Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

22 Fun Facts About the NCAA Tournament

march madnessIt’s time for March Madness, which means all law work will be shelved this month in favor of bracketology.

To help get you in the mood, here are 22 interesting and offbeat facts about the NCAA Tournament

  1. The first NCAA tournament game was played on March 17, 1939 before 1,000 fans in Evanston, Illinois. Villanova beat Brown 42-30 in that inaugural contest.
  2. The winner of the first NCAA title was Oregon. Only eight teams were in the tournament.
  3. UCLA has won the most titles (11).
  4. The 1979 championship game between Michigan State and Indiana State – with its matchup of stars Magic Johnson and Larry Bird - is the highest-rated tournament game ever, with 38 percent of all televisions in the country tuned in.
  5. Kentucky has made the most NCAA tourney appearances (53).
  6. Texas has had 23 different schools appear in the tournament over the years, more than any other state.
  7. Texas Western (now UTEP) was the first team with an all-black starting lineup to win the tournament in 1966.
  8. Austin Carr of Notre Dame holds the single game scoring record (61 points) in a first-round win over Ohio in 1970. He followed that up with 52 points in a loss to Kentucky.
  9. At least one Number One seed has reached the Final Four in all but three years since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979.
  10. The Tennessee Lady Vols have been to the Big Dance every year since the women’s tournament was introduced in 1982.
  11. No Number 16 seed has ever beaten a Number One seed.
  12. Duke has the highest tournament winning percentage (99-34 in 133 tourney games, for a .744 percentage) of any program.
  13. The University of North Carolina has been a Number One seed more times (14, most recently in 2012) than any other school.
  14. Three people have won an NCAA title as a player and as a coach: Joe B. Hall (player and coach of Kentucky), Bob Knight (player with Ohio State and coach of Indiana) and Dean Smith (player at Kansas and coach at North Carolina).
  15. The oldest coach to win a title was Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) in 2011 at age 68.
  16. The youngest coach to win a title was Emmett McCracken (Indiana) in 1940 at age 31.
  17. All four Number One seeds have advanced to the Final Four only once, when Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina and UCLA did it in 2008.
  18. A total of 96 NCAA tournament wins – including 11 Final Four victories - have been vacated due to rules violations.
  19. A Number 11 is the lowest seed ever to make the Final Four. That’s happened three times: LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011.
  20. The most frequent tourney matchup is Kentucky vs. Marquette. They have played each other 10 times over the years.
  21. Larry Brown is the only coach to win an NBA title and an NCAA title.
  22. The lowest seed to win the Championship was Number 8 Villanova in 1985.

And by the way, the odds of filling out a perfect bracket are one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.  So who are you picking to win it this year?

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

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