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Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 12 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only championship team player to have a season scoring average of less than six points per game entering a Final Four but tally more than 30 points in the national semifinals and final? Hint: He is the only player with a single-digit season scoring average to score more than 25 points in an NCAA championship game.
2. Who is the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive NCAA playoff games? Hint: He is the only player to rank among the top five in scoring average in both the NCAA Tournament and NBA playoffs. He was denied a championship ring in his only Final Four appearance when a player who would become an NBA teammate tipped in a decisive basket in the closing seconds.
3. Name the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player who wasn't among the top five scorers on his team. Hint: The only other player to earn the award who wasn't among the top four scorers on his team attended the same university.
5. Who is the only U.S. Congressman to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee after playing in the NCAA Tournament championship game? Hint: Starting out as a Democrat, he became a 12-term Republican Congressman from Illinois.
6. Who is the only individual to be named Final Four Most Outstanding Player and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in back-to-back seasons? Hint: He holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most points by a rookie.
7. Name the freshman who had the highest season scoring average for a team to reach the NCAA Tournament championship game until Carmelo Anthony achieved the feat for 2003 champion Syracuse. Hint: The word "Boss" is tattooed to his chest for a good reason because he also led his team in assists as a freshman.
8. Who is the only freshman to score more than 30 points in a national semifinal or championship game before failing to score more than half that total in his next four playoff outings? Hint: He didn't score more than 15 points in any of his next four NCAA playoff games, all defeats, and he averaged a modest 8.2 points per game in an eight-year NBA career with an all-time pro season high of 11.4 ppg and game high of 28.
9. Who is the only freshman on a Final Four team to score more than 20 points in as many as four tournament games? Hint: He did not play in the national championship game and his school lost in the NCAA playoffs to opponents with double-digit seeds each of the four seasons before he arrived.
10. Name the only season-leading scorer of a titlist to be held more than 14 points below his average in the NCAA championship game. Hint: He was named national player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He is one of four Final Four Most Outstanding Players held scoreless in their NCAA Tournament debuts in a previous season. He is also the only individual to become a member of three NCAA titlists after playing one season in junior college.
Steve Alford, an All-American for Indiana in 1986 and 1987, is the only active coach to have been an All-American player before coaching an All-American (New Mexico's Darington Hobson in 2010 and UCLA's Kyle Anderson in 2014). Alford joined Indiana native John Wooden as the only All-American players to coach All-Americans for two different universities (Indiana State and UCLA) with neither of them being his alma mater (Purdue).
Alford and Wooden joined Howie Dallmar (Penn and Stanford), Jim O'Brien (Boston College and Ohio State) plus John Oldham (Tennessee Tech and Western Kentucky) as former All-Americans who coached comparable players for two different schools. Dallmar, O'Brien and Oldham each coached an All-American with his alma mater.
Indiana's Branch McCracken, the only one of nearly 50 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach than as a player, coached 14 All-Americans with his alma mater. He is among the following alphabetical list of 15 major-college All-Americans who went on to coach major-college All-Americans:
|Coach||Alma Mater||A-A Year as Player||All-American(s) Coached|
|Steve Alford||Indiana||1986 and 1987||New Mexico's Darington Hobson (2010) and UCLA's Kyle Anderson (2014)|
|Henry Bibby||UCLA||1972||Southern California's Sam Clancy (2002)|
|Bob Cousy||Holy Cross||1948 through 1950||Boston College's John Austin (1965 and 1966) and Terry Driscoll (1969)|
|Howie Dallmar||Penn||1945||Penn's Ernie Beck (1951 and 1953) and Stanford's Paul Neumann (1959) and Rich Kelley (1975)|
|Larry Finch||Memphis State||1973||Memphis State's Anfernee Hardaway (1993) and Lorenzen Wright (1996)|
|Tom Gola||La Salle||1952 through 1955||La Salle's Larry Cannon (1969)|
|Jack Gray||Texas||1934 and 1935||Texas' John Hargis (1947)|
|Clem Haskins||Western Kentucky||1966 and 1967||Minnesota's Bobby Jackson (1997) and Quincy Lewis (1999)|
|Moose Krause||Notre Dame||1932 through 1934||Notre Dame's Leo Barnhorst (1949), Leo Klier (1944), Kevin O'Shea (1947 through 1950)|
|Branch McCracken||Indiana||1930||Indiana's Ernie Andres (1939), Walt Bellamy (1960), Archie Dees (1957 and 1958), Bill Garrett (1951), Ralph Hamilton (1947), Marv Huffman (1940), Slick Leonard (1953 and 1954), Bill Menke (1940), Jimmy Rayl (1962 and 1963), Don Schlundt (1953 through 1955), Dick Van Arsdale (1965), Tom Van Arsdale (1965), Lou Watson (1950) and Andy Zimmer (1942)|
|Jim O'Brien||Boston College||1971||Boston College's Bill Curley (1994) and Ohio State's Scoonie Penn (1999 and 2000)|
|John Oldham||Western Kentucky||1949||Tennessee Tech's Jimmy Hagan (1959) and Western Kentucky's Clem Haskins (1966 and 1967) and Jim McDaniels (1970 and 1971)|
|Harv Schmidt||Illinois||1957||Illinois' Dave Scholz (1969)|
|John Thompson Jr.||Providence||1964||Georgetown's Patrick Ewing (1982 through 1985), Sleepy Floyd (1981 and 1982), Allen Iverson (1996), Alonzo Mourning (1989 through 1992), Dikembe Mutombo (1991), Charles Smith (1989) and Reggie Williams (1987)|
|John Wooden||Purdue||1932||Indiana State's Duane Klueh (1948) and UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1967 through 1969), Lucius Allen (1968), Henry Bibby (1972), Keith Erickson (1965), Gail Goodrich (1964 and 1965), John Green (1962), Walt Hazzard (1963 and 1964), Dave Meyers (1975), Willie Naulls (1956), Curtis Rowe (1970 and 1971), George Stanich (1950), Walt Torrence (1959), John Vallely (1970), Bill Walton (1972 through 1974), Mike Warren (1967 and 1968), Richard Washington (1975), Sidney Wicks (1970 and 1971) and Keith Wilkes (1973 and 1974)|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 11 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only one of the 60 or so two-time consensus first-team All-Americans since 1946 never to participate in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT? Hint: His school was a total of 10 games over .500 in Big Ten Conference competition in his junior and senior seasons. He never played on a team to win a playoff series in his nine-year NBA career.
2. Who is the only player to score more than 20,000 pro points yet never reach the conference finals in the NBA playoffs after playing at least two seasons of varsity basketball at a major college and never participating in the NCAA Division I playoffs? Hint: The college he attended made its NCAA Tournament debut the first year after he left school early to become the third pick overall in the NBA draft.
3. Who is the only coach since the tourney field expanded to at least 48 teams to take two different universities to the playoffs when the schools appeared in the tournament for the first time? Hint: His last name begins with a "F" and he no longer is a Division I head coach.
4. Name the only school with a losing record to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs by winning a regular-season conference title. Hint: The league started a postseason tournament two years later and the school in question has lost all six times it reached the conference tourney championship game.
5. Name the only major university to have two graduates score more than 17,000 points in the NBA after playing at least three varsity seasons in college and failing to appear in the NCAA Tournament. Hint: The school has had three other players score more than 10,000 points in the NBA after never appearing in the NCAA playoffs.
6. Name the only former titlist to have an all-time playoff record 10 games below the .500 mark. Hint: Longtime network broadcaster Curt Gowdy played in the tournament for the school.
