three went on to win the tournament. For details, see table below
Teams #1 in national polls
The following teams entered the tournament ranked #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)
- 1975: UCLA (AP)
- 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)
Undefeated teams not in the Big Dance
The NCAA tournament has undergone dramatic expansion since the 1970s, and since the tournament was expanded to 48 teams in 1980, no undefeated teams have failed to qualify. But before that, there were six occasions on which a team achieved perfection in the regular season, yet did not appear in the NCAA tournament.
- In 1939, Long Island University finished the regular season undefeated but decided to accept instead an invitation to the NIT (which they won) instead of the NCAA tournament.
- In 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.
- In 1944, Army finished the regular season undefeated. But owing to World War II, the Cadets did not accept an invitation to postseason play.
- In 1954, Kentucky finished 25–0 and were invited to the tournament, but declined the invitation.
- In 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.
- In 1979, the Alcorn State University 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 excluded the next year
There have been six 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 in overtime to Clemson, 68–67.
- Both 1979 champion Michigan State and 1979 runner up Indiana State failed to qualify for the 1980 NCAA tournament. Furthermore, neither was invited to the National Invitation Tournament. (It is noteworthy that Indiana State lost Larry Bird to graduation, and Magic Johnson left Michigan State after his sophomore season to enter the 1979 NBA draft following the 1979 NCAA tournament.)
- 1986 champion Louisville went 18–14 in 1987. The team declined an invitation to the postseason National Invitation Tournament.
- 1988 champion Kansas was ineligible for participation in the 1989 NCAA tournament due to NCAA sanctions for recruiting violations. However, their overall record (19-12), combined with their sixth place finish in the Big Eight, would likely have kept them out of the tournament anyway.
- Both 2007 champion Florida and 2007 runner up Ohio State failed to qualify for the 2008 NCAA tournament. Both accepted invitations to that year's postseason National Invitation Tournament. Each made it to that tournament's final four. Florida fell to the University of Massachusetts in the semifinals, but Ohio State defeated UMass in the NIT Championship Game to win the tournament.
- 2009 champion North Carolina went 16–16 in 2010. The Tar Heels accepted an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament, in which they reached the finals and were defeated by Dayton.
Trivia about coaches
Most National Championships
- 10 National Championships
- John Wooden(1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975)
- 4 National Championships
- Mike Krzyzewski (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010)
- Adolph Rupp (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958)
- 3 National Championships
- Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004, 2011)
- Bob Knight (1976, 1981, 1987)
- Several coaches have won two championships
National Championships among Active Coaches
- 4 Mike Krzyzewski (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010)
- 3 Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004, 2011)
- 2 Billy Donovan (2006, 2007)
- 2 Roy Williams (2005, 2009)
- 1 Jim Boeheim (2003)
- 1 Steve Fisher (1989)
- 1 Tom Izzo (2000)
- 1 Rick Pitino (1996)
- 1 Bill Self (2008)
- 1 Tubby Smith (1998)
Schools Winning a National Championship under Multiple Coaches
- Four coaches
- Three coaches
- Kansas: Phog Allen, Larry Brown, and Bill Self
- North Carolina: Frank McGuire, Dean Smith, and Roy Williams
- Two coaches
- 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
Most different teams taken to the Final Four
- Rick Pitino has been to the Final Four with three different schools: Providence (1987); Kentucky (1993, 1996, and 1997), and Louisville (2005).
In 2011, John Calipari also accomplished that feat, taking Kentucky (2011) to the Final Four after also reaching the tournament's last weekend previously with Memphis (2008) and UMass (1996). The latter two tournament appearances were later vacated due to NCAA sanctions on those programs.
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)
- Overtime games in a championship game
Seven 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/OT (1944)
- Cincinnati 65, Ohio St. 60/OT (1961)
- Loyola 60, Cincinnati 58/OT (1963)
- Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79/OT (1989)
- Arizona 84, Kentucky 79/OT (1997)
- Kansas 75, Memphis 68/OT (2008)
Accumulated victory margins
- Largest point differential accumulated over the entire tournament
- 1996 Kentucky (+129)
- 2009 North Carolina (+121)
- 1990 UNLV (+112)
- 2001 Duke (+101)
- 2006 Florida (+96)
- Teams winning the championship and obtaining a margin of 10 points in every game of the tournament
Achieved seven times by six different schools
- Indiana (1981)
- UCLA (1967)
- Michigan State (1979 and 2000)
- Duke (2001)
- North Carolina (2009)
First round seed pairing results
Since the inception of the 64-team tournament in 1985, each seed-pairing has played a total of 108 first-round games, with the following results:
- The #1 seed is 108–0 against the #16 seed (100%).
