Saturday, April 1, 2017

Final Four Tidbits

This year's final four is the first to feature teams making their first appearance since 1996 when both Massachusetts and Mississippi State made their first appearance.

It is the first time that two teams making their first final four appearance are playing each other in the National Semifinals since 1973 when Memphis State played Providence.

Frank Martin, Mark Few and Dana Altman are all making their first final four appearance.  The last time at least 3 coaches all made their first appearance in the same final four was 2006 - Jim Larranaga (George Mason), John Brady (Louisiana State), Ben Howland (UCLA).

The last time that two coaches were making their first final four appearance against each other in the National Semifinals was in 2007 when Thad Matta coached Ohio State against Georgetown coached by John Thompson III.

This is the first year since 2012 that all four teams are from a different conference.

Gonzaga is the 25th team to enter the tournament with zero or one loss since Indiana won in 1976 with no losses.  Gonzaga is only the 9th to advance to the final four and the 5th to advance to the championship game.  None have won the championship.

Gonzaga is in their first ever championship game and the first for the West Coast Conference since San Francisco won in 1956.

North Carolina is in the championship game for the 11th time and for the 2nd straight year.  They are the first team to go to consecutive championship games since Butler in 2010-11.

The last team to win the championship one year after losing the championship game was Kentucky in 1998.

North Carolina is 11-9 in National Semifinal games.  Oregon is 1-1.

North Carolina is the second straight AP #6 team to advance to the National Championship game.  Villanova was #6 last year.

Oregon's loss is their first vs. an ACC team.  They are 2-1.

Both winning teams scored 77 points.  It is only the third time that both winning teams scored the same number of points.  The other years were 1948 (Kentucky 60 Holy Cross 52; Baylor 60 Kansas State 52) and 1991 (Duke 79 UNLV 77; Kansas 79 North Carolina 73)

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