7. Name the only state with three schools to compile tournament records at least nine games below .500. Hint: The three institutions from the same state are members of different conferences.
8. Who was the only player shorter than Bobby Hurley, Duke's 6-0 guard, to play for a championship team and be selected as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player? Hint: There was another Final Four MOP who was also shorter than 6-0, but he played for a national third-place finisher in the mid-1950s.
9. Who is the only individual to play in an NCAA Tournament championship game and later coach his alma mater to a final? Hint: He served as an assistant to the coach with the most NCAA playoff victories and a college teammate is one of the winningest coaches of all time.
10. Name the only one of the schools with multiple national titles to have two teams participate in the NCAA playoffs as defending champions but lose their opening-round game. Hint: Both of the opening-round setbacks for the school when it was defending champion occurred in the East Regional.
NCAA Tournament matchups between members from the same league are relatively rare. When ACC rivals Louisville and North Carolina State met in the East Regional final, it was the 23rd such confrontation but only the third in the last 13 years. It's the first time for an intra-conference confrontation as early as the regional semifinals in the NCAA playoffs since 1986.
The Big Ten Conference accounted for seven of the first 18 NCAA Tournament games pitting league members against each other. Florida coach Billy Donovan played in one of the playoff intraconference matchups in 1987 when he scored 20 points for Providence in an 88-73 triumph over Georgetown in the Southeast Regional final.
|Year||Conference||Playoff Round||NCAA Tourney Result Between Members of Same League|
|1976||Big Ten||national championship||Indiana 86 (May scored team-high 26 points), Michigan 68 (Green 18)|
|1980||Big Ten||regional semifinals||Purdue 76 (Edmonson/Morris 20), Indiana 69 (I. Thomas 30)|
|1980||Big Ten||national third-place||Purdue 75 (Carroll 35), Iowa 58 (Arnold 19)|
|1981||ACC||national semifinals||North Carolina 78 (Wood 39), Virginia 65 (Lamp 18)|
|1983||ACC||regional final||North Carolina State 63 (Whittenburg 24), Virginia 62 (Sampson 23)|
|1985||Big East||national semifinals||Georgetown 77 (Williams 20), St. John's 59 (Glass 13)|
|1985||Big East||national championship||Villanova 66 (McClain 17), Georgetown 64 (Wingate 16)|
|1986||SEC||regional semifinals||Kentucky 68 (Walker 22), Alabama 63 (Coner 20)|
|1986||SEC||regional final||Louisiana State 59 (Williams 16), Kentucky 57 (Walker 20)|
|1987||Big East||regional final||Providence 88 (Donovan/D. Wright 20), Georgetown 73 (Williams 25)|
|1987||Big East||national semifinals||Syracuse 77 (Monroe 17), Providence 63 (Screen 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||regional final||Kansas 71 (Manning 20), Kansas State 58 (Scott 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||national championship||Kansas 83 (Manning 31), Oklahoma 79 (Sieger 22)|
|1989||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan 83 (Rice 28), Illinois 81 (Battle 29)|
|1992||Big Ten||regional final||Michigan 75 (Webber 23), Ohio State 71 (Jackson 20)|
|1992||Great Midwest||regional final||Cincinnati 88 (Jones 23), Memphis State 57 (Hardaway 12)|
|2000||Big Ten||regional final||Wisconsin 64 (Bryant 18), Purdue 60 (Cardinal/Cunningham 13)|
|2000||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan State 53 (Peterson 20), Wisconsin 41 (Boone 18)|
|2001||ACC||national semifinals||Duke 95 (Battier 25), Maryland 84 (Dixon 19)|
|2002||Big 12||regional final||Oklahoma 81 (Price 18), Missouri 75 (Paulding 22)|
|2009||Big East||regional final||Villanova 78 (Anderson 17), Pittsburgh 76 (Young 28)|
|2013||Big East||regional final||Syracuse 55 (Southerland 16), Marquette 39 (Blue 14)|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 10 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only All-American to coach three different schools in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: He was the leading scorer for an NCAA champion.
2. Who is the only coach to take three different schools to a regional final in a 10-year span? Hint: He is the only individual to meet two different schools in the playoffs he had previously coached to the Final Four. He had a chance to become the first coach to guide three different universities to the national semifinals, but retired and turned the reins over to his son.
3. Who is the only seven-foot player to lead a Final Four in scoring and win a conference high jump title in the same year? Hint: He is the only player to lead the NBA in rebounds and assists in the same season.
4. Of the total of 10 different teams in the 1980s to defeat a school twice in a season the opponent eventually won the national title, name the only one of the 10 to fail to win its NCAA Tournament opener. Hint: The team had the misfortune of opening the playoffs on the home court of its opponent.
5. Of the Final Four teams in the last several decades to have standouts whose high school coach was reunited with a star player as a college assistant, name the only school to win a national championship. Hint: The high school coach who tagged along with his prep All-American as a college assistant was also the first minority player to play for his alma mater.
6. Who is the only coach to take a team more than two games below .500 one season to the national title the next year? Hint: He is the only championship team coach to finish his college career with a losing record. He is also the only major-college coach to stay at a school at least 25 seasons and finish with a losing career record at that institution.
7. Who is the only coach to reach the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament and NIT at least five times apiece? Hint: Of the coaches to win basketball championships at every major level (the NCAA, NIT and Summer Olympics), he is the only one to capture the "Triple Crown" in a span of less than 10 years.
8. Of the players to score more than 225 points in the playoffs and/or average in excess of 25 points per tournament game (minimum of six games), who is the only individual to score more than 22 points in every postseason contest? Hint: He is the only player from the group to have a single-digit differential between his highest-scoring game and his lowest-scoring game.
9. Who is the only one of the first 20 players to accumulate at least 235 points in NCAA playoff competition to fail to score at least 25 points in a tournament game? Hint: He is the only one of the more recent Most Outstanding Players to score fewer than 28 points in two Final Four games and his highest-scoring playoff performance couldn't avert a defeat in the only one of his four years he didn't participate in the Final Four.
10. Among the all-time leading scorers in NCAA Tournament history, who is the only player in this group to go scoreless in a playoff game? Hint: He scored less than 10 points in six consecutive tournament games before averaging 20 points per game in his last 11 playoff outings.
At least 10 of the 37 schools appearing in excess of 50 NCAA payoff games failed to participate in the tourney each year since the field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985, including 11 former Final Four schools this season.
Nearly half of the "star schools" stayed home in 2004, including Houston being in the midst of a 17-year drought from 1993 through 2009. Following is a chronological list of big-name universities who were tourney outcasts since 1985:
1985 (14) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1986 (12) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Kansas State, Marquette, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Wake Forest
1987 (13) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Utah, Villanova, Wake Forest
1988 (12) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1989 (15) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, Utah, Wake Forest
1990 (12) - Cincinnati, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1991 (14) - Cincinnati, Florida, Illinois, Houston, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, West Virginia
1992 (11) - Florida, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Purdue, UNLV, Utah, Villanova
1993 (15) - Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Texas, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
1994 (13) - Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, St. John's, UNLV, Utah, Villanova, West Virginia
1995 (11) - Duke, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, St. John's, UNLV, West Virginia
1996 (11) - Florida, Houston, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, UNLV, West Virginia
1997 (16) - Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Kansas State, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, UNLV, West Virginia
1998 (14) - Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memhis, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Villanova, Wake Forest
1999 (12) - Georgetown, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, UNLV, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2000 (12) - Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Villanova, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2001 (14) - Connecticut, Houston, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Purdue, St. John's, UNLV, Utah, Villanova, West Virginia
2002 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2003 (14) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, St. John's, Temple, UCLA, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2004 (18) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UCLA, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2005 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV
2006 (14) - Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV, Utah, Wake Forest
2007 (15) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, Temple, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2008 (14) - Cincinnati, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, Utah, Wake Forest
2009 (13) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, St. John's, UNLV
2010 (15) - Arizona, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, St. John's, UCLA, Utah
2011 (10) - Arkansas, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Utah, Wake Forest
2012 (13) - Arizona, Arkansas, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. John's, UCLA, Utah, Villanova, Wake Forest
2013 (11) - Arkansas, Connecticut, Houston, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Purdue, St. John's, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2014 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Notre Dame, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2015 (11) - Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, Temple, UNLV, Wake Forest
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 9 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who was the only athlete to lead his championship team in scoring in two Final Four games and pitch in the major leagues the same year? Hint: He was a guard for three consecutive Final Four teams and was selected to the All-NCAA Tournament team as a senior.
