NCAA March Madness 2023: Which team has been to the Final Four the most?
When discussing Final Four appearance leaders, there are a handful of teams who have made their name synonymous with college basketball’s biggest tournament.
NCAA’s March Madness has a long and storied history since its inception more than 70 years ago. The tournament has of course changed in size and format, but the passion, dedication and hard work continues in much the same way that the fans’ devotion to the game does as well. Over the years there have been a select few schools who have stood up to be counted and with that, we’re giving you the rundown of exactly who they are.
The origins of NCAA’s basketball tournament
When the men’s college basketball NCAA Tournament began in 1939, it didn’t look exactly the same as it does today. Indeed, March Madness only started including 64 teams in the bracket as of 1985. As we now know that number was increased to 68 with the introduction of the First Four in 2011. Today, there are 351 schools included in Division I, however, only 91 of those college basketball programs have made it to the Final Four. Needless to say, the road there is a long and arduous one, but rest assured whether you win the title or not, by simply making the Final Four, your name has been written on the pages of college basketball history.
Who are the teams with the most Final Four appearances?
Before we begin, let’s put things in perspective for you. Prior to 2019, there had never been a Final Four without one of three teams: North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas. With that in mind, you can probably already guess who is going to be heading up this list. Moreover, it should be said that any one of those teams will have to be absent for quite some time to come before any other can overtake them.
As we mentioned above, there are a few teams who are way out ahead and the first of those is North Carolina. The Tar Heels lead all schools with 21 appearances in the Final Four. Ironically, they actually missed out on March Madness altogether this year, but as they say, ‘you can’t win them all. UCLA who was just eliminated by high-flying Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 are close behind with 19, however, it’s worth noting that they previously saw one of their appearances vacated due to NCAA sanctions. Next up, we’ve got the ever-intimidating Duke Blue Devils who are jointly tied with Kentucky on 17. Then, we’ve got Kansas who currently sits on 16. Following these heavyweights, the next in line is Ohio State with 11, which tells you there is definitely a gulf in success between them. As for here and now, only Kansas remains in the Elite 8 with a chance to increase their record.