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.

Friday, March 12, 2010

At-Large Bids

Texas will be making their 12th consecutive tournament appearance which will be tied for 4th longest current streak. However, with the loss to Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament, they have still never won a Big 12 Tournament. Each one of their last 12 tournament appearances (including this year's) have been at-large bids which extends their own record. Below is a list of the longest streaks of At-Large Bids all-time:
  • Texas 11 (1999-2009)
  • Indiana 10 (1994-2003)
  • Louisiana State 10 (1984-1993)
  • Marquette 10 (1971-1980)
  • Maryland 10 (1994-2003)
  • Michigan State 9 (2001-2009)
  • Temple 9 (1991-1999)
  • Notre Dame 8 (1974-1981)
  • Arizona 7 (2003-2009)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Today Georgia Tech defeated North Carolina 62-58 in the first round of ACC Tournament. Earlier UCLA knocked off Arizona 75-69 in the Pac Ten Quarterfinals. As a result, two long tournament streaks will come to an end this year.

The last time that Roy Williams missed the tournament was in 1989. He was a rookie coach with Kansas. They finished 19-12 that year, but were ineligible for the NCAA Tournament due to violations after winning the 1988 National Championship. His streak will end at 20. His streak will end up being the third longest all time. Lute Olson and Dean Smith both coached in 23 consecutive tournaments. Smith coached from 1975 to 1997 and Olson coached from 1985 to 2007. Mike Krzyzewski is now the current leader making his 15th consecutive appearance this year.

Arizona's run of 25 straight appearances will come to an end this year. They started their run in 1985 in Lute Olson's second season in Arizona. Before their current run, Arizona had a grand total of 3 tournament appearances and 2 wins. Arizona's streak is the second longest all-time falling two short of North Carolina's run from 1974-2001. Kansas is now the current leader making their 21st consecutive appearance this year.