College basketball fans are expanding their cable packages. Many who follow March Madness closely will want to watch as many of the 67 games in the tournament as possible. As the teams move further in the tournament, you’ll want to check out the map below of every team to ever make the Final Four at least once. Explore the groups to see teams with appearances in the Finals and who has won the tournament the most times.
View NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Appearances in a full screen map
There are 87 teams represented on this map. All have made it through the early rounds of the tournament to be part of the Final Four. More than half of those teams (55) have done so at least twice.
Only seven teams have made it to the Final Four 10 or more times: North Carolina (18), UCLA (17), Kentucky (16), Duke (15), Kansas (14), Louisville (10), and Ohio State (10).
The previous teams are amongst the most winning teams, as well. UCLA won 11 times, including 10 out of 12 years between 1964 and 1975 under legendary coach John Wooden. Kentucky has won eight times, but only repeated on one occasion. North Carolina has five wins out of those 18 Final Four appearances (and nine championship game chances). Also with five championships is Indiana, which has only lost a single finals game (and has made the Final Four just eight times).
UCONN has the most championship wins without a loss. The Huskies of the Northeast have made the Final Four on five occasions and won all four of their championship appearances. By comparison, Duke took 15 trips to the Final Four and 10 championship game appearances to have the same number of tournament wins.
Other teams with perfect records in the finals include Louisville (3), Oklahoma State (2), and USF (2). 10 other teams have won their only championship appearance. 17 teams have lost in their only trip to the Finals.
If you think it’s hard to win a championship, try to correctly guess the winner. Every year millions attempt to fill out an accurate bracket beforehand and nobody has ever been perfect.
In the video above, Professor Jeff Bergen from DePaul University (two Final Four appearances, both resulting in losses) outlines the many different possible brackets. If filled out completely at random, there’s a one in nine quintillion chance of choosing every winner correctly. It’s a big number, which Bergen writes out on the board. He also goes on to estimate that knowledgable basketball fans can get the likelihood down to one in 128 million.
Go ahead and fill our your bracket for fun. But expect to achieve the same result as 66 of the 67 teams in the tournament: another year without a victory.
For those tracking our other NCAA championship map, this year’s opponents in the football championship were the first teams to square off in the basketball finals. In 1939, Oregon beat Ohio State 46-33 for the Ducks’ only championship. The Buckeyes needed to wait until 1960 for their sole win, though the team has lost another three times in the years since.