2. Name the only school with more than 1,300 victories in the 20th Century never to reach the Final Four. Hint: The school participated in the NCAA playoffs just once (1992) in the last 40-plus years.
3. Name the only school to defeat a team three times in a season the opponent captured the NCAA title. Hint: The school also defeated the same conference foe three times the next season as defending national champion.
4. Name the only champion to win its two Final Four games by a total of more than 50 points. Hint: The titlist suffered its only loss that season against one of the Final Four victims.
5. Of the 35 Final Four Most Outstanding Players selected from 1946 through 1981 when there was a national third-place game, who was the only honoree to play for a fourth-place team? Hint: He never averaged as many as nine points per game in four NBA seasons.
6. Name the only school to lose in back-to-back years in the first round to different institutions going on to capture national titles those years. Hint: The school won a total of 47 games in the two seasons. The two defeats were in the middle of six consecutive playoff appearances for the school after it appeared in the playoffs just once from 1939 through 1982.
7. Name the only year four teams arrived at the national semifinals with a composite winning percentage of less than 75 percent. Hint: The two schools that met in the national third-place game are traditional football powers. The college losing both of its Final Four games that year is the only national semifinalist to finish a season with as many as 14 defeats.
8. Who is the only player to score more than 60 points in a single playoff game and to score more than 43 points at least twice? Hint: Of the players who scored more than 235 playoff points and/or averaged more than 25 points per tournament game (minimum of three games), he is the only individual from the select group to have a losing playoff record. He is the only one of the top 25 playoff scorers never to reach the Final Four.
9. Who is the only male player to score more than 44 points in a single Final Four game? Hint: He is the only player to twice convert more than 12 free throws without a miss in a playoff game.
10. Who is the only player to score more than 400 points in his playoff career? Hint: The only individual to start in four straight Final Fours hit two last-second shots to help his team win East Regional final overtime games and is the only player with at least 10 championship game free-throw attempts to convert all of them.
The Atlantic Coast Conference provided more than three teams among the Sweet 16 for the first time in 20 years. But are these squads running on fumes when they reach the Final Four after getting beat up on all season in a rigorous league? Syracuse '03 (from the Big East) is the only national champion in the previous 17 years to emerge in a year when one of the power alliances supplied at least four representatives among the Sweet 16.
In 2009, the Big East became the only conference to have five playoff teams reach the regional semifinals in the same year until the ACC duplicated the feat this year. The ACC boasted four members advancing that far on eight occasions in a 12-year stretch from 1984 through 1995. The ACC, upon adding Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse as new members, is unlikely to endure such an extended absence of four or more entrants in the immediate future.
The ACC in 1985 was the only league in this category not to have at least one of the quartet reach the Final Four until the Big East was foiled in 2006. Following is a look at the 25 times when thoroughbred leagues supplied at least four of the Sweet 16 since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to at least 48 teams in 1980:
|Year||Power League||Four or More Members Reaching Sweet 16|
|1980||Big Ten||Indiana, z-Iowa, Ohio State, z-Purdue|
|1984||ACC||Maryland, North Carolina, z-Virginia, Wake Forest|
|1985||ACC||Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State|
|1985||Big East||Boston College, y-Georgetown, z-St. John's, x-Villanova|
|1986||ACC||y-Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State|
|1986||SEC||Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, z-Louisiana State|
|1989||ACC||z-Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia|
|1989||Big Ten||z-Illinois, Indiana, x-Michigan, Minnesota|
|1990||ACC||Clemson, y-Duke, z-Georgia Tech, North Carolina|
|1992||ACC||x-Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina|
|1993||ACC||Florida State, x-North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest|
|1995||ACC||Maryland, z-North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest|
|1996||SEC||Arkansas, Georgia, x-Kentucky, z-Mississippi State|
|1997||Pacific-10||x-Arizona, California, Stanford, UCLA|
|1998||Pacific-10||Arizona, z-Stanford, UCLA, Washington|
|1999||Big Ten||Iowa, z-Michigan State, z-Ohio State, Purdue|
|2001||Pacific-10||y-Arizona, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA|
|2002||Big 12||z-Kansas, Missouri, z-Oklahoma, Texas|
|2003||Big East||Connecticut, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, x-Syracuse|
|2006||Big East||Connecticut, Georgetown, Villanova, West Virginia|
|2009||Big East||z-Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, z-Villanova|
|2012||Big East||Cincinnati, z-Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse|
|2012||Big Ten||Indiana, Michigan State, z-Ohio State, Wisconsin|
|2013||Big Ten||Indiana, y-Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State|
|2015||ACC||Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame|
x-Won NCAA championship
y-Finished national runner-up
z-Reached Final Four
After an average of four mid-level schools reached the Sweet 16 in a six-year span from 2006 through 2011, the previous three seasons could have cemented the premise about mid-major schools deserving additional at-large consideration. But that was before eight mid-level schools - Gonzaga, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Saint Mary's, Southern Mississippi, UNLV and Virginia Commonwealth - were eliminated in games against power six conference members by an average of only four points in 2012, the Mountain West Conference flopped in 2013 and only two mid-majors reached the Sweet 16 in 2014.
Wichita State advancing to the Final Four plus victories by Lehigh, Norfolk State and Florida Gulf Coast the previous four years were invigorating but the mid-major community missed out on a potential bonanza. Wichita State, a Final Four participant in 2013, was eliminated in second round last season by Kentucky but the Shockers returned to the Sweet 16 this year. Following is a look at how at least one mid-major conference member advanced to a regional semifinal or beyond since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985:
Now we know why Kansas seeks to avoid Wichita State year upon year after the Shockers clobbered KU in the Midwest Regional. Ditto Notre Dame and its shunning this century of Butler, which took the Irish into overtime in the same regional. The results showed again why some major schools should be ashamed of themselves for ducking nearby quality opponents. Why in the world did they have to resort to a national tournament assignment hundreds of miles from their fan base to oppose each other?
In a "Days of Whine and Hoses" era when many cash-strapped athletic departments are begging for revenue, they still schedule numerous poorly-attended home games against inferior opponents. It defies logic as to why tradition-rich schools forsake entertaining non-conference contests with natural rivals while scheduling more than their share of meaningless "rout-a-matics" at home. Fans shouldn't have to wait for an entertaining contest such as Morehead State upsetting Louisville, 62-61, in the opening round of the 2011 playoffs.
The normal intensity of an NCAA Tournament tilt escalates even more in "bragging rights" games between neighboring opponents that rarely if ever tangle on the same floor unless forced to compete against each other by a postseason bracket. Essentially, it is a sad state of affairs for fans in Kansas to need to hope KU and Wichita State oppose each other every 20 to 25 years in the NCAA tourney for them to meet on the hardwood.
