Teams with most losses to win NCAA basketball championship

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

National Association of Basketball Coaches NCA...

National Association of Basketball Coaches NCAA Championship Trophy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow night’s NCAA men’s Division I basketball title game is all set with Kentucky (37-2) facing off against Kansas (32-6).

Should Kansas win, they would become the 16th team in tournament history to win the title with six or more losses in the season. Kentucky, on the other hand, with a win would become the first team with two or fewer losses to win the championship since UConn in 1999 (UConn was 34-2 that season).

Here’s a look at the schools that have won the men’s title with five or more losses.

Losses in title season, school, title year

11: Kansas (1988)

10: North Carolina State (1983), Villanova (1985)

9: Indiana (1981), Arizona (1997), Connecticut (2011)

7: Marquette (1977), Louisville (1986), Michigan (1989), Duke (1991), Michigan State (2000)

6: Kentucky (1958), Michigan State (1979), Connecticut (2004), Florida (2006)

5: Oregon (1939), CCNY (1950), UNLV (1990), Syracuse (2003), Florida (2007), Duke (2010)

Did you know? From 1939-76 (38 years), only three teams with five or more losses won the NCAA men’s basketball championship. From 1977 until last year (35 years), 17 different schools with five or more losses won the title. The average number of losses of the 73 previous men’s champions was 3.7.


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