- The #2 seed is 104–4 against the #15 seed (96.30%).
- The #3 seed is 92–16 against the #14 seed (85.19%).
- The #4 seed is 85–23 against the #13 seed (78.70%).
- The #5 seed is 72–36 against the #12 seed (66.67%).
- The #6 seed is 72–36 against the #11 seed (66.67%).
- The #7 seed is 65–43 against the #10 seed (60.19%).
- The #8 seed is 51–57 against the #9 seed (47.22%).
This table lists all the cities that have hosted the Final Four, as well as what stadiums the Final Four was played in. 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.
Year City Venue Champion 1939 Evanston, Illinois Patten Gymnasium Oregon 1940 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium Indiana 1941 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium Wisconsin 1942 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium Stanford 1943 New York City Madison Square Garden Wyoming 1944 New York City Madison Square Garden Utah 1945 New York City Madison Square Garden Oklahoma A&M 1946 New York City Madison Square Garden Oklahoma A&M 1947 New York City Madison Square Garden Holy Cross 1948 New York City Madison Square Garden Kentucky 1949 Seattle, Washington Hec Edmundson Pavilion Kentucky 1950 New York City Madison Square Garden CCNY 1951 Minneapolis, Minnesota Williams Arena Kentucky 1952 Seattle, Washington Hec Edmundson Pavilion Kansas 1953 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium Indiana 1954 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium LaSalle 1955 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium San Francisco 1956 Evanston, Illinois McGaw Hall San Francisco 1957 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium North Carolina 1958 Louisville, Kentucky Freedom Hall Kentucky 1959 Louisville, Kentucky Freedom Hall California 1960 San Francisco Cow Palace Ohio State 1961 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium Cincinnati 1962 Louisville, Kentucky Freedom Hall Cincinnati 1963 Louisville, Kentucky Freedom Hall Loyola Chicago 1964 Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Auditorium UCLA 1965 Portland, Oregon Memorial Collesium UCLA 1966 College Park, Maryland Cole Field House UTEP 1967 Louisville, Kentucky Freedom Hall UCLA 1968 Los Angeles Sports Arena UCLA 1969 Louisville, Kentucky Freedom Hall UCLA 1970 College Park, Maryland Cole Field House UCLA 1971 Houston, Texas Astrodome UCLA 1972 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena UCLA 1973 St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Arena UCLA 1974 Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro Coliseum NC State 1975 San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena UCLA 1976 Philadelphia The Spectrum Indiana 1977 Atlanta, Georgia The Omni Marquette 1978 St. Louis, Missouri The Checkerdome Kentucky 1979 Salt Lake City Special Events Center Michigan State 1980 Indianapolis, Indiana Market Square Arena Louisville 1981 Philadelphia The Spectrum Indiana 1982 New Orleans Louisiana Superdome North Carolina 1983 Albuquerque, New Mexico The Pit NC State 1984 Seattle, Washington Kingdome Georgetown 1985 Lexington, Kentucky Rupp Arena Villanova 1986 Dallas, Texas Reunion Arena Louisville 1987 New Orleans Louisiana Superdome Indiana 1988 Kansas City, Missouri Kemper Arena Kansas 1989 Seattle, Washington Kingdome Michigan 1990 Denver, Colorado McNichols Sports Arena UNLV 1991 Indianapolis, Indiana Hoosier Dome Duke 1992 Minneapolis, Minnesota HHH Metrodome Duke 1993 New Orleans Louisiana Superdome North Carolina 1994 Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte Coliseum Arkansas 1995 Seattle, Washington Kingdome UCLA 1996 East Rutherford, New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena Kentucky 1997 Indianapolis, Indiana RCA Dome Arizona 1998 San Antonio, Texas Alamodome Kentucky 1999 St. Petersburg, Florida Tropicana Field Connecticut 2000 Indianapolis, Indiana RCA Dome Michigan State 2001 Minneapolis, Minnesota HHH Metrodome Duke 2002 Atlanta, Georgia Georgia Dome Maryland 2003 New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome Syracuse 2004 San Antonio, Texas Alamodome Connecticut 2005 St. Louis, Missouri Edward Jones Dome North Carolina 2006 Indianapolis, Indiana RCA Dome Florida 2007 Atlanta, Georgia Georgia Dome Florida 2008 San Antonio, Texas Alamodome Kansas 2009 Detroit, Michigan Ford Field North Carolina 2010 Indianapolis, Indiana Lucas Oil Stadium Duke 2011 Houston, Texas Reliant Stadium Connecticut 2012 New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome 2013 Atlanta, Georgia Georgia Dome 2014 Arlington, Texas Cowboys Stadium 2015 Indianapolis, Indiana Lucas Oil Stadium 2016 Houston, Texas Reliant Stadium
Championships, by schoolsMain article: List of NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Champions
For non-NCAA championships claimed by schools, see National Invitation Tournament, Helms Athletic Foundation, and Mythical national championship.