A classic example of the scheduling neglect was an intense 2001 West Regional matchup between Maryland and Georgetown. Of course, the Washington, D.C., area isn't the only region with a scheduling complex. As emotional as it was, the Hoya Paranoia-Terrapin Trepidation confrontation didn't stack up among the following top dozen intrastate contests in NCAA playoff history including a couple of Kentucky/Louisville duels before they started meeting on a regular basis:
1. 1961 NCAA Championship Game (Cincinnati 70, Ohio State 65 in OT)
Paul Hogue, a 6-9 center who hit just 51.8% of his free-throw attempts during the season, sank only two of 10 foul shots in his two previous contests before putting Cincinnati ahead to stay with a pair of pivotal free throws in overtime in a victory over previously undefeated Ohio State.
2. 1998 East Regional second round (North Carolina 93, UNCC 83 in OT)
UNC Charlotte forward DeMarco Johnson outplayed national player of the year Antawn Jamison of the Tar Heels, but Carolina got a total of 55 points from Shammond Williams and Vince Carter to withstand the 49ers' bid for an upset.
3. 1983 Mideast Regional final (Louisville 80, Kentucky 68 in OT)
The first meeting between in-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville in more than 24 years was memorable as the Cardinals outscored the Wildcats 18-6 in overtime to reach the Final Four. The next year in the same region's semifinals, UK erased a half-time deficit to upend the Cards, 72-67.
4. 1981 Midwest Regional semifinals (Wichita State 66, Kansas 65)
Mike Jones hit two long-range baskets in the last 50 seconds for Wichita State in the first game between the intrastate rivals in 36 years.
5. 1989 Southeast Regional first round (South Alabama 86, Alabama 84)
In an exciting intrastate battle, South Alabama erased a 16-point halftime deficit. Jeff Hodge and Gabe Estaba combined for 55 points for USA.
6. 1971 West Regional final (UCLA 57, Long Beach State 55)
The closest result for UCLA during the Bruins' 38-game playoff winning streak from 1967 to 1973 came when they had to erase an 11-point deficit despite 29 percent field-goal shooting to edge Jerry Tarkanian-coached Long Beach State.
7. 1971 Mideast Regional semifinals (Western Kentucky 107, Kentucky 83)
This year's game wasn't anything like when WKU, long regarded as poor country cousins by Kentucky, whipped the Wildcats in their first-ever meeting when All-American Jim McDaniels poured in 35 points for the Hilltoppers.
8. 1959 Mideast Regional semifinals (Louisville 76, Kentucky 61)
Second-ranked Kentucky (24-3) hit less than one-third of its field-goal attempts in blowing a 15-point lead against intrastate rival Louisville (19-12). The Cardinals had lost to Georgetown (KY) earlier in the season.
10. 1962 NCAA Championship Game (Cincinnati 71, Ohio State 59)
Ohio State All-American center Jerry Lucas wrenched his left knee in the national semifinals against Wake Forest, limiting his effectiveness against Cincinnati counterpart Paul Hogue in the Bearcats' 71-59 triumph in the final.
11. 1963 Mideast Regional final (Loyola of Chicago 79, Illinois 64)
Sparked by All-American Jerry Harkness' 33 points, Loyola's only meeting against the Illini in a 24-year span from 1955-56 through 1978-79 represented the Ramblers' lone win in their irregular series until 1984-85.
T12. 1974 East Regional first round (Furman 75, South Carolina 67)
Furman's Clyde Mayes collected 21 points and 16 rebounds to upend the Gamecocks' star-studded roster featuring Mike Dunleavy Sr., Alex English and Brian Winters.
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 8 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only school to reach the Final Four three consecutive years on two separate occasions in the 20th Century. Hint: In the first three-year stretch, it became the only school to lose three straight national semifinal games. In the second three-year stretch, the school was involved in the only times two teams from the same state met each other in the championship game.
2. What was the only year two undefeated teams reached the Final Four? Hint: One of the squads had a perfect ending after winning in the national semifinals and championship game by an average of 16 points, while the other club that was unbeaten lost in the national semifinals and third-place game by an average of 15 points.
3. Who is the shortest player to lead an NCAA champion in scoring average? Hint: He was part of a three-guard starting lineup, averaging under 5-10 in height, that played the entire championship game for the only current Division I school to capture an NCAA title despite never having an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-America.
4. Who is the only U.S. Olympic basketball coach to win the NCAA and NIT titles with different schools? Hint: He never participated in a national postseason tournament with the third university he coached (Michigan State).
5. Who was the only coach to direct two different schools to the Final Four twice apiece in the 20th Century? Hint: He is the only coach to compile a record of more than four games under .500 in Final Four contests and the only coach to guide three teams to national fourth-place finishes.
6. Who is the only coach of a championship team other than Rick Pitino to subsequently coach another university and compile a winning NCAA playoff record at his last major-college job? Hint: He is the only coach to win a national title at a school where he stayed less than five seasons.
7. Of the coaches to reach the national semifinals at least twice, who is the only one to compile an undefeated Final Four record? Hint: He won both of his championship games against the same school. He is also the only NCAA consensus first-team All-American to later coach his alma mater to an NCAA title.
8. Name the only school to lead UCLA at halftime in the 22 Final Four games for the Bruins' 11 titlists. Hint: The school that led one of the 11 UCLA champions at intermission of a Final Four game was coached by a John Wooden protege.
9. Of the coaches hired by NBA teams after winning an NCAA championship, who is the only one to compile a non-losing NBA playoff record? Hint: He is one of four different men to coach an undefeated NCAA championship team.
10. Name the only school to defeat a team by as many as 27 points in a season the opponent wound up winning the national title. Hint: The school is also the only one to defeat an eventual national titlist twice in the same season by at least 12 points.
For all the bitter disappointment experienced by fans of a highly-ranked team bowing out of the provocative NCAA Tournament such as Villanova, there is an equal amount of euphoria emanating from supporters of the victor (North Carolina State). The range of disparate emotions is one of the reasons there is such a fascination with upsets because nothing is guaranteed as evidenced by a power team knocked off its high horse by a darkhorse.
The ultimate in March Madness materialized in 1993 when Arizona, ranked fifth by AP, was stunned in the first round of the West Regional by Santa Clara (64-61). In terms of point spreads, it was the biggest upset in NCAA playoff history because Santa Clara was a 20-point underdog. The next largest point spread to not hold up occurred in 1986 when 17 1/2-point underdog Arkansas-Little Rock shocked Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional (90-83).
A total of 22 No. 1 seeds, including DePaul three straight years from 1980 through 1982, failed to reach the regional semifinals since seeding was introduced in 1979. Villanova became the fifth #1 seed in the last six years joining the following crestfallen top-seeded teams:
|Year||No. 1 Seed||Regional||Loss in Second Round||Score|
|1979||North Carolina||East||#9 seed Penn||72-71|
|1981||DePaul||Mideast||#9 St. Joseph's||49-48|
|1981||Oregon State||West||#8 Kansas State||50-48|
|1982||DePaul||Midwest||#8 Boston College||82-75|
|1986||St. John's||West||#8 Auburn||81-65|
|1990||Oklahoma||Midwest||#8 North Carolina||79-77|
|1992||Kansas||Midwest||#9 Texas-El Paso||66-60|
|1994||North Carolina||East||#9 Boston College||75-72|
|1998||Kansas||Midwest||#8 Rhode Island||80-75|
|2000||Stanford||South||#8 North Carolina||60-53|
|2002||Cincinnati||West||#8 UCLA||105-101 (2OT)|
|2004||Kentucky||St. Louis/Midwest||#9 UAB||76-75|
|2010||Kansas||Midwest||#9 Northern Iowa||69-67|
|2013||Gonzaga||West||#9 Wichita State||76-70|
|2014||Wichita State||Midwest||#8 Kentucky||78-76|
|2015||Villanova||East||#8 North Carolina State||71-68|
First-time entrants into the NCAA playoffs get no sympathy. The average seeding was #14 for the more than 40 schools making their tournament debuts since the bracket included at least 64 teams. Tourney newcomer UC Irvine came close but the #13 Anteaters bowed in their playoff debut against #4 Louisville, 57-55, in the East Regional.
