Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final Four Droughts

Tomorrow, Michigan State will be trying for their second consecutive Final Four and their 6th in the last 12 years. However, the other seven schools in the Elite Eight have not tasted as much success when it comes to the Final Four (at least lately).

Traditional powers, Duke and Kentucky both have many Final Fours on their resume. Kentucky has been to 13 while Duke has been to 14. However, Kentucky is currently in the middle of their longest Final Four drought in school history. It has been 12 years since Kentucky has last been to the Final Four. Before this current drought, the longest stretch in which Kentucky went without a Final Four had been 8 years (1967 to 1974 and again 1985 to 1992).

Duke has not been too the Final Four since 2004. They have seen longer droughts in school history, but the last time that they went 5 straight tournaments without a Final Four before this current drought was when they missed the Final Four from 1979 to 1985 (7 years).

Out of the other 5 teams in the Elite Eight, none have been to the Final Four since 1964. Kansas State last went in 1964, West Virginia last went in 1959 and Baylor's last Final Four was in 1950. Butler and Tennessee have never been to the Final Four.

Since 1944 (the first time a team made its second final four appearance), only twice in history has there ever been a Final Four in which every participant ended a more than ten-year drought or was making its first appearance. Those years were 1959 and 1979. Here is a summary of the teams and the year's since their prior appearance.

Michigan State - 22 years
DePaul - 36 years
Indiana State - First appearance
Penn - First appearance

California - 13 years
Cincinnati - First appearance
Louisville - First appearance
West Virginia - First appearance

If West Virginia, Tennessee and Baylor win today and tomorrow, it will be the third time in history that it has happened.

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