- The following is a list of all schools that have won at least one NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, along with what years they have won their championship(s).
School Titles Years Arizona 1 1997 Arkansas 1 1994 California 1 1959 Cincinnati 2 1961, 1962 CCNY 1 1950 Connecticut 3 1999, 2004, 2011 Duke 4 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 Florida 2 2006, 2007 Georgetown 1 1984 Holy Cross 1 1947 Indiana 5 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987 Kansas 3 1952, 1988, 2008 Kentucky 7 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998 La Salle 1 1954 Louisville 2 1980, 1986 Loyola (Chicago) 1 1963 Marquette 1 1977 Maryland 1 2002 Michigan 1 1989 Michigan State 2 1979, 2000 North Carolina 5 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009 North Carolina State 2 1974, 1983 Ohio State 1 1960 Oklahoma State (Oklahoma A&M*) 2 1945, 1946 Oregon 1 1939 San Francisco 2 1955, 1956 Stanford 1 1942 Syracuse 1 2003 UCLA 11 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995 UNLV 1 1990 UTEP (Then known as: Texas Western College) 1 1966 Utah 1 1944 Villanova 1 1985 Wisconsin 1 1941 Wyoming 1 1943
- - Prior to 1957 Oklahoma State was known as Oklahoma A&M
- The team's record here refers to their record before the first game of the NCAA tournament.
Year Team Record* Result 1951 Columbia 21–0 Lost in the first round to Illinois 1956 San Francisco 24–0 Won the tournament 1957 North Carolina 27–0 Won the tournament 1961 Ohio State 24–0 Lost in the championship game to Cincinnati 1964 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament 1967 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament 1968 Houston 28–0 Lost in the national semifinal game to UCLA 1968 St. Bonaventure 22–0 Lost Sweet Sixteen game to North Carolina 1971 Marquette 26–0 Lost Sweet Sixteen game to Ohio State 1972 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament 1973 UCLA 26–0 Won the tournament 1975 Indiana 29–0 Lost Elite Eight game to Kentucky 1976 Indiana 27–0 Won the tournament 1976 Rutgers 27–0 Lost in the national semifinal game to Michigan 1979 Indiana State 28–0 Lost in the championship game to Michigan State 1991 UNLV 30–0 Lost in the national semifinal game to Duke
- List of NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Champions
- NCAA Men's Division I Final Four appearances by school
- NCAA Men's Division I Final Four appearances by coaches
- List of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament Final Four participants
- NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship records
- NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament all-time team records
- NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship
- NCAA Men's Division III Basketball Championship
- NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship
- AIAW Women's Division I Basketball Championship
- Selection Sunday
- Pre-NCAA Basketball Champions
- National Invitation Tournament
- 1922 National Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament
- NAIA national men's basketball championship
- ^ Key Dates in NABC History
- ^ Shear, Michael D. (March 19, 2011). "Obama's N.C.A.A. Bracket Is One of the Best". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/19/obamas-n-c-a-a-bracket-is-one-of-the-best/.
- ^ Championship Information – NCAA.com
- ^ "NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHING THE BRACKET". NCAA. http://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/files/BracketPrin-Proc10-5-10.pdf. Retrieved 2011-03-28. "The committee will then place the four "number 1 seed" teams seeded 1 through 4 in each of the four regions, then determine the Final Four semifinals pairings, making best effort to pair the top No. 1 seed's region against the fourth No. 1 seed's region and the second No. 1 seed's region against the third No. 1 seed's region."
