Tag Archives: NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship

Today’s Sportstat: April 1, 2019

Does Michigan State become a three-time champ or will it be a first-timer this year?

This year’s Final Four is set with Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Virginia vying for this year’s title.

Michigan State is the only one of the four schools that has won a title; they won in 1979 and 2000. Auburn, Texas Tech and Virginia have never won a championship.

Michigan State is also one of 35 different schools that won a men’s basketball title since 1939. They are one of 15 schools that won the tournament multiple times (20 schools have won only one title).

Of the 35 schools that have won the men’s basketball championship, Oregon has the longest drought… they won one title, that being in 1939. They have now gone 80 years since that first title.

There have been 11 different schools that have won the championship this century. The 11: Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Villanova. UConn, Duke and North Carolina have each won the championship three times this century, Florida has won it twice, the last school to win back-to-back titles.

Here is a look at the last time each of the 35 schools/champs won the title.


1941-Wisconsin, 1942-Stanford, 1943-Wyoming, 1944-Utah, 1946-Oklahoma State, 1947-Holy Cross

1950-CCNY, 1954-LaSalle, 1956-San Francisco, 1959-California

1960-Ohio State, 1962-Cincinnati, 1963-Loyola-Chicago, 1966-UTEP


1983-North Carolina State, 1984-Georgetown, 1987-Indiana, 1989-Michigan

1990-UNLV, 1994-Arkansas, 1995-UCLA, 1997-Arizona

2000-Michigan State, 2002-Maryland, 2003-Syracuse, 2007-Florida, 2008-Kansas, 2012-Kentucky, 2013-Louisville, 2014-Connecticut, 2015-Duke, 2017-North Carolina, 2018-Villanova


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10 boxscore stats that may determine the NCAA men’s basketball champion

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

Basketball article stub icon

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What will be the key factors for Kentucky and Kansas in tonight’s title game? Defense? Three-point shooting? Rebounding? Reserves? To help with the pre-game analysis of the game, here’s a look at several boxscore stats and how these numbers have (or have not) favored the championship game winners. The numbers presented are based on the past 25 NCAA men’s Division I championship games.

1. Bench Scoring: The champion’s reserves have outscored the opposition bench in 15 of the 25 games (they had the same bench point total in one contest). The winners got 10 or more points from their bench in 18 of the 25 contests; the championship game losers bench scored 10 or more points in only 10 of the 25 games.

2. The Game‘s Leading Scorer: The game’s leading scorer has come from the winning team in 17 of the 25 games (in one game, players from opposing teams tied for game-high honors).

3. Halftime Lead: The team leading at halftime has won 19 of the last 23 championship games.

4. Better shooting: In the last 25 title games, the team that had a better field goal percentage won 22 and lost only three. The team with the better field goal percentage for the game has won the last 14 title contests.

5. Three-point shooting: Shooting more threes is not a big deal; the winning team had more three-point attempts in only seven of the 25 games. The winning team made more shots from beyond the arc in 10 games (in one game both team made the same amount).

6. Free throw shooting: Getting to the line and making more free throws than the opposition has been a factor in the last 25 games; the winning team has shot more and made more free throws in 15 of the 25 games.

7. Rebounds: The winning team has outrebounded their opponents in 14 of the 25 games.

8. Assists: The winning team has had more assists in 15 of the 25 games; in two games the teams had the same number of assists.

9. Fewer turnovers: Ironically, having fewer turnovers than the opposition was not a major factor. The team with the fewer turnovers only won 10 of the 25 games.

10. Seeds: Tonight’s title game features #1 seed Kentucky versus #2 seed Kansas. The #1 seed has faced the #2 seed in eight previous title games. The #1 seed has won six and lost two. Since 1979, when all teams were seeded in the tournament, #1 seeds are 12-6 in the championship game. The #2 seeds are 6-9 in championship games since 1979.

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.

Schools with a men’s and women’s Final Four team in the same year

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

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA...

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 80-65 loss by the Kentucky women to UConn in the regional final Tuesday night means that we will not have Final Four teams from the same school in both the men’s and women’s tournament.

This year three different schools had their men’s and women’s teams in both Sweet Sixteens: Baylor, Kansas and Kentucky.

Following are the nine times when both the men’s and women’s basketball teams made it to the Final Four in the same season.

Year, school with both men’s and women’s basketball team making the Final Four

1983: Georgia

1999: Duke (both teams played in the championship game)

2002: Oklahoma

2003: Texas

2004: Connecticut (both teams won the championship)

2005: Michigan State

2006: LSU

2009: Connecticut

2011: Connecticut

Is winning a conference tournament a precursor to the Final Four?

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

Rick Pitino during a game against West Virgini...

Rick Pitino's Louisville team is the only Final Four team this year to win its conference tournament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since 2000, there have been 52 different teams that have made it to the Final Four in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Over that timeframe, just under 54% of those Final Four teams (28 of the 52) played in their conference tournament championship game the week prior to the NCAA tournament. Twenty-three of the 28 won their conference tourney.

Of this year’s Final Four teams, Rick Pitino’s Louisville squad was the only one to win its conference tournament (they won the Big East Conference tournament); Kentucky and Ohio State both lost in their conference title game, while Kansas was defeated in the Big 12 conference semifinals.

In 2011, three of the Final Four teams won their conference tournament (Connecticut, Butler and Kentucky) and the fourth team, VCU, lost in the title game. In 2010, again three Final Four teams won their conference tournament (Duke, Butler and West Virginia) while Final Four participant Michigan State was defeated in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.

Following are how well the Final Four teams since 2000 (the last 13 tournaments) did in their conference tournaments prior to the NCAA tournament.

Final Four teams that won their conference tournament: 23

Final Four teams that lost in the conference tournament title game: 5

Final Four teams that lost in the conference tournament semifinals: 14

Final Four teams that lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals: 9

Final Four teams that did not play in a conference tournament: 1

Did you know? Of the 12 teams that won the NCAA championship this century (2000-2011), eight won their conference tournament. The other four, North Carolina in 2009, North Carolina in 2005, Syracuse in 2003 and Maryland in 2002, all lost in their conference semifinals.

Did you know? The last year when none of the Final Four teams won their conference tournament was 2009.