Immediate Results: UCI Came Close to Joining Newcomers Winning Debut

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

*Preliminary-round game.

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Trivia Challenge (Day #7)

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 (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.

Answers (Day 7)

Day 6 Questions and Answers

Day 5 Questions and Answers

Day 4 Questions and Answers

Day 3 Questions and Answers

Day 2 Questions and Answers

Day 1 Questions and Answers

Bottom of the Barrel: Belmont and Boise State Still Winless in NCAA Playoffs

"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:

0-8 - Eastern Kentucky
0-7 - Belmont, Boise State, Louisiana-Monroe and Nebraska
0-6 - Long Island

Southern Living: Virginia Among Marquee Schools Late Arriving to Big Dance

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

Racial Profiling: Majority of 11 HBCU Wins Have Been in Preliminary Round

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 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)

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Trivia Challenge (Day #6)

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 (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.

Answers (Day 6)

Day 5 Questions and Answers

Day 4 Questions and Answers

Day 3 Questions and Answers

Day 2 Questions and Answers

Day 1 Questions and Answers

Shock Treatment: Bottom of Bracket Racket Continues Via UAB and GSU Wins

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. Notwithstanding the misleading media's spin, the NCAA tourney hasn't been saturated with authentic upsets since the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985. On the other hand, there has been only four years in that span failing 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. Gary Waters is the only coach to win two opening-round games in this category while in charge of two different schools (Kent State in 2001 and Cleveland State in 2009).

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 Coach #2 Seed Loser Score
1991 Richmond Dick Tarrant Syracuse 73-69
1993 Santa Clara Dick Davey Arizona 64-61
1997 Coppin State Ron "Fang" Mitchell South Carolina 78-65
2001 Hampton Steve Merfeld Iowa State 58-57
2012 Lehigh Dr. Brett Reed Duke 75-70
2012 Norfolk State Anthony Evans Missouri 86-84
2013 Florida Gulf Coast Andy Enfield Georgetown 78-68

#14 seed (19 victories)

Year #14 Seed Winner Coach #3 Seed Loser Score
1986 Arkansas-Little Rock Mike Newell Notre Dame 90-83
1986 Cleveland State Kevin Mackey Indiana 83-79
1987 Austin Peay State Lake Kelly Illinois 68-67
1988 Murray State Steve Newton North Carolina State 78-75
1989 Siena Mike Deane Stanford 80-78
1990 Northern Iowa Eldon Miller Missouri 74-71
1991 Xavier Pete Gillen Nebraska 89-84
1992 East Tennessee State Alan LeForce Arizona 87-80
1995 Weber State Ron Abegglen Michigan State 79-72
1995 Old Dominion Jeff Capel Jr. Villanova 89-81 (3OT)
1997 Tennessee-Chattanooga William "Mack" McCarthy Georgia 73-70
1998 Richmond John Beilein South Carolina 62-61
1999 Weber State Ron Abegglen North Carolina 76-74
2005 Bucknell Pat Flannery Kansas 64-63
2006 Northwestern State Mike McConathy Iowa 64-63
2013 Harvard Tommy Amaker New Mexico 68-62
2014 Mercer Bob Hoffman Duke 78-71
2015 UAB Jerod Haase Iowa State 60-59
2015 Georgia State Ron Hunter Baylor 57-56

#13 seed (25 victories)

Year #13 Seed Winner Coach #4 Seed Loser Score
1985 Navy Paul Evans Louisiana State 78-55
1987 Southwest Missouri State Charlie Spoonhour Clemson 65-60
1987 Xavier Pete Gillen Missouri 70-69
1988 Richmond Dick Tarrant Indiana 72-69
1989 Middle Tennessee State Bruce Stewart Florida State 97-83
1991 Penn State Bruce Parkhill UCLA 74-69
1992 Southwestern Louisiana Marty Fletcher Oklahoma 87-83
1993 Southern (La.) Ben Jobe Georgia Tech 93-78
1995 Manhattan Fran Fraschilla Oklahoma 77-67
1996 Princeton Pete Carril UCLA 43-41
1998 Valparaiso Homer Drew Mississippi 70-69
1999 Oklahoma Kelvin Sampson Arizona 61-60
2001 Indiana State Royce Waltman Oklahoma 70-68 (OT)
2001 Kent State Gary Waters Indiana 77-73
2002 UNC Wilmington Jerry Wainwright Southern California 93-89 (OT)
2003 Tulsa John Phillips Dayton 84-71
2005 Vermont Tom Brennan Syracuse 60-57 (OT)
2006 Bradley Jim Les Kansas 77-73
2008 San Diego Bill Grier Connecticut 70-69 (OT)
2008 Siena Fran McCaffrey Vanderbilt 83-62
2009 Cleveland State Gary Waters Wake Forest 84-69
2010 Murray State Billy Kennedy Vanderbilt 66-65
2011 Morehead State Donnie Tyndall Louisville 62-61
2012 Ohio University John Groce Michigan 65-60
2013 La Salle John Giannini Kansas State 63-61

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Trivia Challenge (Day #5)

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 (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.

Answers (Day 5)

Day 4 Questions and Answers

Day 3 Questions and Answers

Day 2 Questions and Answers

Day 1 Questions and Answers

Remember Me? X Marked First Spot for Sean Miller in NCAA Tournament

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 Norm 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).

Lute Olson is the only coach to twice defeat the same school he previously took to the NCAA playoffs (Arizona beat Iowa in 1988 and 1996). 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).
Norm 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 Jr. 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.
Lute Olson Arizona 1996 Second Round W vs. Iowa, 87-73 Olson was 7-6 with Hawkeyes from 1979 through 1983 before going 39-22 with Wildcats from 1985 through 2007.
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 18-9 with Buckeyes from 2006 through 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 31-9 with Tar Heels from 2004 through 2015.
Bill Self Kansas 2011 Second Round W vs. Illinois, 73-59 Self was 6-3 with Illini (2001 through 2003) before going 27-11 with Jayhawks from 2004 through 2015.
Roy Williams North Carolina 2012 Regional Final L vs. Kansas, 80-67 Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 31-9 with Tar Heels from 2004 through 2015.
Roy Williams North Carolina 2013 Second Round L vs. Kansas, 70-58 Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 31-9 with Tar Heels from 2004 through 2015.

Degrees of Success: Educational Backgrounds of NCAA Tournament Coaches

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
Steve Alford UCLA Business
Dana Altman Oregon Business Business Administration
Tommy Amaker Harvard Economics
Mike Anderson Arkansas Education
Rick Barnes Texas Health & Physical Education
Tony Bennett Virginia Humanities
Mike Brey Notre Dame Physical Education
Will Brown Albany Marketing Management
Rick Byrd Belmont Physical Education Physical Education
John Calipari Kentucky Marketing
Bill Coen Northeastern unavailable Business Administration
Ed Cooley Providence History
Tom Crean Indiana Parks & Recreation
Mick Cronin Cincinnati History
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
Andy Kennedy Mississippi History
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
Steve Masiello Manhattan Communications
Thad Matta Ohio State Education
Fran McCaffery Iowa Economics Education
Bob McKillop Davidson History
Marvin Menzies New Mexico State Economics Education
Ryan "Archie" Miller Dayton Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Sean Miller Arizona Communications
Fran O'Hanlon Lafayette Education
Matt Painter Purdue Sociology
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
Jay Wright Villanova Economics/Sociology
Mike Young Wofford Physical Education

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Trivia Challenge (Day #4)

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 (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.

