Eight Awesome Facts About the College Basketball Tournament - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

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!



This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. When I had heard about this contest through my aunt/guardian, I was a little cynical, only because with a field of at least 64 teams, the chances of winning $1,000,000,000 would have been VERY little. I had just found out at least HALF of my picks in this have been correct. However, ONE team I was hoping to advance past others (but didn’t MAKE it in the 1st round) was Arizona State University. I had a bracket wherein ASU had beaten Arizona, to make it to the National Championship (picking Florida as their opponents). I then picked ASU, with an OT score which would have made the game close. Now that THAT went “belly up”, I’m keeping up with the teams, and had made on 4 sheets of paper a bracketed system which had 16 teams the 1st round, 8 in the 2nd, 4 during the “Sweet 16”, 2 during the “Elite 8”, and whoever WON the division to play in the FINAL 4. I may KEEP this for an interesting bit of record-keeping (and, who knows – if I hear about any “time capsules” being made, I’d make photocopies of this (so I’d have a copy for myself) so I could SUBMIT this into the “time capsule”.

  2. 2008 –

    -North Carolina

    This was the year of Kansas’s frantic comeback, being down 8 with 2 minutes left, and when Mario Chalmers hit a 3 pointer with just a few tics left to force overtime. Tyler Hansborough, Derrick Rose, and Kevin Love were some of the now NBA stars playing in that Final 4. One of the best ones to date.

  3. On ESPN’s Tournament Challenge only 8 of 11 million brackets had all Elite Eight teams correct. I wonder how many brackets in Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Challenge had all eight teams correct? I had 6 of the 8 correct. Go UK.

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