2014-final-four-tournament-ncaa

NCAA Tournament Final: A Look At The Numbers

With the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game coming Monday night, here’s an interesting look at some of the numbers involved as Connecticut prepares to face Kentucky at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

1985:   The last year in which a seed lower than No. 6 won a title. Villanova, the eighth seed, knocked off Georgetown for the national championship.

48:   It has been 48 years since two teams that were not in the previous year’s tournament squared off in the final the following year. The last time it happened? The famed 1966 final when head coach Don Haskins Texas Western (now UTEP) defeated legendary Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats.

15:   Since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979, this year marks the highest total (No. 7 Connecticut and No. 8 Kentucky), 15, in history. With a win, Kentucky’s John Calipari can become the 15th coach in NCAA history to win multiple championships.

12:   Alex Poythress, 6-foot-8 Kentucky forward who may miss the championship game, has hit 12 consecutive field goals. They have all been dunks, layups, or tip-ins.

11:   Kentucky has won 11 straight NCAA tournament games. It won the title in 2012 and did not make the tourney last years. Their last loss? Ironically, it was to UConn in the 2011 national semifinals.

9:   A win would give Kentucky its ninth NCAA title. That would put them just two behind UCLA, which holds the record with 11.

7:   Connecticut is the first No. 7 seed to ever play for a national championship.

7-1:   UConn’s record in Final Four games. Their only loss was in the 2009 semifinals when they were beaten by Michigan State.

6:   Since 1996, Kentucky and UConn have combined for six national championships, three each.

3:   Kentucky has appeared in three of the past four Final Fours.

2:   If Connecticut wins the title game, head coach Kevin Ollie would become just the second coach in NCAA history to win the championship in his first season in the tournament. The other was Michigan’s Steve Fisher in 1989.

1:   The number of times that Kentucky has beaten Connecticut in the past 10 years. The two teams met four times during that span.

0:   The number of McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster of UConn. The only team to ever win a national title without at least one was Maryland in 2002. By contrast, Kentucky has seven McDonald’s All-Americans on its roster.

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Rick Bouch is a former college and professional football player and former sports journalist for several publications. He currently is a freelance sports writer covering national sports news.