Newbies assert themselves when they receive a decent draw. A majority of first-timers with seedings of 10th or better in the late 1980s and early 1990s won their first-round games, including all three times when they had better seeds (sixth-seeded Florida in 1987, seventh-seeded New Orleans in 1987 and eighth-seeded Seton Hall in 1988).
Of the schools making their tournament debuts since the field expanded to at least 52 teams, almost one-fourth of them survived the first round. Three opening-round winners in the mid-1980s also won their next game - Georgia '83, Cleveland State '86 and Florida '87. Georgia '83 was the ultimate underdog. The Bulldogs, the only first-time entrant seeded better than fifth (No. 4 seed in the East Regional) since the field expanded to at least 48 teams in 1980, reached the Final Four.
Georgetown and Missouri each lost twice to NCAA playoff virgins in the seeding era. UCI nearly joined the following chronological list of newcomers winning their debuts since seeding was introduced in 1979:
|Year||NCAA Playoff Newcomer||Coach||Debut-Game Victim||Score||Regional|
|1980||#8 Alcorn State||Davey Whitney||South Alabama||70-62||Midwest|
|1980||#6 Clemson||Bill C. Foster||Utah State||76-73||West|
|1981||#10 James Madison||Lou Campanelli||Georgetown||61-55||East|
|1981||#11 Northeastern||Jim Calhoun||Fresno State||55-53||West|
|1981||#7 UAB||Gene Bartow||Western Kentucky||93-68||Mideast|
|1983||#4 Georgia||Hugh Durham||Virginia Commonwealth||56-54||East|
|1984||#10 Louisiana Tech||Andy Russo||Fresno State||66-56||Midwest|
|1984||#12 Richmond||Dick Tarrant||Auburn||72-71||East|
|1986||#14 Cleveland State||Kevin Mackey||Indiana||83-79||East|
|1986||#14 UALR||Mike Newell||Notre Dame||90-83||Midwest|
|1987||#6 Florida||Norm Sloan||North Carolina State||82-70||East|
|1987||#7 New Orleans||Benny Dees||Brigham Young||83-79||Southeast|
|1987||#13 Southwest Missouri State||Charlie Spoonhour||Clemson||65-60||Southeast|
|1988||#8 Seton Hall||P.J. Carlesimo||Texas-El Paso||80-64||West|
|1989||#14 Siena||Mike Deane||Stanford||80-78||East|
|1990||#14 Northern Iowa||Eldon Miller||Missouri||74-71||Southeast|
|1992||#10 Tulane||Perry Clark||St. John's||61-57||Southeast|
|2001||Northwestern State*||Mike McConathy||Winthrop||71-67||Midwest|
|2001||#15 Hampton||Steve Merfeld||Iowa State||58-57||West|
|2003||UNC Asheville*||Eddie Biedenbach||Texas Southern||92-84 (OT)||South|
|2005||Oakland*||Greg Kampe||Alabama A&M||79-69||East|
|2010||Arkansas-Pine Bluff*||George Ivory||Winthrop||61-44||South|
|2012||#15 Norfolk State||Anthony Evans||Missouri||86-84||West|
|2013||#15 Florida Gulf Coast||Andy Enfield||Georgetown||78-68||South|
|2014||Cal Poly*||Joe Callero||Texas Southern||81-69||Midwest|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 7 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only coach to grace the NCAA playoffs in five decades. Hint: He achieved the feat with four different universities.
2. Who is the only player to score a team-high point total in his prominent school's first NCAA Tournament victory the same year he earned All-American honors as a quarterback for a national football champion? Hint: He later became executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after coaching two different universities when they participated in the Rose Bowl.
3. Who is the only individual to be more than 10 games below .500 in his initial campaign as a major-college head coach and subsequently guide a team to a national championship? Hint: He won his last 10 NCAA Tournament games decided by fewer than five points. In his last two playoff appearances with the former titlist, it became the only school to receive at-large bids in back-to-back years with as many as 14 defeats entering the tourney.
4. Name the only school to be denied three NCAA Tournament berths because it was on probation. Hint: The three times the school didn't participate in the national playoffs because of NCAA probation were from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s.
5. Who was the only player to score more than 40 points in his first tournament game? Hint: The university left the Division I level for 28 years and was UCLA's first victim when the Bruins started a 38-game winning streak in the playoffs. He and his twin brother were infielders together with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
6. Name the only school to deploy just five players in an entire championship game. Hint: The school, participating in the playoffs for the first time that year, set a record for largest winning margin with a 69-point victory in its first-round game. The school is the only former NCAA champion never to compete against legendary coaches Bob Knight and Dean Smith.
7. Who is the only individual to go as many as 25 years between coaching teams in the NCAA Tournament? Hint: His first two playoff teams were eliminated in their tourney openers by eventual championship game participants.
8. Name the only school to have more than one two-time first-team All-American never reach the Final Four. Hint: One of the players is the only three-time first-team All-America to fail to appear in the NCAA playoffs. The school is the only top four seed to lose a first-round game by more than 20 points.
9. Who is the only player to have season scoring averages of fewer than 10 points per game in back-to-back years he was named to the All-NCAA Tournament team? Hint: His school reached the national championship game each season and had two different centers named Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Also, he is part of the only set of brothers to play together in two NCAA title games. One of their teammates became a marquee coach.
10. Who is the only individual to play for an NCAA basketball champion and in a major league baseball World Series? Hint: He was primarily a relief pitcher for six different teams in 13 big league seasons from 1975 through 1989.
"No, you never get any fun out of the things you haven't done." - Ogden Nash
Nobody said it was going to be easy. The preceding quote definitely rings true for quality mid-major schools such as Belmont and Boise State because they still never have won an NCAA Tournament game after dropping opening-round contests this year. Following are universities competing in the NCAA playoffs the most but still possessing a defect because they are winless:
Ten power league members always classified as major colleges - with majority of them from the South - finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll at least twice although they didn't make their initial NCAA appearance until after 1970. Virginia, a #2 seed in the East Regional this year, was among the late arrivals to the NCAA party. Among the late-bloomer group, Nebraska is winless in the NCAA playoffs while Florida is a two-time NCAA champion.
Major School (Power League) 1st NCAA Tourney Star Player(s) in Playoff Debut Alabama (SEC) 1975 (0-1) Leon Douglas and T.R. Dunn Auburn (SEC) 1984 (0-1) Charles Barkley and Chuck Person Clemson (ACC) 1980 (3-1) Larry Nance Florida (SEC) 1987 (2-1) Vernon Maxwell and Dwayne Schintzius Georgia (SEC) 1983 (3-1) James Banks, Terry Fair and Vern Fleming Minnesota (Big Ten) 1972 (1-1) Jim Brewer, Clyde Turner and Dave Winfield Nebraska (Big Eight) 1986 (0-1) Brian Carr and Bernard Day Seton Hall (Big East) 1988 (1-1) Mark Bryant and John Morton South Carolina (ACC) 1971 (0-2) Kevin Joyce, Tom Owens, Tom Riker and John Roche Virginia (ACC) 1976 (0-1) Wally Walker
After Richmond shocked Jim Boeheim-coached Syracuse in 1991 and Santa Clara kayoed Lute Olson's Arizona squad in 1993, the next three #15 seed victories over #2 seeds came at the hands of historically-black colleges and universities - Coppin State over South Carolina in 1997, Hampton](schools/hampton) over Iowa State in 2001 and Norfolk State over Missouri in 2012.
