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.

Mark J. Terrill/AP
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.

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

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

Only time teams from the same state have met in the final

1961 and 1962, when Cincinnati defeated Ohio State each year (the Buckeyes are the only team to ever lose back-to-back finals)

Teams that have won the most championships

  1. UCLA, 11
  2. Kentucky, 7
  3. Indiana, 5
  4. North Carolina, 5
  5. Duke, 3
  6. Kansas, 3

Teams that have lost the most finals

  1. Duke, 6
  2. Kansas, 5
  3. North Carolina, 4
  4. Michigan, 4

Times the two winningest programs ever have met in the final


Kentucky and North Carolina have the most wins in NCAA history. But the closest they came to facing off for a championship was in 1998, when both made the Final Four, but North Carolina lost to Utah in the semifinals.

First Final Four played in a domed stadium

1971 at the Houston Astrodome

Last time the Final Four was not played in a dome

1996, at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.

Stadium seating capacity currently required to host the Final Four


Future Final Four sites

Coaches with most NCAA championship teams

  1. John Wooden, UCLA – 10
  2. Adolph Rupp, Kentucky – 4
  3. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke – 3
  4. Bob Knight, Indiana – 3

Perfect-record championship teams

  1. 1956, San Francisco (29-0)
  2. 1957, North Carolina (32-0)
  3. 1964, UCLA (30-0)
  4. 1967, UCLA (30-0)
  5. 1972, UCLA (30-0)
  6. 1973, UCLA (30-0)
  7. 1976, Indiana (32-0)

NCAA champions with the lowest overall winning percentage

  1. Kansas (1988) – .711
  2. Villanova (1985) – .714
  3. North Carolina State (1983) – .722

First time the championship game was televised

1954, when La Salle beat Bradley in Kansas City, Mo.

Also from the Ross Atkin file of NCAA tournament trivia:

Put down that NCAA basketball bracket, we've got trivia

NCAA men's basketball tournament: six records that may never fall

March Madness: your five-minute guide

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