Daily Archives: April 2nd, 2014

Can the only #1 seed left in the Final Four finish the season on top?

Florida Gators

Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators entered the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tourney as the number one overall seed. With only three games left in the tournament, Florida remains the only #1 seed and is the odd-on favorite to hoist the trophy on Monday night.

The Gators have a lot history in their favor in the Final Four: This is the fourth year of the last five where only one #1 seed remains in the Final Four. In the previous three instances, the only remaining #1 seed eventually won the tournament. Since the NCAA went to a seeded bracket in 1979, there have been 13 cases where only one of the four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. That #1 seed has won eight of those 13 Final Fours.

Here’s a look at the 14 Final Fours where only one #1 seed made it to the Final Four

2014: Florida (???)
2013: Louisville (won tourney)
2012: Kentucky (won tourney)
2010: Duke (won tourney)
2004: Duke
2003: Texas
2000: Michigan State (won tourney)
1998: North Carolina
1995: UCLA (won tourney)
1994: Arkansas (won tourney)
1992: Duke (won tourney)
1990: UNLV (won tourney)
1989: Illinois
1979: Indiana State

In the 36 years since the NCAA began using the seeded brackets, a #1 seed has won 20 (57.1%) of those tournaments. Here’s a seeded breakdown of the past 35 men’s NCAA basketball champions.

#1 seed: 20 (titles)
#2 seed: 6
#3 seed: 5
#4 seed: 1
#5 seed: 0
#6 seed: 2
#7 seed: 0
#8 seed: 1 (Villanova, 1985)

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