However, no HBCU institution has reached the Sweet 16. Perceived in most quarters as picking-on-patsies fodder, the truth about black crime in basketball is that it's a big sin many fans don't know or can't recall the high degree of success historically-black colleges and universities enjoyed at the small-college level. For instance, Norfolk State appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament 10 times in a 12-year span from 1984 until finishing third in the 1995 tourney. But most of these HBCU institutions currently are imprisoned at the NCAA Division I level, where they are little more than indentured servants doing the bidding of their major university masters almost always getting whipped on the road during non-conference competition.
What many observers should know is seven different historically black colleges and universities advancing to the NCAA DI level captured a total of nine NAIA and NCAA College Division Tournament championships in a 21-year span from 1957 through 1977 (Tennessee State from 1957 through 1959, Grambling '61, Prairie View A&M '62, Winston-Salem State '67, Morgan State '74, Coppin State '76 and Texas Southern '77). Coppin State is the lone school in this group to go on and post a triumph in the NCAA Division I playoffs.
Winson-Salem State saw what life looked like on the DI side of the fence and abandoned ship after only one season. All but two of the 25 HBCUs endured at least one season with 20 defeats in a six-year span from 2003-04 through 2008-09. The pair that emerged unscathed during that stretch were Hampton (worst record was 13-17 in 2003-04) and Norfolk State (11-19 in 2006-07).
Conference members from the Mid-Eastern Athletic and Southwestern Athletic have won only 10% of their NCAA Division I Tournament games. Alcorn State registered the first three of the following modest total of 11 HBCU wins in the DI tourney (six in preliminary round competition following Hampton's win against Manhattan in First Four this year) since the SWAC and MEAC moved up to the Division I level in 1979-80 and 1980-81, respectively:
1980 Midwest First Round: #8 Alcorn State 70 (Baker/Smith game-high 18 points), #9 South Alabama 62 (Rains 22)
1983 Midwest Preliminary Round: Alcorn State 81 (Phelps 18), Xavier 75 (Fleming 16)
1984 Midwest Preliminary Round: Alcorn State 79 (Phelps 21), Houston Baptist 60 (Lavodrama 14)
1993 West First Round: #13 Southern (LA) 93 (Scales 27), #4 Georgia Tech 78 (Mackey 27)
1997 East First Round: #15 Coppin State 78 (Singletary 22), #2 South Carolina 65 (McKie 16)
2001 West First Round: #15 Hampton 58 (Williams 16), #2 Iowa State 57 (Rancik/Shirley 10)
2004 Preliminary Round: Florida A&M 72 (Woods 21), Lehigh 57 (Tempest 13)
2010 Preliminary Round: Arkansas-Pine Bluff 61 (Smith 14), Winthrop 44 (Corbin 13)
2012 West First Round: #15 Norfolk State 86 (O'Quinn 26), #2 Missouri (Dixon 22)
2013 Preliminary Round: North Carolina A&T 73 (Underwood 19), Liberty 72 (Marshall 22)
2015 Preliminary Round: Hampton 74 (Chievous/Johnson 15), Manhattan 64 (Richards 17)
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 6 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who was the only player to lead the nation in scoring average in the same season he played for a team reaching the NCAA Tournament championship game? Hint: He was the first player to score more than 30 points in a Final Four game and the only individual to crack the 30-point plateau in the national semifinals and final in the same season. He was also the only Big Eight Conference player to lead the nation in scoring.
2. Of the 60 or so different players to score at least 2,500 points and/or rank among the top 25 in career scoring average, who was the only one to have a winning NCAA playoff record in his career plus post higher scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting playoff averages than he compiled in the regular season? Hint: The player scored at least 17 points in all 10 of his NCAA playoff games.
3. Who was the only football Heisman Trophy winner to play in the basketball Final Four? Hint: He won the Most Outstanding Player Award in a Liberty Bowl after setting a school record for longest run from scrimmage.
4. What was the only Final Four match-up to have both coaches opposing his alma mater? Hint: It's happened twice. The protege was an assistant at his alma mater for 10 years.
5. Who is the only coach to oppose his alma mater more than twice at the Final Four? Hint: He is also the only coach in the 20th Century to twice win conference and NCAA tournaments in the same year.
6. Who is the only unbeaten coach in NCAA playoff history? Hint: He is the only NCAA basketball championship coach to also be baseball coach at the same school when it won a College World Series game.
7. Who was the only coach with more than 30 NCAA Tournament victories to earn those wins at more than one school until Lute Olson (Iowa and Arizona) joined him in 1998? Hint: Three schools for the first coach were slapped with an NCAA probation during his stints there.
8. Who is the only coach in back-to-back years to win at least one NCAA playoff game in his first season with two different schools? He coached Butler the previous campaign. Hint: He was an assistant under three coaches who directed two different schools to the NCAA Tournament (Charlie Coles, Tates Locke and Herb Sendek).
9. Name the only school to gain an at-large invitation despite losing all of its conference road games. Hint: Three years earlier, the school received an at-large bid despite losing four league road games by at least 25 points.
10. Of the individuals to both play and coach in the NCAA Tournament, who leads that group in both scoring and rebounding totals? Hint: He was the leading scorer in the biggest blowout in regional final history.
In the first six years of the NCAA Tournament seeding process from 1979 through 1984 when the playoff field ranged from 40 to 53 teams, a total of 13 No. 1 and 2 seeds lost their openers. The NCAA tourney hasn't been saturated with authentic upsets since the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985, but only four years failed to provide a first-round shocker from the bottom of the bracket (1994, 2000, 2004 and 2007).
Teams seeded 13th or worse defeated teams seeded among the top four in a regional a total of 51 times in the last 31 years after #14 seeds UAB and Georgia State upset #3 Big 12 powers Iowa State and Baylor, respectively. It was really ugly a couple of times for SEC members when Navy overwhelmed LSU by 23 points in 1985 and Siena smothered Vanderbilt by 21 in 2008.
Thirty-eight of the first 51 poignant surprises were decided by fewer than seven points or in overtime. Arizona's stunning defeat against Santa Clara in 1993 materialized despite the Wildcats reeling off 25 unanswered points in a stretch bridging the last five minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half.
A #16 seed never has defeated a #1. But following is a rundown of the first 51 first-round knockouts by the bottom of the bracket (#13, #14 and #15 seeds) since the NCAA field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985:
#15 seed (7 victories)
|Year||#15 Seed Winner||#2 Seed Loser||Score|
|1997||Coppin State||South Carolina||78-65|
|2013||Florida Gulf Coast||Georgetown||78-68|
#14 seed (19 victories)
|Year||#14 Seed Winner||#3 Seed Loser||Score|
|1986||Arkansas-Little Rock||Notre Dame||90-83|
|1987||Austin Peay State||Illinois||68-67|
|1988||Murray State||North Carolina State||78-75|
|1992||East Tennessee State||Arizona||87-80|
|1995||Weber State||Michigan State||79-72|
|1995||Old Dominion||Villanova||89-81 (3OT)|
|1999||Weber State||North Carolina||76-74|
#13 seed (25 victories)
|Year||#13 Seed Winner||#4 Seed Loser||Score|
|1987||Southwest Missouri State||Clemson||65-60|
|1989||Middle Tennessee State||Florida State||97-83|
|1993||Southern (La.)||Georgia Tech||93-78|
|2001||Indiana State||Oklahoma||70-68 (OT)|
|2002||UNC Wilmington||Southern California||93-89 (OT)|
|2008||San Diego||Connecticut||70-69 (OT)|
|2009||Cleveland State||Wake Forest||84-69|
|2013||La Salle||Kansas State||63-61|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 5 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only player to score more than 30,000 points in his pro career after never appearing in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: He is the only former major-college player to become NBA Most Valuable Player after failing to participate in the NCAA Tournament. He was 0-2 in the NIT, where he lost his final college game by 41 points, before leaving college for the pros with one season of eligibility remaining.
