Why has Kentucky lost so many regional finals? Because they’ve played in so many!

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

UK Basketball logo, recreated in SVG format, u...

UK Basketball logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Sunday night, we will know the four teams that will make up this year’s Final Four. In addition, we will have some degree of compassion for those teams that lost those regional final games thus missing out on an opportunity to play in this year’s Final Four.

For any team that loses one game short of reaching their goal of playing in the Final Four, there has to be bitter frustration. Some teams have experienced this more than a handful of times. In fact, Kentucky has lost 19 regional finals, by far the most of any school. The Wildcats will try to avoid #20 when they face off against Baylor in the South Regional final on Sunday.

Here are the teams which have lost the most regional final games in tournament history.

Regional final losses, school, (Final Four appearances)

19: Kentucky (14)

8: Kansas State (4); Villanova (4)

7: North Carolina (18); Kansas (13)

6: Temple (2)

5: Arizona (4); Connecticut (4); Michigan (6); Missouri (0); Oregon State (2); Wake Forest (1); Wyoming (1)

4: Colorado (2); Georgetown (5); Illinois (5); Notre Dame (1); Oklahoma (4); Oregon (1); San Francisco (3); Santa Clara (1); St. John’s (2); Texas (0); UCLA (18)

Note: In looking at regional losses since 1985 (when the NCAA went to a 64-team tournament), Kentucky still tops the list with seven regional final losses. They are followed by North Carolina and Temple with five, and Arizona, Connecticut and Kansas with four.


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