College Basketball

68 March Madness Stats & Facts You Need To Know

To many, the opening weekend of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship is the greatest weekend on the sports calendar. To prepare you for the glory that is the NCAA tournament, here are 68 random facts and stats you need to know before all the madness begins. Why 68? Well there are 68 teams that make it into the “Big Dance” so…

  1. No. 1 seeds have won six of the past seven championships and 11 of the past 15.
  2. The No. 5 seed is the highest seed to never win the national title.
  3. The lowest seed to reach the Final Four is a No. 11 (LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011).
  4. No. 16 seeds are winless against no. 1 seeds (DUH)
  5. Your chances of scoring a perfect bracket? 1 in over 18 quintillion. Warren Buffet can rest easy.
  6. No team has won the national championship after losing its first game in the conference tournament.
  7. Since 1979, the year seeding began, only once has the Final Four been comprised of all No. 1 seeds (2008).
  8. Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self has taken three different schools to the Elite Eight.
  9. Joakim Noah and Anthony Davis each hold the record for most blocked shots in a NCAA championship game with six.
  10. Just two times in the past 36 years has the last team to lose a regular season game gone on to win the title (2006 Florida, 1999 Connecticut).
  11. Florida’s Billy Donovan is just one of 13 coaches with multiple NCAA titles.
  12. Michigan’s Glen Rice scored 184 points and drained 27 three pointers in six games, but only made seven free throws the entire tournament.
  13. Jim Boeheim may have a national championship under his belt, but he was also the golf coach at Syracuse in the 1970s.

    Not only was Boeheim a player, but he was also the men's golf coach at Syracuse back in the day.

    Not only was Boeheim a player, but he was also the men’s golf coach at Syracuse back in the day. (h/t:

  14. “One Shining Moment” first closed the television coverage of the NCAA tournament in 1987.
  15. 32 teams will have punched their ticket to the “Big Dance” as a result of winning their respective conference tournaments or outright regular-season titles.
  16. 36 teams will will be at-large picks from the NCAA selection committee.
  17. Duke’s Mike Kryzewski enters the 2014 tournament with the most single game wins in tournament history with 82.
  18. 2011 was the first year each tournament region featured a play-in game, expanding the total field to 68.
  19. The field consisted of only eight teams when the tournament began in 1939.
  20. Men are 2.5 times more likely than women to say they watch the men’s tournament. Whatever this means.
  21. The only player to win three Final Four Most Outstanding Player Awards is UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).
  22. The NCAA tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
  23. North Carolina has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other state
  24. Duke’s Christian Laettner is the only player to start in four Final Fours (89-90-91 and 92).
  25. In 1989, two No.16 seeds came within a bucket of upsetting two No. 1 seeds. Princeton and East Tennessee State both lost to Georgetown and Oklahoma by just one point, respectively.
  26. UCLA has appeared in the most NCAA Championship games with 12 appearances.
  27. The tournament’s first triple-double was by Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson. The Big O scored 39 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and dished out 10 assists.



  28. The last team to repeat as NCAA champions were the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2007.
  29. UCLA’s John Wooden holds the records for the most national championships (10), Final Four appearances (12), and consecutive Final Four appearances (nine). Not too shabby.
  30. One Shining Moment was originally composed as a tribute to the Larry Bird-led Indiana State Sycamores of 1979.
  31. The Gus Johnson Soundboard is a real thing.
  32. Lon Kruger of Oklahoma will become the first head coach to reach the tournament multiple times with five different schools. FIVE.
  33. Memphis’ Josh Pastner may not have had much success in the tournament, but he does have a better career winning percentage than past national championship coaches Bill Self, Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino.
  34. Larry Brown’s SMU squad has 10 players that average at least 12 minutes per game. Something to consider if you’re determining winners based on conference championship fatigue.
  35. Creighton’s Doug McDermott accounts for over 30% of his team’s points.
  36. Duke’s Christian Laettner has scored more points than anyone in the history of the NCAA Tournament with 407 points from 1989-92.
  37. Only four guys on the Virginia Cavaliers were RSCI top 100 prospects. Talk about coaching them up.
  38. Jim Calhoun was the oldest coach ever to win a national championship when his Connecticut Huskies defeated the Butler Bulldogs 53-41 in 2011. He was 68.
  39. The Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers set an NCAA record that still stands for the largest margin of victory in an NCAA tournament game (64 points) when they beat the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 111-47 in 1963.
  40. Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium holds the record for most national championship games hosted with nine from 1940-64.
  41. The number of times no No. 1 seeds made it to the Final Four? Three.
  42. Only three men have won an NCAA championship as a player and as a head coach (Bob Knight, Dean Smith and Joe B. Hall).
  43. Fans fill out an average of 4.5 brackets, with 14% saying they complete six or more.
  44. John Thompson was the first black coach to win an NCAA basketball championship. His Georgetown Hoyas defeated the Houston Cougars 85-74 in 1984.