2. Who is the only person to play for an NBA championship team before coaching an NCAA titlist? Hint: He was a backup to an NBA all-time great after being the leading scorer and rebounder for a team winning an NIT crown.
3. Who became an NCAA playoff coach after being the only player in history to participate with two different schools in the NCAA championship game? Hint: One of the teams he played for was undefeated. He coached two different schools in the tourney.
4. Who is the only coach to engineer a turnaround featuring an NCAA playoff appearance in his first full season at a new job although the school compiled a record of more than 20 games below .500 the previous year? Hint: It was his only year as coach at the school.
5. Name the only mid-major conference to have two different members reach a regional semifinal as at-large teams in the same year, beating opponents from the Big East, Big 12 and SEC in the process. Hint: Two other members of the same league achieved the feat in the previous seven years. Only two of its current members haven't won playoff games when seeded five or more places worse than a major university currently a member of one of the current consensus top six leagues since seeding started in 1979.
6. Name the only former NCAA Tournament champion not to win at least one playoff game since capturing the title. Hint: It's the first NCAA champion to have black players in its starting lineup and is the only school to win the NCAA playoffs and NIT in the same year. The school is also the only former major college to win a Division I Tournament championship.
7. Name the school with the most playoff games decided by one or two points (four) on its way to a championship. Hint: It was the first school to need six victories to claim the national crown and is the only school to have two different coaches capture a national championship after compiling a losing record in their first seasons as a major-college head coach.
8. Who is the only coach to win his first 12 tournament games decided in overtime or by fewer than six points in regulation? Hint: His first of three NCAA championship game teams had four players become NBA first-round draft choices.
9. Name the only state to have more than six different schools reach the Final Four. Hint: The state went 31 years between its two national championships.
10. Name the only person to coach two different universities in back-to-back years when each school made its initial playoff appearance. Hint: He reached the national championship game with one of the schools.
X marked the first head coaching spot for Sean Miller when he directed Xavier for five seasons from 2004-05 through 2008-09 before leaving with nine years remaining on a contract to join Arizona. Miller, who guided the Musketeers to a regional semifinal each of his last two campaigns with them, will oppose his old stomping grounds in the West Regional after taking the Wildcats that far for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
Earlier, the South Regional opening-round opponent for SMU coach Larry Brown was UCLA, a school he guided to the NCAA Tournament championship contest in 1980 and 5-2 playoff mark overall. The Mustangs needed to reach this year's title tilt for Brown to meet Kansas, a school he directed to the NCAA crown in 1988 and 14-4 playoff record.
Brown, losing to the Bruins despite a 19-0 second-half run, would have needed to capture the national title again with a victory against KU to join Norman Sloan as the only coach ever to post an NCAA playoff victory against a school he previously guided to the national championship. Sloan was Florida's mentor in 1987 when the Gators notched an 82-70 first-round triumph over North Carolina State, the institution he took to the 1974 title.
Gene Bartow is the only individual to oppose two different schools in the playoffs he previously coached to the Final Four (UAB lost against Memphis State in 1985 and UCLA in 1990). North Carolina's Roy Williams lost three times by double-digit margins against Kansas in a six-year span from 2008 through 2013 after taking the Jayhawks to the Final Four on four occasions (1991, 1993, 2002 and 2003).
Brown and Miller are the 15th and 16th different bench bosses on the following chronological list of "muscle-memory" mentors who opposed a school in the NCAA Tournament they previously directed in the playoffs:
|Tourney Coach||School||Playoff Round||Foe Previously Took to NCAA Playoffs||Tournament Career Summary|
|Ben Carnevale||Navy||1959 First Round||W vs. North Carolina, 76-63||Carnevale compiled 2-1 mark in NCAA playoffs with Tar Heels in 1946 before going 4-6 with Midshipmen (1947-53-54-59-60).|
|Frank McGuire||South Carolina||1972 Regional Semifinal||L vs. North Carolina, 92-69||McGuire was 5-1 with Tar Heels in 1957 and 1959 before going 4-5 with Gamecocks (1971 through 1974).|
|Gene Bartow||UAB||1985 Second Round||L vs. Memphis State, 67-66||Bartow was 3-1 with Tigers in 1973 before going 6-9 with Blazers (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-90-94).|
|Johnny Orr||Iowa State||1986 Second Round||W vs. Michigan, 72-69||Orr was 7-4 with Wolverines from 1974 through 1977 before going 3-6 with Cyclones (1985-86-88-89-92-93).|
|Norman Sloan||Florida||1987 First Round||W vs. N.C. State, 82-70||Sloan was 5-2 with Wolfpack (1970-74-78) before going 3-3 with Gators from 1987 through 1989.|
|Lute Olson||Arizona||1988 Regional Semifinal||W vs. Iowa, 99-79||Olson was 7-6 with Hawkeyes from 1979 through 1983 before going 39-22 with Wildcats from 1985 through 2007.|
|Gene Bartow||UAB||1990 First Round||L vs. UCLA, 68-56||Bartow was 5-2 with Bruins in 1976 and 1977 before going 6-9 with Blazers (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-90-94).|
|Nolan Richardson||Arkansas||1994 Regional Semifinal||W vs. Tulsa, 103-84||Richardson was 0-3 with Golden Hurricane (1982-84-85) before going 26-12 with Razorbacks from 1988 through 1996 and 1998 through 2001.|
|Gale Catlett||West Virginia||1998 Second Round||W vs. Cincinnati, 75-74||Catlett was 2-3 with Bearcats from 1975 through 1977 before going 5-8 with Mountaineers (1982-83-84-86-87-89-92-98).|
|Lon Kruger||Illinois||2000 Second Round||L vs. Florida, 93-76||Kruger was 4-2 with Gators in 1994 and 1995 before going 3-3 with Illini (1997-98-00).|
|Lefty Driesell||Georgia State||2001 Second Round||L vs. Maryland, 79-60||Driesell was 10-8 with Terrapins (1973-75-80-81-83-84-85-86) before going 1-1 with Panthers in 2001.|
|Tubby Smith||Kentucky||2002 Second Round||W vs. Tulsa, 87-82||Smith was 4-2 with Golden Hurricane in 1994 and 1995 before going 18-6 with Wildcats from 1998 through 2004.|
|Thad Matta||Ohio State||2007 Second Round||W vs. Xavier, 78-71||Matta was 5-3 with Muskeeters (2002 through 2004) before going 17-8 with Buckeyes from 2006 entering 2015.|
|Ben Howland||UCLA||2007 Regional Semifinal||W vs. Pittsburgh, 64-55||Howland was 4-2 with Panthers (2002 and 2003) before going 15-7 with Bruins (2005-06-07-08-09-11-13).|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||2008 National Semifinal||L vs. Kansas, 84-66||Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 29-8 with Tar Heels from 2004 entering 2015.|
|Bill Self||Kansas||2011 Second Round||W vs. Illinois, 73-59||Self was 6-3 with Illini (2001 through 2003) before going 26-10 with Jayhawks from 2004 entering 2015.|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||2012 Regional Final||L vs. Kansas, 80-67||Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 29-8 with Tar Heels from 2004 entering 2015.|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||2013 Second Round||L vs. Kansas, 70-58||Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 29-8 with Tar Heels from 2004 entering 2015.|
