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
Note: asterisks (*) indicate that teams that have had at least one of the marked appearances vacated due to NCAA sanctions.
Teams with 10 or More Final Four Appearances
There are 95 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 (59) have done so at least twice—and the following eight teams have made it to the Final Four 10 or more times:
- North Carolina (21 Final Four appearances)
- UCLA (19)
- Duke (17)
- Kentucky (17)
- Kansas (16)
- Ohio State (11)
- Louisville (10)
- Michigan State (10)
While an older version of this post noted just seven teams with 10+ appearances, Michigan State’s 2015 and 2019 Final Four appearances allowed for their addition. Who knows, maybe we’ll soon be adding Indiana to this list.
Of course, some of these teams have made it past the Final Four and into the Finals many times. Yet only UCLA (13), Kentucky (12), North Carolina (12), Duke (11), and Kansas (10) have moved forward 10 or more times. Additionally, many of these same teams have gone on to win more than any others.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Winners
Most of the teams with 10 or more Final Four appearances are amongst the most winning teams, as well. Yet wins, as opposed to Finals and even Final Four appearances, are harder to get. Just one team has earned over 10 of these:
- UCLA (11 wins)
- Kentucky (8)
- North Carolina (6)
- Duke (5)
- Indiana (5)
- Kansas (4)
- UConn (4)
- Villanova (3)
- Louisville (3)
UCLA has won 11 times, including 10 out of 12 years between 1964 and 1975 under legendary coach John Wooden. However, the team has faced somewhat of a dry spell, at least where wins are concerned: their last W was in 1995.
Meanwhile, Kentucky has won eight times, most recently in 2012. Unlike UCLA though, their only winning streak was long ago when they won three out of four years between 1948 and 1951. North Carolina has six wins out of their 21 Final Four appearances (and 12 championship game chances) for a winning percentage of X.
14 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Champions’ Perfect Winning Percentages
Then there are 14 teams with the most championship wins without a loss.
|School||Finals||Champions||Winning Percentage (Wins / Finals)|
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, Kansas took 16 trips to the Final Four and 10 championship game appearances to have the same number of tournament wins.
The only other teams with perfect records throughout multiple Finals include Louisville (3), NC State (2), and San Francisco (2).
Similarly, 10 other teams have won their only championship appearance (CCNY, Holy Cross, Loyola–Chicago, Maryland, Oregon, Stanford, UNLV, UTEP, Virginia, and Wyoming). Meanwhile, 16 teams have lost in their only trip to the Finals—and 35 haven’t ever made it that far.
Improve the Accuracy of Your Bracket
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 knowledgeable basketball fans can get the likelihood down to one in 128 million.
Go ahead and fill out 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 other NCAA championships, be sure to check out our map of the NCAA Football Champions.