Answers (Day 4)

Day 3 Questions and Answers

Day 2 Questions and Answers

Day 1 Questions and Answers

False Starts: BYU Boasts More NCAA First-Round Defeats Than Any School

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)

Fair and Balanced: Wisconsin's Frank the Tank is Latest Great White Hope

February was Black History Month, but shouldn't we be fair and balanced to fully embrace political correctness? Amid running (comparable to well-meaning Starbucks) the risk of portrayal akin to Al Campanis when discussing race issues, has conducted extensive research on trailblazing African-Americans who broke the color barrier at current NCAA Division I schools. In order to not be one-sided, it's time to assess the racial overtones of college basketball through the current minority prism of the white player.

According to a politically-direct UCF study several years ago, fewer than 1/3 of NCAA Division I players are white. There is some credence to refraining from judging a book by its cover, but the last time a majority of the NCAA consensus All-American first-team selections were white was 1969-70 (LSU's Pete Maravich, Purdue's Rick Mount and Kentucky's Dan Issel).

Non-whites accounted for more than 83% of the NCAA consensus All-American first- and second-selections since the shot clock was introduced nationwide in 1985-86. Alarmists might beg to differ, but the white American player hasn't exactly slipped into extinction. This isn't boxing, but versatile Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky clearly is the latest "Great White Hope."

Celebrating discriminating White History Moments even if it might offend college hoops sage Charles Barkley and entitled Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison, the last all-white NCAA consensus first-team All-American squad was in 1953-54. White players matter. There is no reason to recoil at the following alphabetical list of the modest total of 20 different white players before Kaminsky named an NCAA consensus first-team All-American:

White First-Team All-American Pos. School A-A Season(s)
Steve Alford G Indiana 1985-86 and 1986-87
Andrew Bogut C Utah 2004-05
Nick Collison F Kansas 2002-03
Dan Dickau G Gonzaga 2001-02
Danny Ferry F Duke 1988-89
Jimmer Fredette G Brigham Young 2010-11
Tyler Hansbrough F-C North Carolina 2006-07 through 2008-09
Bobby Hurley G Duke 1992-93
Casey Jacobsen F-G Stanford 2000-01
Christian Laettner F-C Duke 1991-92
Raef LaFrentz F-C Kansas 1996-97 and 1997-98
Kevin Love C UCLA 2007-08
Doug McDermott F Creighton 2011-12 through 2013-14
Chris Mihm C Texas 1999-2000
Adam Morrison F Gonzaga 2005-06
Chris Mullin G St. John's 1984-85
Troy Murphy F Notre Dame 1999-00 and 2000-01
Kelly Olynyk C Gonzaga 2012-13
J.J. Redick G Duke 2004-05 and 2005-06
Keith Van Horn F Utah 1996-97

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Trivia Challenge (Day #3)

Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, following is Day 3 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from (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 coach to lose as many as five games in the 20th Century to teams with double-digit seeds? Hint: Four of the defeats in this category were in consecutive years.

2. Name the only historically black college and university to win multiple NCAA Tournament games. Hint: It posted the first three HBCU victories in the early 1980s.

3. Who was the coach of the only University of Detroit team to win an NCAA playoff game until the Titans defeated St. John's in 1998? Hint: Detroit lost to an in-state rival in a regional semifinal four days after posting its first tournament victory. The coach of that squad is the only Seton Hall graduate to win an NCAA tourney game.

4. Name the only school with more than 30 NCAA Tournament appearances to compile a losing playoff record and never appear in the national championship game. Hint: It's the only school to finish more than 10 seasons ranked in an AP Top 10 since the wire service's first poll in 1949 to never win an NCAA Tournament title.

5. Name the only first-time entrant to be seeded better than fifth since the field expanded to at least 48 teams in 1980. Hint: The school reached the Final Four in its playoff debut.

6. Name the only conference to have three representatives at a single Final Four by winning regional finals against three members from another league. Hint: No player scored more than 20 points in the three Final Four games that year.

7. Who is the only coach with six or more NCAA playoff appearances to reach a regional final every time? Hint: His school is the only one to win back-to-back NCAA championships in its first two appearances in the tournament. His son was coach of a school in the same conference when the institution participated in the tourney for the initial time.

8. Name the only school to win at least one playoff game in a year it entered the tournament with a losing record after suffering 14 consecutive defeats during one stretch of the regular season. Hint: The school participated in the national championship game the previous year and was once runner-up in the NCAA Tournament and NIT in the same season. The school has also won just one playoff game since 1955, the season it finished with its worst overall record in a 53-year span and became the only team ever to enter the playoffs with a record of more than 10 games under .500.

9. Name the only school to have as many as seven different coaches compile losing NCAA playoff records. Hint: The school is more games under .500 in tournament play than any institution, but pulled off a first-round upset of a defending champion behind a star player who subsequently entered the coaching profession and compiled a 6-3 NCAA Tournament record with another university in the same state from 1989-90 through 1991-92.

10. Name the only school to advance to a regional semifinal in three consecutive campaigns despite having a double-digit seed each year. Hint: The school defeated teams from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Pacific-10 and SEC during the NCAA playoffs in that span.

Answers (Day 3)

Day 2 Questions and Answers

Day 1 Questions and Answers

Playing Favorites: Duke is #1 Seed Despite Failing to Earn Conference Title

The sampling isn't extensive but Duke, runner-up to Virginia before bowing against Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament semifinals, faces an uphill climb in capturing the NCAA championship after the Blue Devils were accorded a #1 seed despite failing to win either the ACC regular-season or conference tournament title. Prospects of a national title are also against Virginia and Notre Dame if you put much stock in the following chronological list detailing what happened in the NCAA tourney to the first five #1 seeds in this non-champion category:

No. 1 Seed Year League Finish NCAA Playoff Result Summary of Principal Conference Competition
Illinois 1989 2nd in Big Ten lost in national semifinals regular-season champion Indiana lost in regional semifinals; Big Ten did not conduct postseason tourney
Michigan 1993 2nd in Big Ten lost in national final regular-season champion Indiana lost in regional final; Big Ten did not conduct postseason tourney
Texas 2003 2nd in Big 12 lost in national semifinals regular-season champion Kansas lost in national final; Big 12 tourney champion Oklahoma lost in regional final
Connecticut 2009 T2nd in Big East lost in national semifinals regular-season and Big East tourney champion Louisville lost in regional final
Pittsburgh 2009 T2nd in Big East lost in regional final regular-season and Big East tourney champion Louisville lost in regional final

Playing/Coaching Excellence: A-A Alford Coached Four Schools in Playoffs

Stature as a great player has never had anything to do with becoming a good coach. In fact, it can be a hindrance because of great expectations. But UCLA's Steve Alford is among the 14 individuals in history to coach a team to the NCAA Division I Tournament after earning a spot on an NCAA first- or second-team consensus All-American squad. Clem Haskins is the only All-American who also played in the NBA to have more NCAA tourney coaching victories than Alford, the lone All-American to coach four different schools in the playoffs. This year, Buffalo's Bobby Hurley (Duke) joined the following All-Americans in this category:

Coach School Playoff Years Alma Mater All-American Years
Steve Alford Southwest Missouri State 1999 Indiana 1st team in 1986 and 1987
Iowa 2001-05-06
New Mexico 2010-12-13
UCLA 2014 and 2015
Henry Bibby Southern California 1997 UCLA 1st in 1972
Bob Calihan Detroit 1962 Detroit 2nd in 1939
Bob Cousy Boston College 1967 and 1968 Holy Cross 1st in 1950
Larry Finch Memphis State 1988-89-92-93-95 Memphis State 2nd in 1973
Sidney Green Florida Atlantic 2002 UNLV 2nd in 1983
Clem Haskins Western Kentucky 1981 and 1986 Western Kentucky 1st in 1967
Minnesota 1989-90-94-95-97-99
Walt Hazzard UCLA 1987 UCLA 1st in 1964
Bobby Hurley Buffalo 2015 Duke 1st in 1993
Danny Manning Tulsa 2014 Kansas 2nd in 1986; 1st in 1987 and 1988
Branch McCracken Indiana 1940-53-54-58 Indiana 1930
Jeff Mullins UNC Charlotte 1988 and 1992 Duke 2nd in 1964
John Shumate Southern Methodist 1993 Notre Dame 1st in 1974
John Wooden UCLA 1950-52-56-62-63-64-65-67-68-69-70-71-72-73-74-75 Purdue 1930 through 1932

NOTES: The NCAA did not distinguish between first- and second-team All-Americas until 1939. . . . Alford (8-8 NCAA Tournament record after defeating SMU in opening contest), Bibby (0-1), Cousy (2-2), Green (0-1), Haskins (11-8), Hazzard (1-1), Hurley (making first coaching appearance), Manning (0-1), Mullins (0-3) and Shumate (0-1) played in the NBA.

Great Expectations: Coach K Didn't Collect First NCAA Win Until 10th Year

Unrealistic expectations spread like a virus across the country when a young pup such as Brad Stevens becomes a big dawg by winning 11 NCAA Tournament games in his first four seasons coaching mid-major Butler before departing for the NBA's Boston Celtics at the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign. But many school administrations and boosters, unaware that UCLA legend John Wooden notched only one tourney triumph in his first 13 years with the Bruins, need to exercise a little patience in this era of instant gratification.

Fans of former Final Four schools such as Louisiana State (Johnny Jones), New Mexico State (Marvin Menzies), Providence (Ed Cooley) and Wyoming (Larry Shyatt) probably are restless because their present bench bosses never have won an NCAA playoff game in their coaching careers of at least eight seasons. As for the misguided media seeking another overnight success, they need to take a cue from ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg, who is deemed an expert after winning a grand total of one NCAA playoff game in 22 years as a DI head coach.

Starter-kit supporters for some schools should take a chill pill if their coach remains winless in NCAA Tournament competition by losing an opener. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski was frustrated by the tourney long before losing against Mercer last year. LSU, NMSU, PC and Wyoming supporters should take a long look at how long it took for the following alphabetical list of high-profile coaches, including all-time leader Krzyzewski, to secure their first NCAA playoff victory.

Prominent Coach Season Posting First NCAA Tournament Victory
Dana Altman 10th season as a DI head coach (1998-99 with Creighton against Louisville)
Rick Barnes 10th season (1996-97 with Clemson against Miami of Ohio)
P.J. Carlesimo 12th season (1987-88 with Seton Hall against Texas-El Paso)
Pete Carril 17th season (1982-83 with Princeton against North Carolina A&T)
Bobby Cremins 10th season (1984-85 with Georgia Tech against Mercer)
Tom Davis 10th season (1980-81 with Boston College against Ball State)
Don DeVoe eighth season (1978-79 with Tennessee against Eastern Kentucky)
Cliff Ellis 14th season (1988-89 with Clemson against Saint Mary's)
Tim Floyd ninth season (1994-95 with Iowa State against Florida)
Bill E. Foster 15th season (1977-78 with Duke against Rhode Island)
Hugh Greer 10th season (1955-56 with Connecticut against Manhattan)
Leonard Hamilton 13th season (1998-99 with Miami FL against Lafayette)
Marv Harshman 26th season (1983-84 with Washington against Nevada-Reno)
Terry Holland 12th season (1980-81 with Virginia against Villanova)
Ben Howland eighth season (2001-02 with Pittsburgh against Central Connecticut State)
Bob Huggins eighth season (1991-92 with Cincinnati against Delaware)
Maury John 11th season (1968-69 with Drake against Texas A&M)
Bob Knight eighth season (1972-73 with Indiana against Marquette)
Mike Krzyzewski 10th season (1984-85 with Duke against Pepperdine)
Babe McCarthy eighth season (1962-63 with Mississippi State against Bowling Green)
Greg McDermott 11th season (2011-12 with Creighton against Alabama)
Ralph Miller 13th season (1963-64 with Wichita against Creighton)
Mike Montgomery 17th season (1994-95 with Stanford against UNC Charlotte)
Joe Mullaney 10th season (1964-65 with Providence against West Virginia)
Pete Newell 11th season (1956-57 with California against Brigham Young)
C.M. Newton eighth season (1975-76 with Alabama against North Carolina)
Johnny Orr ninth season (1973-74 with Michigan against Notre Dame)
Tom Penders 14th season (1987-88 with Rhode Island against Missouri)
George Raveling 11th season (1982-83 with Washington State against Weber State)
Nolan Richardson ninth season (1988-89 with Arkansas against Loyola Marymount)
Kelvin Sampson 12th season (1998-99 with Oklahoma against Arizona)
Norman Sloan 14th season (1969-70 with North Carolina State against Niagara)
Norm Stewart ninth season (1975-76 with Missouri against Washington)
John Thompson Jr. eighth season (1979-80 with Georgetown against Iona)
Jim Valvano eighth season (1979-80 with Iona against Holy Cross)
Butch van Breda Kolff 13th season (1963-64 with Princeton against Virginia Military)
Jim Williams 15th season (1968-69 with Colorado State against Dayton)
Ned Wulk 10th season (1960-61 with Arizona State against Seattle)

NOTE: The victories for retired Greer, McCarthy and Newton were the only one they posted in NCAA playoff participation.

NIT-Picking: Handy-Dandy History Guide for National Invitation Tournament

Although it appears the case, the Final Four hasn't eternally been the final word in national postseason competition. The 68-team NCAA playoffs, which played second fiddle to the National Invitation Tournament in their formative years, seemed to haughtily look down upon the NIT as little more than an acronym contest for derisive entries such as National Insignificant Tournament, Not Influential Tournament, Nominally Important Tournament, No Interest Tournament, Nearly Ignominious Tournament, Naturally Impaired Tournament, Never Impressionable Tournament, etc.

The NIT champion can proclaim, "We're No. 69!" But in an earlier era, the NIT was superior to the NCAA at a time when airplanes didn't dominate the transportation industry, television was in its infancy and New York's Madison Square Garden was the place to be if a team wanted extensive national exposure. If ever there was a concept whose time had arrived, it was the NIT in 1938. If ever there was a location to conduct a national tourney at a time when the sports page was the principal place to digest sports news, it was in New York because of Gotham's 20 or so daily newspapers.

As competition for this year's NIT unfolds, here are top 40 hits for the event, citing nuggets you should know about the history of the nation's oldest national postseason tournament:

1. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron "Whizzer" White was Colorado's second-leading scorer with 10 points when the Buffaloes bowed to Temple in the inaugural NIT in 1938.

