The men’s college basketball tournament began with 68 of the best college basketball teams in the country. Many upsets and overtimes later, we’re left with just a fraction of the original teams. Here are eight awesome facts about the men’s college basketball tournament that you may not have known.
The first men’s college basketball tournament was held in 1939 with only eight schools. To put that in perspective, 68 teams participate in today’s college basketball tournament, and there are plans to add even more teams in years to come! Oregon won the first tournament, but has yet to even reach the semifinals since.
Thirty-five schools have won national championships. There are 346 division-one college basketball teams. That means only about 10% of teams that are eligible to be selected to play in the tournament have actually won a national championship.
Twelve current head coaches have won a national championship. Proven head coaches attract the best basketball recruits each and every year, in turn creating what we like to call “college basketball powerhouses.”
A number 16 seed has NEVER beaten a number 1 seed. 1 seeds have won 120 straight games against 16 seeds. We’ve seen some scares through the years, especially in 2014, but Goliath has always prevailed over David. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year.
Only once have all four number 1 seeds won their regional. This is one of the more surprising facts about the college basketball tournament. This happened in 2008 when Memphis, UCLA, North Carolina and and the eventual champion, Kansas all reached the semifinals. Odds show every year that these four teams statistically have the best chance to be the last four teams standing in the tournament, but this is why we love the college basketball tournament; it’s truly unpredictable.
The lowest seed to ever win a national championship is an 8 seed. This occurred in 1985 when 8 seed Villanova defeated Patrick Ewing and the giant that was Georgetown. This game is thought to be the biggest upset in college basketball tournament history.
Three individuals have won a national championship both as a player and as a coach. Joe B. Hall played and coached at Kentucky, Bob Knight won as player with Ohio State and as a coach with Indiana, and finally, Dean Smith won as a player with Kansas and as a coach with UNC. This is truly an unbelievable feat, as most athletes and coaches only get a few chances to win national championships in their lifetimes.
The University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University are the only schools from the same state to play for the tournament championship. But watch out, there’s a chance of this happening again this year, with a few Michigan schools.
Whether you’re sitting at the top of your bracket pool or your bracket is completely busted, we hope you learned something from these fun facts!
Do you have any more facts that we didn’t mention? Share them with the other readers in the comments below!