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Final Four: Test your trivia knowledge

The men's Final Four begins Saturday in Indianapolis. Will Butler have a home-court advantage? Will Michigan State be blown out again? The Monitor's master of trivia knows all.

By Ross AtkinStaff writer / April 3, 2010

West Virginia players huddle on the court during a practice session for the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament Friday, April 2, 2010, in Indianapolis. West Virginia faces Duke Saturday in a semifinal game.

Mark J. Terrill/AP


Countless basketball facts are swirling around Indianapolis this week as the men’s Final Four championship comes to the “crossroads of America.”

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One of particular relevance is that during the 71-year history of the NCAA men's basketball tournament's Final Four, seven teams have previously played in their home cities, with Butler University making it eight this year. (Butler sits five miles north of downtown Indianapolis.)

Of these, only three were able to parlay the home-city advantage into a championship: City College of New York (CCNY) in 1950, and UCLA twice, in 1968 and again in 1972.

Butler might benefit from some home cooking, but there’s no reason to think the Bulldogs will gain any substantial boost from simply playing in Indianapolis.

Certainly, playing in their hometowns didn’t do the trick for New York University in 1945, CCNY in 1947, Louisville in 1959, or Cal-Berkeley in 1960, when the Final Four was held in the Bay Area (San Francisco, to be exact).

Last year, Michigan State made it to the Final Four in Detroit, which is about 90 miles away from its campus in East Lansing. Hoping that a championship might provide some needed uplift for the state, the Spartan faithful turned Ford Field into a sea of green and white. But not even having most of 79,922 spectators in their corner helped against North Carolina, which won easily, 89-72.

It was one of the more lopsided championship game’s in tournament history, but not the most lopsided. What was?

Largest margin of victory in the championship game

30 points, Nevada-Las Vegas over Duke in 1990

First location for the Final Four

Seattle in 1952. Prior to that, the semifinalists played in different places.

TV sportscasters with the most years doing the Final Four play-by-play

  1. Jim Nantz, 25
  2. Curt Gowdy, 8
  3. Brent Musburger, 6
  4. Bill Flemming, 6

Times that teams from the same conference met in the final

  1. Indiana-Michigan, 1976 (Big Ten): Indiana won, 86-68
  2. Villanova-Georgetown, 1985 (Big East): Villanova won, 66-64
  3. Kansas-Oklahoma, 1988 (Big Eight): Kansas won, 83-79