2. The 1939 NIT final featured two unbeaten teams when Long Island University defeated Loyola of Chicago, 44-32, marking the only matchup in major-college history when two undefeated major colleges met in a national postseason tournament. LIU finished with a 23-0 record and Loyola 21-1.

3. Frankie Baumholtz capped his Ohio University college basketball career by earning MVP honors in the 1941 NIT when he led the tourney in scoring with 53 points in three games for the second-place Bobcats, including a game-high 19 in the final. He went on to become a major-league outfielder who led the National League in pinch hits in 1955 and 1956.

4. Rudy Baric, MVP of the 1942 NIT for titlist West Virginia, guided his alma mater to a 14-7 record the next year in his only season as the Mountaineers' head coach.

5. Long before Michigan's "Fab Five" made headlines as a freshman-dominated team reaching the 1992 NCAA Tournament final, Toledo's similar squad finished runner-up to St. John's in the 1943 NIT. The Rockets were dubbed "Friddle's Freshmen" because first-year coach Berle Friddle had an all-freshman starting lineup. Toledo's roster included Emlen Tunnell, who went on to become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after playing in nine Pro Bowls as a defensive back.

6. Utah won the 1944 NCAA crown after the Utes were eliminated in the opening round of the NIT by eventual third-place finisher Kentucky (46-38).

7. In the early years of national postseason competition, the NCAA playoffs were scheduled after the NIT, which was clearly basketball's showcase event. For instance, NIT runner-up Rhode Island State upended Bowling Green in overtime in their NIT opener in 1946 after the Rams' Ernie Calverley swished a shot from beyond halfcourt at the end of regulation in perhaps the most exciting moment in NIT history.

8. Many observers think the 1948 NIT, starting the tourney's second decade, was the best from a strength standpoint. If there had been a national poll at the time, it is believed that five of the nation's top seven teams were in the NIT, which was won that year by Ed Macauley-led St. Louis University.

9. Western Kentucky (28-2, .933), the 1948 NIT third-place finisher, and Seton Hall (31-2, .939), the 1953 NIT champion, led the nation in winning percentage those seasons.

10. The 1949 opening-round pair of doubleheaders was a dark day and evening for Big Apple hoops as CCNY, Manhattan, NYU and St. John's dropped their openers by an average of 18.75 points.

11. Trivia buffs should know that the basketball publicist for 1949 champion San Francisco was Pete Rozelle, who went on to become commissioner of the National Football League.

12. In each of the first two years the Associated Press conducted national rankings (1949 and 1950), five of the top 10 teams participated in the NIT.

13. The four seeded teams in the 1949 NIT all were upset in the quarterfinals after receiving first-round byes - Kentucky, St. Louis, Western Kentucky and Utah.

14. The final year teams participated in both national tournaments was 1952, when Dayton, Duquesne, St. John's and St. Louis doubled up on postseason participation. St. John's was runner-up to Kansas in the NCAA Tournament that year after the Redmen lost their opener in the NIT against La Salle (51-45).

15. In 1954, the last four NIT survivors (Holy Cross, Duquesne, Niagara and Western Kentucky) combined to win 91% of their games entering the semifinals, while their NCAA Final Four counterparts (La Salle, Bradley, Penn State and Southern California) combined to win barely over 70% of their games. Niagara, the third-place finisher in the NIT, defeated 1954 NCAA champion La Salle twice during the regular season by a total of 27 points.

16. Dave Ricketts, a sophomore starter for Duquesne's 1955 NIT champion, went on to become a major-league catcher who played with the Cardinals in the 1967 and 1968 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

17. NIT champion-to-be Louisville was ranked 4th in the nation by AP in mid-February of 1956 when it lost by 40 points at Xavier (99-59). Two years later, Xavier lost 10 of its final 15 regular-season games after a 10-1 start and the NIT asked the Musketeers to give back its NIT bid. Xavier, however, said "no" and went on to win the 1958 NIT title despite being seeded last under first-year head coach Jim McCafferty.

18. Garry Roggenburk, the leading scorer for Dayton's 1962 NIT titlist, went on to become a lefthanded pitcher for five seasons later in the decade with three American League teams - the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Pilots.

19. The prestigious ACC, prior to its inaugural season in 1953-54, instituted a rule that no member could participate in the NIT. The ban remained in place until Duke was eliminated by Southern Illinois in the [1967] quarterfinals. The final NIT at the old Garden in 1967 belonged to SIU, a so-called "small" school sparked by a smooth swingman named Walt Frazier. He wasn't Clyde yet, but the future Knick was well on his way.

20. One of the most bizarre incidents in NIT history was halftime of a game in 1968 when Oklahoma City coach Abe Lemons, annoyed with his team after playing poorly in the first half against Duke, ordered the Chiefs back to the court during intermission to scrimmage rather than to the dressing room to rest and regroup. Announcer Howard Cosell rattled off several questions to Lemons: "Coach, are you crazy? Won't your boys be too tired to play the second half? Where did you learn this coaching tactic? Did you do this to amuse the crowd?" Lemons, as determined not to respond to the questions as Cosell was at getting an answer, fired back, "Listen mister, you may be big stuff in New York, but you ain't nothin' in Walters, Okla. (Lemons' humble hometown)."

21. The issue of "choice" came to a head in 1970 when Marquette, an independent school coached by fiesty Al McGuire, won the NIT after rejecting an NCAA at-large invitation because the Warriors were going to be placed in the NCAA Midwest Regional (Fort Worth, Tex.) instead of closer to home in the Mideast Regional (Dayton, Ohio). McGuire's snub led the NCAA to decree any school offered an NCAA bid must accept it or be prohibited from participating in postseason competition.

22. SEC rival Tennessee was the only school to hold Pete Maravich under 30 points until Georgetown and Marquette achieved the feat in the 1970 NIT. Maravich, the highest scorer in NCAA history, ended his career at the NIT sitting on the bench in civilian clothes because of ankle and hip injuries, watching his father's LSU team finish fourth by losing to Bob Knight-coached Army. Pistol Pete had, for him, endured a suspect tourney in the brightest postseason spotlight ever focused on his extraordinary abilities. He averaged 25.7 points per game in three NIT assignments (18.5 ppg lower than his career average).

23. Julius Erving's final college game with Massachusetts was a 90-49 loss to eventual NIT champion North Carolina in the first round in 1971. The Tar Heels captured the crown although their leading scorer, junior forward Dennis Wuycik (18.4 ppg), suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Minutemen.

24. The competitive NIT, boasting three double overtime games in 1971, was a stark contrast in than period to the NCAA Tournament otherwise known as the "UCLA Invitational." Seemingly invincible UCLA captured seven consecutive NCAA titles from 1967 through 1973 by winning 28 tournament games by an average of almost 18 points per contest. In 1973, the Bruins' four tournament victories were by an average of 16 points, including a 21-point triumph over Memphis State in the championship game. Meanwhile, NIT champion Virginia Tech won four exciting postseason games that year by a total of five points, including a game-winning basket at the buzzer in overtime in the final against Notre Dame. The next year, seven of the total of 12 NIT games in the first round and quarterfinals were decided by four points or less.

25. Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson never appeared in the NIT in his 34-year career with Long Beach State, Iowa and Arizona.

26. The last wire-service top 10 team to appear in the NIT was North Carolina, a first-round loser against Purdue in 1974.

27. Anthony Roberts' NIT single-game standard of 65 points accounted for 73 percent of Oral Roberts' output in a 90-89 loss to Oregon in the 1977 first round. Roberts' outburst is even more impressive because the Ducks ranked fifth in the nation in team defense (60.9 points per game).

28. NIT attendance slipped to an all-time low in 1976 although national power Kentucky won the title. In 1977, former executive director Pete Carlesimo, the father of former Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo, saved the NIT by implementing a plan whereby early-round games were played at campus sites and locations across the country before the four semifinalists advanced to New York.

29. In a five-year span from 1980 through 1984 when the NCAA field ranged from 48 to 52 teams, Virginia (1980 NIT champion), DePaul (1983 runner-up) and Michigan (1984 champion) became NCAA regional No. 1 seeds the year after reaching an NIT final.

30. Tulsa was a No. 3 seed under coach [Nolan Richardson](schools/nolan-richardson0 in the 1982 NCAA Tournament after capturing the 1981 NIT by winning its last three games by a total of five points.

31. In 1985, the NIT started a preseason tournament, which evolved into the nation's premier in-season tourney and carried as much clout, if not more, than the postseason NIT. Coaches were fond of the preseason NIT because those games were exempt from counting against their regular-season limit of contests.

32. The NCAA postseason record of 14 three-point field goals was set by Kansas State guard Askia Jones in a 115-77 victory over Fresno State in the 1994 NIT quarterfinals. Jones, the son of former Villanova standout guard Wali Jones, poured in 28 of his Big Eight Conference-record 45 second-half points in the first 7:12 after intermission. His final total of 62 points, spurred by nine consecutive successful three-point shots bridging the first and second halves, was the second-highest scoring output in major-college postseason history.

33. The NIT's first nine champions lost a total of 25 games, but its 15 titlists from 1986 through 2000 combined to go 32 games below .500 in conference competition, including a 4-12 league mark compiled by 1988 Big East cellar dweller Connecticut and a 4-10 league record registered by 1996 Big Eight seventh-place team Nebraska.

34. The NIT's "final four" participants have combined to average more than 13 defeats per team since the NCAA field expanded to at least 64 entrants, including a grim 19-18 mark by 1985 NIT fourth-place finisher Louisville.

35. Former St. John's coach Joe Lapchick was the winningest coach in NIT history with a 21-10 record until Dave Odom tied him (21-3). St. John's has made more NIT appearances, won more NIT games and captured more NIT championships (six) than any school.

36. Four of the winningest schools percentagewise in NIT history are from the Big Ten Conference - Michigan, Purdue, Ohio State and Penn State.

37. The NIT titlists since 1985 combined for a losing national postseason tournament record the year after capturing an NIT championship.

38. Virginia's NIT title in 1992 enabled Jeff Jones to become the only person to win NIT crowns as a player (Virginia in 1980) and a coach.

39. In 2000, Notre Dame forward Troy Murphy became the first consensus first-team All-American to participate in the NIT since forward Larry Bird of Indiana State, a loser at Rutgers in the 1978 quarterfinals.

40. Arizona (0-3), Arizona State (5-11), Miami FL (6-10), Missouri (1-7) and Seton Hall (6-18) all have disturbing NIT marks at least three games below .500.

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Trivia Challenge (Day #2)

Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 2 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from (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 individual selected the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player three times? Hint: His real first name was Ferdinand and he is the only player to couple three unanimous first team All-American seasons with three NCAA championships. He is also the only player to hit better than 70% of his field-goal attempts in two NCAA title games.

2. Who is the only coach to twice guide three different schools to the NCAA playoffs in the same decade? Hint: He achieved the feat in a span of six straight seasons and is the only coach to have two different sons play for him in the tourney with two different schools.

3. Who is the only one of the 40 Final Four Most Outstanding Players from 1972 through 2011 not to play for the championship team? Hint: He never led his college team in scoring average in any of his three seasons at the school.

4. Who is the only coach to guide a school to the Final Four as many as five times and never capture the national championship? Hint: He lost each time at the Final Four to the eventual titlist and served as captain for the school's first team in 1946.

5. Name the only current Pacific-12 Conference member never to reach the Final Four. Hint: The school has made more tournament appearances than seven Pac-12 members, but lost three West Regional finals by a total of 40 points before joining the conference. It absorbed the largest margin of defeat for the 14 No. 1 or 2 seeds losing their playoff opener since seeding started in 1979.

6. Name the only conference to have five teams all lose their opening-round game in a single tourney. Hint: The league has had four different schools lose first-round games by more than 20 points against squads with double-digit seeds since seeding started in 1979.

7. Who is the only coach to win a tournament game for four different schools? Hint: He was the only coach in the 20th Century to direct four different universities to the NCAA playoffs.

8. Who is the only individual to win NCAA titles in his first two seasons as head coach at a school? Hint: He achieved the feat the first year after the eligibility expired for the school's most illustrious player, a three-time UPI Player of the Year who led the nation in scoring each season.

9. Who is the only active coach to take two different schools to the NCAA playoffs in his maiden voyage with them after they posted a losing mark the previous campaign? Hint: He posted the nation's best winning percentage by a first-year major college head coach in 1987-88 when he went 20-10 (.667) in his lone season with yet another school.

10. Name the only school to reach the Final Four in its one and only NCAA Tournament appearance in the 20th Century. Hint: The coach of the Final Four team is the only individual to win more than 30 games in earning a trip to the national semifinals in his first season.

Answers (Day 2)

Day 1 Questions and Answers

Humble Backgrounds: Small-College Grads Make Big News in NCAA Playoffs

In a caste-like era separating the haves from the have-nots, imperial universities are seeking mega-conferences and, perhaps in the near future, a restrictive upper division. But the socially elite won't ever be able to exclude small schools from making a big impact on the NCAA playoffs.

Smaller colleges, many of them in the hinterlands, have supplied a striking number of the biggest names in coaching. From 1995 through 2000, five of the six NCAA Tournament championship coaches (Jim Calhoun, Jim Harrick, Tom Izzo, Lute Olson and Tubby Smith) graduated from obscure colleges with smaller enrollments. In fact, it is a rarity for a Final Four not to feature at least one coach who graduated from a non-Division I school.

John Calipari, a graduate of Clarion (Pa.) State, guided Kentucky to the 2012 national championship before Michigan's John Beilein (Wheeling Jesuit, NY) and Wichita State's Gregg Marshall (Randolph-Macon VA) directed teams to the Final Four two years ago. Following is an alphabetical list of 2015 NCAA Tournament mentors who worked their way up the ladder after graduating from a small school:

NCAA Playoff Coach School Small-College Alma Mater
Dana Altman Oregon Eastern New Mexico '80
Rick Barnes Texas Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) '77
Will Brown Albany Dowling (N.Y.) '95
John Calipari Kentucky Clarion (Pa.) State '82
Bill Coen Northeastern Hamilton (N.Y.) '83
Ed Cooley Providence Stonehill (Mass.) '94
Matthew Driscoll North Florida Slippery Rock (Pa.) '92
Steve Fisher San Diego State Illinois State '67
Mark Fox Georgia Eastern New Mexico '91
Jim Hayford Eastern Washington Azusa Pacific (Calif.) '89
Chris Holtmann Butler Taylor (Ind.) '94
Tom Izzo Michigan State Northern Michigan '77
Ben Jacobson Northern Iowa North Dakota '93
Edward Joyner Jr. Hampton Johnson C. Smith (N.C.) '95
Steve Lavin St. John's Chapman (Calif.) '88
Gregg Marshall Wichita State Randolph-Macon (Va.) '85
David Richman North Dakota State North Dakota State '02
William "Bo" Ryan Wisconsin Wilkes College (Pa.) '69
Larry Shyatt Wyoming College of Wooster (Ohio) '73
Shaka Smart Virginia Commonwealth Kenyon (Ohio) '99
Russell Turner UC Irvine Hampden-Sydney (Va.) ' 92
Mike Young Wofford Emory & Henry (Va.) '86

NOTE: Illinois State, North Dakota and North Dakota State are now classified as NCAA Division I universities.

Back to Future: Familiar Surroundings for Numerous NCAA Playoff Coaches

Jim Boeheim (Syracuse '66) and Kevin Ollie (Connecticut '95) aren't there but playoff participation must be extra gratifying for the following individuals coaching their alma mater in college basketball's grandest prize - a berth in the NCAA Tournament:

2015 Playoff Coach Alma Mater First Season
Mick Cronin* Cincinnati '96 2006-07
Bryce Drew Valparaiso '98 2011-12
Fred Hoiberg Iowa State '95 2010-11
Bob Huggins West Virginia '77 2007-08
Johnny Jones Louisiana State '85 2012-13
Chris Mack Xavier '92 2009-10
Matt Painter Purdue '93 2005-06
David Richman North Dakota State '02 2014-15
Roy Williams North Carolina '72 2003-04

*Larry Davis serving as interim coach for Cincinnati because of Cronin's physical ailment.

No Fortune For Below .500: Did Big 12 Duo Deserve At-Large Berths?

When will the Division I Committee and "impartial" media promoting leagues with which they have cozy business dealings realize a losing conference record probably should deny any team receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament? In 28 of the last 33 years, the selection committee awarded at least one at-large berth to a squad with a sub-.500 mark in a top-caliber league. There was a high of three such clubs in 1991 when the committee pretty much simply wasted everyone's time.

The Big 12 Conference was the beneficiary this year with Oklahoma State and Texas (both 8-10 in league competition) before each of them was eliminated in opener. OSU is the first school ever to secure an at-large berth in back-to-back campaigns after compiling a losing league record. Each of the last 10 at-large teams in this category failed to reach the Sweet 16. Since numbers never lie, the cold and hard facts are that Virginia '84 is the only team with a sub-.500 conference mark to reach the Final Four. Three years later, Louisiana State became the last at-large team with a losing league mark to reach a regional final.

Maryland (#5 in 1986 and #4 in 2004) earned the two best seeds for an at-large squad with a losing conference record. North Carolina State '05 is the only school in this sub.-500 category in the previous 12 years to advance to the Sweet 16. In the same span, a total of 13 mid-major regular-season champions earning at-large bids reached the Sweet 16 or beyond. This striking number of at-large mid-level success stories doesn't even include recent Final Four clubs such as Virginia Commonwealth '11 (fourth-place finisher in Atlantic 10) and Wichita State '13 (second in Missouri Valley). How much more evidence does the committee require to give the Colorado States, Louisiana Techs, Old Dominions and Murray States of the world a closer look rather than issuing handouts to underachieving members of power alliances?

Iowa State '92 is the only school receiving an at-large bid despite losing all of its conference road games. The Cyclones, dropping their seven Big Eight road contests by an average margin of 14.4 points, compiled the worst league mark (5-9) among at-large teams until Florida State '98 (6-10 in ACC with three losses by more than 20 points).

A breakdown of conference recipients of basically unwarranted at-large bids include the ACC (15), Big Ten (seven), Big Eight/Big 12 (six), Big East (five), SEC (four) and Pacific-12 (one). After registering a 10-5 NCAA playoff mark from 1983 through 1987, teams in this suspect group went 19-33 since 1988 (ACC 9-13, Big East 1-4, Big Eight/Big 12 2-6, Big Ten 7-7, Pac-12 0-1, SEC 0-2). This year, Oklahoma State and Texas joined the following list of underachieving power league losers given preferential treatment over more worthy mid-major conference members:

Year At-Large Team Conference League Overall NCAA Playoff Performance
1983 Alabama SEC 8-10 20-12 #6 seed lost in first round
1984 Virginia ACC 6-8 21-12 #7 seed lost in national semifinals
1985 Boston College Big East 7-9 20-11 #11 seed lost in regional semifinals
1986 Maryland ACC 6-8 19-14 #5 seed lost in second round
1987 Louisiana State SEC 8-10 24-15 #10 seed lost in regional final
1988 Iowa State Big Eight 6-8 20-12 #12 seed lost in first round
1988 Maryland ACC 6-8 18-13 #7 seed lost in second round
1989 Providence Big East 7-9 18-11 #12 seed lost in first round
1990 Indiana Big Ten 8-10 18-11 #8 seed lost in first round
1990 Virginia ACC 6-8 20-12 #7 seed lost in second round
1991 Georgia Tech ACC 6-8 17-13 #8 seed lost in second round
1991 Villanova Big East 7-9 17-15 #9 seed lost in second round
1991 Virginia ACC 6-8 21-12 #7 seed lost in first round
1992 Iowa State Big Eight 5-9 21-13 #10 seed lost in second round
1992 Wake Forest ACC 7-9 17-12 #9 seed lost in first round
1994 Seton Hall Big East 8-10 17-13 #10 seed lost in first round
1994 Wisconsin Big Ten 8-10 18-11 #9 seed lost in second round
1995 Iowa State Big Eight 6-8 23-11 #7 seed lost in second round
1996 Clemson ACC 7-9 18-11 #9 seed lost in first round
1997 Virginia ACC 7-9 18-13 #9 seed lost in first round
1998 Clemson ACC 7-9 18-13 #6 seed lost in first round
1998 Florida State ACC 6-10 17-13 #12 seed lost in second round
1999 Purdue Big Ten 7-9 21-13 #10 seed lost in regional semifinals
2001 Penn State Big Ten 7-9 21-12 #7 seed lost in regional semifinals
2003 Alabama SEC 7-9 17-12 #10 seed lost in first round
2004 Maryland ACC 7-9 20-12 #4 seed lost in second round
2005 Iowa Big Ten 7-9 21-12 #10 seed lost in first round
2005 North Carolina State ACC 7-9 21-14 #10 seed lost in regional semifinals
2007 Arkansas SEC 7-9 21-13 #12 seed lost in first round
2008 Arizona Pacific-10 8-10 19-14 #10 seed lost in first round
2009 Maryland ACC 7-9 20-13 #10 seed lost in second round
2010 Georgia Tech ACC 7-9 22-12 #10 seed lost in second round
2012 Connecticut Big East 8-10 20-13 #9 seed lost in first round
2013 Illinois Big Ten 8-10 22-12 #7 seed lost in second round
2013 Minnesota Big Ten 8-10 20-12 #11 seed lost in second round
2014 Oklahoma State Big 12 8-10 21-12 #9 seed lost in first round
2015 Oklahoma State Big 12 8-10 18-14 #9 seed lost in first round
2015 Texas Big 12 8-10 20-14 #11 seed lost in first round

David vs. Goliath: Power-League Members Frequently Fail Against Mid-Majors

Have your defibrillators handy after UAB and Georgia State upset Big 12 Conference powers seeded #3! If the upper-crust elite smugly look down their noses, they might find their opponents boast the upper hand by looking down the barrel of a gun. The generous doses of humility frequently occur. Just last year, #3 seeds Duke and Syracuse were embarrassed by Mercer and Dayton, respectively. They are among 18 former national champions to lose multiple times in the tourney against members of lower-profile conferences seeded five or more places worse than the major university currently a member of one of the consensus power six leagues. Kansas, after being dismantled by Wichita State, has a high of seven setbacks as a total of 12 former NCAA titlists have lost three or more such contests.