NCAA Tournament coaches will need to draw upon all of their resources to motivate their clubs in postseason play. Following is an alphabetical list assessing the educational backgrounds of mentors in this year's NCAA playoffs:
|NCAA Playoff Coach||School||Bachelor's||Master's|
|Dana Altman||Oregon||Business||Business Administration|
|Rick Barnes||Texas||Health & Physical Education|
|Mike Brey||Notre Dame||Physical Education|
|Rick Byrd||Belmont||Physical Education||Physical Education|
|Bill Coen||Northeastern||unavailable||Business Administration|
|Tom Crean||Indiana||Parks & Recreation|
|Larry Davis||Cincinnati (interim)||Education||Physical Education|
|Mike Davis||Texas Southern||Telecommunications|
|Bryce Drew||Valparaiso||Sports Management|
|Scott Drew||Baylor||Liberal Arts||Liberal Studies|
|Matthew Driscoll||North Florida||Education|
|Cliff Ellis||Coastal Carolina||Physical Education||Education|
|Mark Few||Gonzaga||Physical Education||Athletic Administration|
|Steve Fisher||San Diego State||Math/Physical Education||Physical Education|
|Travis Ford||Oklahoma State||Communication|
|Mark Fox||Georgia||Physical Education||Athletic Administration/Sports Psychology|
|Mark Gottfried||North Carolina State||Communications|
|Jerod Haase||UAB||Business Administration||Business|
|Jim Hayford||Eastern Washington||Social Science||Education|
|Fred Hoiberg||Iowa State||Finance|
|Chris Holtmann||Butler||Psychology||Athletic Administration|
|Bob Huggins||West Virginia||Physical Education||Health Administration|
|Ron Hunter||Georgia State||Education||Education|
|Tom Izzo||Michigan State||Health and Physical Education|
|Ben Jacobson||Northern Iowa||Physical Education|
|Lon Kruger||Oklahoma||Business||Physical Education|
|Larry Krystkowiak||Utah||Business Administration|
|Mike Krzyzewski||Duke||Officer Training|
|Steve Lavin||St. John's||Communications|
|Chris Mack||Xavier||Communication Arts|
|Gregg Marshall||Wichita State||Economics/Business||Sports Management|
|Thad Matta||Ohio State||Education|
|Marvin Menzies||New Mexico State||Economics||Education|
|Ryan "Archie" Miller||Dayton||Parks, Recreation & Tourism|
|Rick Pitino||Louisville||Political Science|
|Leon Rice||Boise State||Physical Education||Athletic Administration/Management & Program Development|
|David Richman||North Dakota State||Physical Education||Sport and Recreation Management|
|Bo Ryan||Wisconsin||Business Administration|
|Bill Self||Kansas||Business||Athletic Administration|
|Larry Shyatt||Wyoming||Physical Education||Secondary Education|
|Shaka Smart||Virginia Commonwealth||History||Social Science|
|John Thompson III||Georgetown||Politics|
|Andy Toole||Robert Morris||Political Science|
|Mark Turgeon||Maryland||Personnel Administration|
|Russell Turner||UC Irvine||English and Economics|
|Brad Underwood||Stephen F. Austin||Radio & TV Communications|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||Education||Education|
|Mike Young||Wofford||Physical Education|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 4 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only conference to have five different members win the national championship although it has only one title in the previous 24 years. Hint: One of the five members to capture a title didn't participate in the NCAA playoffs from 1948 through 1993. The league came within eight points of going 0-11 in the tournament in 1995 and 1996.
2. Name the only conference to have all of its current members win at least one NCAA Tournament game in the 1990s. Hint: It's the only league to have all of its current members participate in at least 10 NCAA playoff games.
3. Who is the only coach to have more than 15 of his teams appear in the playoffs but none reach the Final Four? Hint: He has the worst record in NCAA Tournament history for any coach with at least 25 decisions and was also 1-5 in the NIT. He has more victories as a pitcher in the College World Series for his alma mater than basketball Final Four appearances. He is the only coach with more than 700 victories never to advance to the national semifinals.
4. Who is the only retired major college coach with more than 700 victories to never reach the Final Four? Hint: He is the only coach to go at least 20 years between NCAA Tournament appearances with the same school.
5. Who is the only coach to leave an NCAA champion before the next season for another coaching job? Hint: He is the only coach to earn a trip to the Final Four in his first college season despite finishing the season with at least 10 defeats. He is also the only coach to reach the NCAA final after finishing fourth or lower in regular-season conference standings. Moreover, he is one of just two coaches, both were also NBA head coaches, to take two different schools to the NCAA playoff championship game.
6. Who is the only coach to direct teams to the NCAA Final Four and the NBA Finals and compile a winning NCAA playoff career record? Hint: His son coached at three Division I schools, taking two of them to the NCAA playoffs.
7. Name the only school to become NCAA champion despite losing five home games during the regular season. Hint: The school didn't participate in nine consecutive NCAA Tournaments and twice in a four-year span in the mid-1970s lost a first-round game after reaching the national final the previous season.
8. Name the only coach of an NCAA titlist to previously play major league baseball. Hint: The Hall of Famer's 18-year college head coaching career was all at one university.
9. Who is the only coach to compile NCAA playoff records at least three games above .500 at two different schools (minimum of five victories at each school) before Rick Pitino arrived at Louisville? Hint: The coach earned a doctorate.
10. Name the only school to have six different coaches take the university to the Final Four. Hint: Of the schools winning at least two national championships, it's the only one in the select group to go more than 25 years between titles.
North Carolina A&T State appeared in the NCAA playoffs the most times (nine) without winning a tournament game until prevailing in a First Four outing two years ago. But N.C. A&T still has a long way to go to join the ranks of the "quick exit" schools with more than a dozen opening-round defeats.
Connecticut, after absorbing nine opening-round losses in 17 years from 1951 through 1967, had the most opening-round setbacks for an extended period. But the Huskies didn't incur an opening-round reversal for 28 years until suffering two in a recent five-year span. Similarly, St. John's suffered eight opening-round losses in a 20-year stretch from 1973 through 1992.
Maryland was the first school to incur at least 10 NCAA Tournament defeats but never absorb an opening-round setback until the Terrapins lost to Santa Clara in 1996. BYU, blowing a 17-point halftime lead against Ole Miss, showed this year with its eighth first-round reversal in the 21st Century why the Cougars are atop the following list of schools most prone to sustaining an opening-round defeat:
School (Playoff Losses) NCAA Tournament Opening-Round Defeats Brigham Young (32) 19 (1950-57-65-69-72-79-80-87-90-92-95-01-03-04-07-08-09-14-15) Princeton (28) 16 (1952-55-60-63-69-76-77-81-89-90-91-92-97-01-04-11) Utah State (20) 16 (1939-63-71-75-79-80-83-88-98-00-03-05-06-09-10-11) Missouri (26) 14 (1944-78-81-83-86-87-88-90-93-99-00-11-12-13) St. John's (31) 14 (1961-68-73-76-77-78-80-84-88-92-98-02-11-15) Temple (31) 14 (1944-64-67-70-72-79-90-92-95-98-08-09-10-12) West Virginia (26) 13 (1955-56-57-58-62-65-67-83-86-87-92-09-12)