Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
It's the 75th NCAA Tournament this season. Here are 75 facts tracing March Madness history
The 75th NCAA Tournament will be played in 2013. Athlon Sports celebrates the 75th edition of March Madness with 75 facts about the Tourney over the years:
The first NCAA Tournament in 19391 was overshadowed by the NIT at the time. The first Tournament included eight teams with Oregon defeating Ohio State 46-33 in the final in Evanston, Ill.2 Dr. James Naismith, who wrote basketball’s original 13 rules, was in attendance.3
A moneymaker now for the NCAA, the first Tourney operated at a $2,531 loss.4
City College of New York, which would see its program fall apart after revelations of point shaving and altered academic records for recruits, became the only team to win the NCAA Tournament and NIT in the same season in 1950.5 Teams were limited to one postseason tournament by 1953.6
The NCAA’s first national television broadcast contract was signed in 1963 to air the championship game for $140,000 on the creatively named Sports Network.7 The latest television contract to broadcast every game was signed with CBS and Turner Broadcasting for $10.8 billion for 14 years.8
The highest-rated NCAA Tournament game was the championship game showdown between Michigan State’s Magic Johnson and Indiana State’s Larry Bird in 1979, gaining a 24.1 rating.9
The most-watched game in terms of actual television sets was Duke’s second consecutive NCAA title in 1992 when the Blue Devils defeated Michigan and the Fab Five. The game reached more than 20.9 million homes.10
The term “final four” was coined in 1975 by the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Ed Chay.11 The NCAA capitalized the Final Four three years later.12
The NCAA registered a trademark for the term March Madness in 2001.13 The NCAA also registered a trademark for Big Dance in 2000.14
UCLA owns the most NCAA championships with 11,15 followed by Kentucky (eight16), Indiana and North Carolina (five each17). The Tar Heels have the most Final Four appearances with 18.18
BYU has made the most NCAA Tournament appearances without a Final Four (2719).
Schools who won titles under another name: Oklahoma State (as Oklahoma A&M in 1945-46 20) and UTEP (as Texas Western in 1966 21).
Great nicknames for championship teams: The Fabulous Five (1948 Kentucky22), The Fiddlin’ Five (1958 Kentucky 23), Danny and the Miracles (1988 Kansas24).
Great nicknames for national runners-up: Rupp’s Runts (1966 Kentucky25), Phi Slama Jama (1983-84 Houston26) and The Fab Five (1992-93 Michigan27).
Notable expansions in NCAA Tournament history: The Tournament started with eight teams in 193928 and expanded to 1629 in 1951. In 1975, the Tournament permitted conferences to send more than one team to the field when the event expanded to 32 teams.30 Further expansions included 48 teams in 198031, 52 teams in 198332, 64 teams in 198533 and 68 teams in 2011.34
The lowest-seeded team to win a title was Rollie Massimino’s Villanova Wildcats in 1985 in the first season after the field was expanded to 64.35 Every title winner since 1998 has been seeded third or higher.36
A No. 16 seed has never defeated a No. 1 seed.37
A No. 15 seed had not defeated a No. 2 seed from 2002-11 before two No. 15 seeds won on the same day in 2012 (Norfolk State over Missouri,38 Lehigh over Duke39). Four other No. 15 seeds have upset No. 2 seeds: Richmond over Syracuse in 199140, Santa Clara over Arizona in 199341, Coppin State over South Carolina in 199742 and Hampton over Iowa State in 2001.43
UCLA’s John Wooden holds the records for the most national championships (10)44, Final Four appearances (12)45, consecutive Final Four appearances (nine).46
The only major Final Four-related coaching record Wooden doesn’t hold is winning percentage, held by Indiana’s Branch McCracken with a 4-0 record in 1940 and ‘53.47 Wooden is second with a winning percentage of 87.5 (21-3).48
McCracken is also the youngest coach to win a title at 31 years old, nine months and 21 days old in 1940.49 Recently retired Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun became the oldest coach to win a title in 2011 at 68 years, 10 months and 22 days.50
Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim will make his 30th NCAA Tournament appearance this season, extending his own record.51
Only two coaches have taken three teams to the Final Four. They both won national titles at Kentucky, and they’re now in-state rivals: Rick Pitino52 (Providence, Kentucky, Louisville) and John Calipari53 (UMass, Memphis, Kentucky).
This season, Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger will be the first coach to take five teams to the NCAA Tournament when his current team makes the field. He’s also made appearances with Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV.54
Two coaches have won national titles as both a coach and a player: Bob Knight55 and Dean Smith.56
Two coaches won a national title in their final collegiate games: Wooden (1975)57, Marquette’s Al McGuire (1977).58 Larry Brown was on this list, winning a title with Kansas in 1988, but he returned to the college game this season at SMU.59
Larry Brown is the only coach to win both an NCAA title and an NBA title.60
Duke’s Christian Laettner has scored more points than anyone in the history of the NCAA Tournament with 407 points from 1989-92.61
Five players have won NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors multiple times and non since 1973: UCLA’s Bill Walton in 1972-73,62 UCLA’s Lew Alcindor in 1967-69,63 Ohio State’s Jerry Lucas in 1960-61,64 including once when his team was a national runner-up, Kentucky’s Alex Groza in 1948-49,65 and Oklahoma A&M’s Bob Kurland 1945-46.66
NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Players have included four freshmen (Kentucky’s Anthony Davis in 2012,67 Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony in 2003,68 Louisville’s Pervis Ellison in 198669 and Utah’s Arnie Ferrin in 194470) and one junior college transfer (Indiana’s Keith Smart in 198771)
The University of Dayton Arena, home to the opening round since 2001 and the First Four, has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other arena at 91.72
Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium still holds the record for most national championship games with nine from 1940-64.73 Kansas City, where the NCAA was formerly headquartered, has hosted the most Final Fours with 10 from 1940-88.74
North Carolina has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other state (23375).