Who did they play (mid-majors in NCAA playoff competition) and who did they beat (power-league members seeded five or more slots better)? Well, a total of 80 different lower-profile schools and current members of 24 different mid-major conferences (all but Northeast) have won such games since seeding was introduced in 1979. But heaven forbid if an Atlantic 10 Conference member such as Richmond or Temple be embraced as an at-large this year rather than bowing down at the power-league altar worshiping mediocre former Final Four schools such as Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana State, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Providence, St. John's, Texas and UCLA (only two of these nine at-large entrants advanced beyond opening round). The mid-major school with the most "David vs. Goliath" victories among the following list is indeed Richmond with six:

ACC (30 defeats against mid-major opponents seeded five or more places worse) - Boston College (lost to #12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005); Clemson (#13 Southwest Missouri State in 1987 and #11 Western Michigan in 1998); Duke (#11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2007, #15 Lehigh in 2012 and #14 Mercer in 2014); Florida State (#13 Middle Tennessee State in 1989); Georgia Tech (#13 Richmond in 1988 and #13 Southern in 1993); Louisville (#12 Ball State in 1990, #12 Butler in 2003 and #13 Morehead State in 2011); North Carolina (#9 Penn in 1979, #14 Weber State in 1999 and #11 George Mason in 2006); North Carolina State (#14 Murray State in 1988); Notre Dame (#14 UALR in 1986, #11 Winthrop in 2007 and #11 Old Dominion in 2010); Pittsburgh (#10 Kent State in 2002, #13 Bradley in 2006 and #8 Butler in 2011); Syracuse (#7 Navy in 1986, #11 Rhode Island in 1988, #15 Richmond in 1991, #13 Vermont in 2005 and #11 Dayton in 2014); Virginia (#12 Wyoming in 1987 and #12 Gonzaga in 2001); Wake Forest (#13 Cleveland State in 2009)

BIG EAST/including new AAC members UC and UConn from previous version (16) - Cincinnati (lost to #12 Harvard in 2014); Connecticut (#11 George Mason in 2006 and #13 San Diego in 2008); DePaul (#12 New Mexico State in 1992); Georgetown (#10 Davidson in 2008, #14 Ohio University in 2010, #11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 and #15 Florida Gulf Coast in 2013); Marquette (#12 Tulsa in 2002); Providence (#12 Pacific in 2004 and #11 Dayton in 2015); St. John's (#10 Gonzaga in 2000 and #11 Gonzaga in 2011); Seton Hall (#7 Western Kentucky in 1993); Villanova (#14 Old Dominion in 1995 and #10 Saint Mary's in 2010)

BIG TEN (25) - Illinois (lost to #14 Austin Peay State in 1987, #12 Dayton in 1990, #14 Chattanooga in 1997 and Western Kentucky in 2009); Indiana (#14 Cleveland State in 1986, #13 Richmond in 1988, #11 Pepperdine in 2000 and #13 Kent State in 2001); Iowa (#14 Northwestern State in 2006); Maryland (#12 College of Charleston in 1997); Michigan (#11 Loyola Marymount in 1990 and #13 Ohio University in 2012); Michigan State (#14 Weber State in 1995 and #11 George Mason in 2006); Nebraska (#14 Xavier in 1991 and #11 Penn in 1994); Ohio State (#12 Utah State in 2001, #9 Wichita State in 2013 and #11 Dayton in 2014); Purdue (#11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2011); Wisconsin (#12 Southwest Missouri State in 1999, #11 Georgia State in 2001, #7 UNLV in 2007, #10 Davidson in 2008 and #12 Cornell in 2010)

BIG 12 (21) - Baylor (lost to #14 Georgia State in 2015); Iowa State (#15 Hampton in 2001 and #14 UAB in 2015); Kansas (#9 Texas-El Paso in 1992, #8 Rhode Island in 1998, #14 Bucknell in 2005, #13 Bradley in 2006, #9 Northern Iowa in 2010, #11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 and #7 Wichita State in 2015); Kansas State (#11 Tulane in 1993 and #13 La Salle in 2013); Oklahoma (#13 Southwestern Louisiana in 1992, #13 Manhattan in 1995, #13 Indiana State in 2001, #11 Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006 and #12 North Dakota State in 2014); Oklahoma State (#12 Princeton in 1983, #10 Temple in 1991 and #12 Tulsa in 1994); Texas Tech (#11 Southern Illinois in 2002)

PACIFIC-12 (17) - Arizona (lost to #14 East Tennessee State in 1992, #15 Santa Clara in 1993 and #12 Miami of Ohio in 1995); California (#12 Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1994); Oregon State (#10 Lamar in 1980, #11 Evansville in 1989 and #12 Ball State in 1990); Southern California (#13 UNC Wilmington in 2002); Stanford (#14 Siena in 1989 and #10 Gonzaga in 1999); UCLA (#12 Wyoming in 1987, #13 Penn State in 1991, #12 Tulsa in 1994, #13 Princeton in 1996 and #12 Detroit in 1999); Utah (#10 Miami of Ohio in 1999); Washington State (#12 Penn in 1980)

SEC (30) - Alabama (lost to #11 Lamar in 1983, #11 South Alabama in 1989, #10 Kent State in 2002 and #12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005); Auburn (#12 Richmond in 1984); Florida (#12 Creighton in 2002, #12 Manhattan in 2003 and #8 Butler in 2011); Georgia (#14 Chattanooga in 1997 and #11 Southern Illinois in 2002); Kentucky (#7 UAB in 1981, #11 Middle Tennessee State in 1982 and #9 UAB in 2004); Louisiana State (#13 Navy in 1985 and #11 UAB in 2005); Mississippi (#13 Valparaiso in 1998); Mississippi State (#12 Eastern Michigan in 1991, #12 Butler in 2003 and #7 Xavier in 2004); Missouri (#13 Xavier in 1987, #11 Rhode Island in 1988, #14 Northern Iowa in 1990 and #15 Norfolk State in 2012); South Carolina (#15 Coppin State in 1997 and #14 Richmond in 1998); Tennessee (#12 Southwest Missouri State in 1999 and #7 Wichita State in 2006); Vanderbilt (#13 Siena in 2008, #13 Murray State in 2010 and #12 Richmond in 2011)

NOTES: Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were members of the Big Eight until 1997. Mizzou left the Big 12 for SEC in 2013. . . . Notre Dame was an independent in 1986. . . . Florida State, Louisville and Tulane were members of the Metro Conference in 1989, 1990 and 1993, respectively. . . . Butler was a member of the Horizon League in 2003 and 2011. . . . Dayton was a member of the Midwestern Collegiate in 1990. . . . DePaul was a member of the Great Midwest in 1992. . . . Texas-El Paso and Utah were members of the WAC in 1992 and 1999, respectively. . . . Marquette and Louisville were members of Conference USA in 2002 and 2004, respectively. . . . Tulsa was a member of Missouri Valley in 1994 and 2002. . . . Xavier was a member of Midwestern Collegiate in 1987 and 1991 and Atlantic 10 in 2004. . . . Boston College was a member of the Big East in 2005. . . . Defeats for Maryland (ACC), Louisville (Big East), Pittsburgh (Big East) and Syracuse (Big East) came when they were members of another power league.

