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
- Jim Nantz, 25
- Curt Gowdy, 8
- Brent Musburger, 6
- Bill Flemming, 6
Times that teams from the same conference met in the final
- Indiana-Michigan, 1976 (Big Ten): Indiana won, 86-68
- Villanova-Georgetown, 1985 (Big East): Villanova won, 66-64
- Kansas-Oklahoma, 1988 (Big Eight): Kansas won, 83-79
Only time teams from the same state have met in the final
Teams that have won the most championships
- UCLA, 11
- Kentucky, 7
- Indiana, 5
- North Carolina, 5
- Duke, 3
- Kansas, 3
Teams that have lost the most finals
- Duke, 6
- Kansas, 5
- North Carolina, 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
Stadium seating capacity currently required to host the Final Four
Future Final Four sites
- 2011 – Houston, Reliant Stadium
- 2012 – New Orleans, Superdome
- 2013 – Atlanta, Georgia Dome
- 2014 – Dallas, Cowboys Stadium
Coaches with most NCAA championship teams
- John Wooden, UCLA – 10
- Adolph Rupp, Kentucky – 4
- Mike Krzyzewski, Duke – 3
- Bob Knight, Indiana – 3
Perfect-record championship teams
- 1956, San Francisco (29-0)
- 1957, North Carolina (32-0)
- 1964, UCLA (30-0)
- 1967, UCLA (30-0)
- 1972, UCLA (30-0)
- 1973, UCLA (30-0)
- 1976, Indiana (32-0)
NCAA champions with the lowest overall winning percentage
- Kansas (1988) – .711
- Villanova (1985) – .714
- 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: