Facts You Might Not Know About College Basketball's Championship Tournament
The college basketball season may be winding down, but the competition is just heating up. It's a tournament that takes over TVs for nearly a month every spring — and we've been doing this for decades. Here are a few interesting facts you might not know about college basketball's championship tournament.
- There are about 40 million brackets filled out each year, and the chance of having a perfect one is 9.2-quintillion to one.
- Oregon won the first tournament held in 1939. That tournament featured 8 teams.
- Connecticut won the 76th tournament in 2014. That tournament it featured 68 teams.
- The first live, nationwide broadcast of the championship game was in 1954, but it wasn't until 2011 that every game was televised nationally.
- UCLA has the most titles (11), Kentucky has second most (8), and Indiana and North Carolina are tied for third (5 each).
- The Tennessee Lady Vols have qualified every year for the playoffs since the inception of the women's basketball tournament in 1982.
- The Connecticut Huskies are the only teams to win his and her national championships in the same year (2004).
- The only year all four number 1 seeds (Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Memphis) advanced to the semi-finals was 2008.
- The largest margin of victory happened in 1963 when the Loyola Ramblers defeated the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 111-47.
- The oldest coach to win the tournament was Jim Calhoun (68 years old) in 2011, and the youngest was Emmett McCracken (31 years old) in 1940.
- The tournament is known for showcasing talent, cool games and spirited rivalries. One such rivalry began during the 1979 finals. Larry Bird's undefeated team (Indiana) was looking to complete their perfect record against Magic Johnson's team (Michigan State). However, Johnson put up an MVP performance that pushed his team to the win and, in the process, gave birth to what became one of professional basketball's most historic rivalries.
- Kansas City, Missouri, has held the most tournament semi-finals (10) since 1953.
- It's popular knowledge that the winning team cuts down the net at the end of the tournament. A more recent tradition, started in 1986, also gives the school the hardwood court. Oftentimes, the school sells or auctions pieces off to fans.
- The tournament makes more than $770 million per year, based on broadcasting rights alone. This is in addition to any profits made from ticket sales, college sports apparel, video games, sponsorship deals and more.