Seeding Capacity: #1 Seeds Kentucky and Duke Have Been There/Done That

Former national champions Marquette (41 victories) and Utah (35) have won a significant number of NCAA playoff games yet never received a No. 1 seed since seeding was introduced in 1979. It's virgin territory for Wisconsin, but the top spots are old hat for Duke and Kentucky as they're revisiting the pedestal.

Duke, accorded a No. 1 seed eight times in a nine-year span from 1998 through 2006, and Kentucky are connected with North Carolina and Kansas among the following four universities seeded #1 more than 10 times:

14 - North Carolina (1979-82-84-87-91-93-94-97-98-05-07-08-09-12)
13 - Duke (1986-92-98-99-00-01-02-04-05-06-10-11-15)
12 - Kentucky (1980-84-86-93-95-96-97-03-04-10-12-15)
11 - Kansas (1986-92-95-97-98-02-07-08-10-11-13)

Last of the Unbeatens: Historical Odds Against UK Winning NCAA Title

Unbeaten Kentucky should know all good things must come to an end. Beyond the fact no NCAA Division I men's team has compiled an undefeated record since Indiana in 1975-76, there are historical odds about final undefeated clubs in any given season coming into play regarding winning the NCAA title. Only three final undefeated teams in the previous 37 years (Duke '92, UConn '99 and Florida '06) went on to capture the national crown. Only 1/3 of the first 38 teams (two in 1991-92) since IU '76 in this category reached the Final Four.

Clemson, losing nine of 11 games upon incurring its initial setback in 2006-07, is the only school in the last-of-the-unbeaten category to fail to participate in the NCAA playoffs. The Tigers, shaky down the stretch in the regular season akin to bracket-buster POTUS taking the time to adequately deal with Putin and ISIS, finished runner-up in the NIT.

Three years ago, Murray State became the 10th of these 38 last-remaining-standing teams to suffer their first defeat at home. Following are vital facts on final unbeaten teams since the Hoosiers in 1975-76 (in reverse order):

Season Last Unbeaten (Wins) First Defeat Date Score Final Record/Postseason
2014-15 Kentucky (38)* TBD TBD TBD TBD
2013-14 Wichita State (35)* Kentucky 3-23-14 78-76 35-1/Second Round
2012-13 Michigan (16) at Ohio State 1-13-13 56-53 31-8/NCAA Runner-up
2011-12 Murray State (23)* Tennessee State 2-9-12 72-68 31-2/Second Round
2010-11 Ohio State (24) at Wisconsin 2-12-11 71-67 34-3/Regional Semifinal
2009-10 Kentucky (19) at South Carolina 1-26-10 68-62 35-3/Regional Final
2008-09 Wake Forest (16) Virginia Tech 1-21-09 78-71 24-7/First Round
2007-08 Memphis (26) Tennessee 2-23-08 66-62 38-2/National Runner-up
2006-07 Clemson (17)* at Maryland 1-13-07 92-87 25-11/NIT Runner-up
2005-06 Florida (17)* at Tennessee 1-21-06 80-76 33-6/NCAA Champion
2004-05 Illinois (29)* at Ohio State 3-6-05 65-64 37-2/NCAA Runner-up
2003-04 Saint Joseph's (27)* vs. Xavier 3-11-04 87-67 30-2/Regional Final
2002-03 Duke (12) at Maryland 1-18-03 87-72 26-7/Regional Semifinal
2001-02 Duke (12) at Florida State 1-6-02 77-76 31-4/Regional Semifinal
2000-01 Stanford (20) UCLA 2-3-01 79-73 31-3/Regional Final
1999-00 Syracuse (19) Seton Hall 2-7-00 69-67 26-6/Regional Semifinal
1998-99 Connecticut (19) Syracuse 2-1-99 59-42 34-2/NCAA Champion
1997-98 Utah (18) at New Mexico 2-1-98 77-74 30-4/NCAA Runner-up
1996-97 Kansas (22) at Missouri (2OT) 2-4-97 96-94 34-2/Regional Semifinal
1995-96 Massachusetts (26)* George Washington 2-24-96 86-76 35-2/NCAA Semifinal
1994-95 Connecticut (15) at Kansas 1-28-95 88-59 28-5/Regional Final
1993-94 UCLA (14) at California 1-30-94 85-70 21-7/First Round
1992-93 Virginia (11) at North Carolina 1-20-93 80-58 21-10/Regional Semifinal
1991-92 Duke (17) at North Carolina 2-5-92 75-73 34-2/NCAA Champion
1991-92 Oklahoma State (20) at Nebraska 2-5-92 85-69 28-8/Regional Semifinal
1990-91 UNLV (34) vs. Duke 3-30-91 79-77 34-1/NCAA Semifinal
1989-90 Georgetown (14) at Connecticut 1-20-90 70-65 24-7/Second Round
1988-89 Illinois (17) at Minnesota 1-26-89 69-62 31-5/NCAA Semifinal
1987-88 Brigham Young (17)* at UAB 2-6-88 102-83 26-6/Sweet 16
1986-87 DePaul (16) at Georgetown 1-25-87 74-71 28-3/Regional Semifinal
1985-86 Memphis State (20) at Virginia Tech 2-1-86 76-72 28-6/Second Round
1984-85 Georgetown (18) St. John's 1-26-85 66-65 35-3/NCAA Runner-up
1983-84 North Carolina (21) vs. Arkansas 2-12-84 65-64 28-3/Regional Semifinal
1982-83 UNLV (24) at Cal State Fullerton 2-24-83 86-78 28-3/Second Round
1981-82 Missouri (19) Nebraska 2-6-82 67-51 27-4/Regional Semifinal
1980-81 Oregon State (26)* Arizona State 3-7-81 87-67 26-2/Second Round
1979-80 DePaul (26)* at Notre Dame (2OT) 2-27-80 76-74 26-2/Second Round
1978-79 Indiana State (33)* vs. Michigan State 3-26-79 75-64 33-1/NCAA Runner-up
1977-78 Kentucky (14) at Alabama 1-23-78 78-62 30-2/NCAA Champion
1976-77 San Francisco (29) at Notre Dame 3-5-77 93-82 29-2/First Round

*All-time top winning streaks for respective schools.

NOTES: Indiana State lost in NCAA Tournament championship game at Salt Lake City. . . . North Carolina lost in Pine Bluff, Ark. . . . Saint Joseph's lost in Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Dayton. . . . UNLV lost against Duke in 1991 NCAA Tournament national semifinals in Indianapolis. . . . Wichita State lost against Kentucky in 2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Second Round in St. Louis.


Subscribe to Front page feed