    John Thompson's 1984 championship was historic in more ways than one. (h/t:

    John Thompson’s 1984 championship was historic in more ways than one. (h/t:

  45. Seven teams have won the national championship with perfect records: the 1956 University of San Francisco Dons, the 1957 University of North Carolina Tar Heels, the 1964, 1967, 1972 and 1973 UCLA Bruins, and the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Here’s looking at you, Wichita State.
  46. Larry Brown is the only coach to win both an NCAA title and an NBA title.
  47. San Francisco’s Bill Russell pulled down 27 against Iowa in the 1956 championship game. That is still the record for most rebounds in an NCAA tournament game.
  48. UCLA won 10 titles in 12 seasons from 1964 to 1975, including 7 in a row during one stretch.
  49. American workers will spend almost 8.4 million hours watching March Madness games. Don’t feel guilty.
  50. Men are more likely than women to watch the women’s tournament. Surprising.
  51. The North Carolina Tar Heels have the most Final Four appearances with 18.
  52. Only four freshmen have been named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (Kentucky’s Anthony Davis in 2012, Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony in 2003, Louisville’s Pervis Ellison in 1986, and Utah’s Arnie Ferrin in 1944).
  53. Shaquille O’Neal set an NCAA record by blocking 11 shots in one game for LSU in 1989.
  54. The size of the cumulative viewing audience for the men’s tournament outnumbers the women’s tournament by a factor of more than 3 to 1.
  55. The term March Madness is widely said to have originated from sports commentator Brent Musburger. See, he creates more than just modeling careers.
  56. Notre Dame’s Austin Carr scored a tournament-record 61 points in a first-round win over Ohio in 1970.
  57. Northwestern is the only school from a power six conference never to make the NCAA tournament. Ouch.
  58. Nebraska and Northwestern are the only schools from a power six conference never to win an NCAA tournament game. Double ouch.
  59. BYU has made the most NCAA Tournament appearances without a Final Four.
  60. Only one team scored over 100 points in an NCAA championship game in the 1990s. UNLV scored 103 in their 103-73 rout of Duke.
  61. UCLA owns the most NCAA championships with 11, followed by Kentucky (eight), and Indiana and North Carolina (five each).
  62. Since 1986, teams that win the national championship have been given the actual hardwood court they won the championship on.
  63. In 1997, the Arizona Wildcats defeated three No. 1 seeds en route to the title.

    Miles Simon, Mike Bibby, and Co. pulled off an impressive run en route to their 1997 national championship. (h/t:

    Miles Simon, Mike Bibby, and Co. pulled off an impressive run en route to their 1997 national championship. (h/t:

  64. Fans spend on average 75 minutes filling out their brackets.
  65. The University of Dayton Arena has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other arena.
  66. The NCAA does not keep any of the profits it makes from “March Madness”.
  67. The youngest coach to ever win the championship was Indiana’s Emmett McCracken at 31 years old.
  68. The last Final Four that didn’t include at least one team with an animal mascot was In 1987, the Final Four was UNLV (Runnin’ Rebels), Indiana (Hoosiers), Syracuse (Orangemen) and Providence (Friars).


  1. Justin

    March 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    The second fact is already wrong, Villanova won the 1985 Championship as a 8 seed.

  2. Sam

    March 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Justin –

    You’re reading Fact #2 incorrectly. It’s not saying that a team lower than #5 has never won. It’s saying that the highest seed to never win the tourney is #5. Which means #1 – #4 have won, and so have some #6 and below.

  3. Mark Grecu

    March 18, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Interesting Facts about the Tourney.

  4. Scott

    March 18, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Justin, why can’t you just read the article and enjoy it instead of trying to find facts that are wrong? And in the end your the one that’s wrong and make yourself look like an even bigger a$$. I really enjoyed this article and all the fun facts that are in it. Some I knew and some I didn’t. Fun stuff! Thanks for the article.

  5. Brian Shannon

    March 18, 2014 at 8:42 am

    You could also add Rick Pitino, Eddie Sutton and John Calipari to #8…those are the ones I can think of immediately. There might be more.

  6. Ed Kleren

    March 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Does anyone know where the name March Madness came from? Illinois high school tournament.

  7. Seth L Miller

    March 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    you read it incorrectly. it says highest seed to not win

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