- ^ "NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHING THE BRACKET". NCAA. http://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/files/BracketPrin-Proc10-5-10.pdf. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- ^ "Tournament History". NCAA. http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/042908aae.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- ^ http://nbra.net/Default.aspx?tabid=252
- ^ http://www.bakerbotts.com/infocenter/publications/detail.aspx?id=716d75c6-09b6-4888-ba6b-977cd09e0710
- ^ Weiberg, Steve (May 10, 2011). "NCAA paid $17M to protect 'March Madness' term". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/2011-05-10-march-madness_N.htm. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
- ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=g42TyP-V5C8C&pg=PR41&lpg=PR41&dq=Pat+Forde+College+Basketball+Encyclopedia+Cinderella&source=bl&ots=cYNEeKNejy&sig=d42TdANaMvqbHSmDyPJj3dbr_qU&hl=en&ei=wfKXTd2mDoi3tgfstb3qCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false
- ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/03/16/president-obamas-2011-ncaa-brackets
- ^ Ask Dr. Math, The Math Forum @ Drexel; March 14, 2001; accessed March 7, 2010
- ^ a b c http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=5374116
- ^ http://www.kctv5.com/sports/26998911/detail.html
- ^ Gluskin, Michael (March 23, 2005). "The tournament trim". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/tourney05/2005-03-23-trimming-nets_x.htm.
- ^ "Why do NCAA teams cut down the nets?". CNN. April 5, 2011. http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/04/04/ncaa.cut.down.nets/index.html?hpt=Sbin.
- ^ NCAA Men’s Basketball Trophy Visits UT Medical Center, University of Tennessee press release, January 15, 2007
- ^ NABC Basic Info
- ^ "CBS, Turner win TV rights to tourney". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=5125307. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- ^ "NCAA, TV talk about bigger men’s tourney". http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/64263.
- ^ "NCAA 2006–07 Revenue Distribution Plan". NCAA. 2007. http://www1.ncaa.org/finance/revenue_distribution_plan.
- ^ "Distribution of Basketball-Related Funds According to Number of Units by Conference, 2001–2006". NCAA. 2007. http://www1.ncaa.org/finance/bkb_dist.html.
- ^ "Yahoo unveils Platinum paid service". CNET News.com. http://news.com.com/Yahoo+unveils+Platinum+paid+service/2100-1032_3-992691.html. Retrieved 2007-03-17.
- ^ http://www.paidcontent.org/pc/arch/2004_03_16.shtml#005874
- ^ CSTV.com: #1 in College Sports – Men's Basketball
- ^ Why we didn’t get Stanford in HDTV (but the rest of the country did) – Morning Buzz
- ^ WRAL Digital Airs Entire NCAA Basketball Tournament
- ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/648001-the-slipper-fits-why-cindarella-stories-make-the-ncaa-tournament-so-great
- ^ "NCAA Final Four Tournament Seeds". http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/ncaa-tournament/history/finalfourseeds. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- ^ "Gold Sheet College Basketball Log". http://www.goldsheet.com/gs_new/histcbb.php.
- ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/stats/m_final4/2010/2010Final4.pdf Final Four Record Book
- ^ MacMullan, Jackie (March 7, 2004). "Undefeated and unnoticed". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/articles/2004/03/07/undefeated_and_unnoticed/.
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Champions1939: Oregon | 1940: Indiana | 1941: Wisconsin | 1942: Stanford | 1943: Wyoming | 1944: Utah | 1945: Oklahoma A&M | 1946: Oklahoma A&M | 1947: Holy Cross | 1948: Kentucky | 1949: Kentucky | 1950: CCNY | 1951: Kentucky | 1952: Kansas | 1953: Indiana | 1954: La Salle | 1955: San Francisco | 1956: San Francisco | 1957: North Carolina | 1958: Kentucky | 1959: California | 1960: Ohio State | 1961: Cincinnati | 1962: Cincinnati | 1963: Loyola (IL) | 1964: UCLA | 1965: UCLA | 1966: Texas Western | 1967: UCLA | 1968: UCLA | 1969: UCLA | 1970: UCLA | 1971: UCLA | 1972: UCLA | 1973: UCLA | 1974: NC State | 1975: UCLA | 1976: Indiana | 1977: Marquette | 1978: Kentucky | 1979: Michigan State | 1980: Louisville | 1981: Indiana | 1982: North Carolina | 1983: NC State | 1984: Georgetown | 1985: Villanova | 1986: Louisville | 1987: Indiana | 1988: Kansas | 1989: Michigan | 1990: UNLV | 1991: Duke | 1992: Duke | 1993: North Carolina | 1994: Arkansas | 1995: UCLA | 1996: Kentucky | 1997: Arizona | 1998: Kentucky | 1999: Connecticut | 2000: Michigan State | 2001: Duke | 2002: Maryland | 2003: Syracuse | 2004: Connecticut | 2005: North Carolina | 2006: Florida | 2007: Florida | 2008: Kansas | 2009: North Carolina | 2010: Duke | 2011: Connecticut National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA
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