NCAA Tournament Second Round Fun Facts

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With the “First Four” first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament complete, and the tournament in full swing starting today, here are a few fun facts.

  • Kansas has the longest current streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, with 26 (dating back to 1990). That streak is one short of the all-time record of 27, set by North Carolina. Duke is currently second with 20, with Michigan State third at 18.
  • Schools from 32 states and Washington D.C. are among the schools competing in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Two other states have already been eliminated. Florida’s lone participant, North Florida, lost in the “First Four” game against Robert Morris. Idaho’s only participant, Boise State, lost a heartbreaker against Dayton at Dayton’s home arena.
  • The states with the most teams in this year’s tournament are Texas and Indiana (five). For Indiana, the schools are Purdue, Butler, Valparaiso, Notre Dame and Indiana. However, only one – at most – could make it to the Final Four. All five schools are in the Midwest Region. Butler and Notre Dame could square off in the third round; both schools are playing their opening game in Pittsburgh.
  • Texas’s five representatives are Texas, Baylor, Texas Southern, S.F. Austin and Southern Methodist. Though unlikely, it is possible that three of the Final Four teams could be from the Lone Star State, as the schools are among those participating in the Midwest, West and South Regions.
  • Arizona, the No. 2 seed in the West Region, has three losses this season, including two in the Pac-12 Conference. However, those three losses – all on the road – have been by a combined nine points. Meanwhile, Gonzaga, the No. 2 seed in the South Region, has two losses this season by a combined six points.
  • The state of California has a record 15 NCAA Tournament championships between four schools (UCLA, California, San Francisco and Stanford). However, the state hasn’t won a title since 1995 (UCLA). California has three schools in this year’s Tournament – UCLA, UC-Irvine and San Diego State.
  • The most popular team name for this year’s tournament is the Wildcats, with four. Kentucky and Villanova are both No. 1 seeds, while Arizona is a No. 2 and Davidson is a No. 10.
  • The state of Kentucky has been represented in the Final Four every year since 2011, with either Louisville or Kentucky. Both schools have made the Final Four twice since then, with one national championship each.
  • The Big Ten Conference has the most consecutive seasons currently with at least one Final Four appearance – three (Ohio State in 2012, Michigan in 2013 and Wisconsin in 2014).
  • The two schools may be on opposite ends of the rankings in the East Region, but top-seeded Villanova and 16th-seeded Lafayette are separated by about 60 miles. The two schools, based in east Pennsylvania, will square off Thursday in Pittsburgh, about 300 west of each school.
  • The team playing the closest to home in the second and third rounds is Dayton (71 miles, between Dayton, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio). Kentucky is also playing less than 100 miles from home (78 miles, between Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky). The team playing furthest from home is Virginia Commonwealth University (2861 miles, between Richmond, Virginia and Portland, Oregon). Georgetown is also playing a long way from home, 2802 miles to be exact (Washington D.C. and Portland).
  • Robert Morris, which defeated North Florida in a “First Four” game in Dayton, earned its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1983. The Colonials will play Duke on Friday in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Hampton, which advanced after beating Manhattan in the first game Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio, entered this year’s tournament as the only team with a losing round. Unless the Pirates pull off the biggest miracle in sports history and beat the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday, their season will end with a losing record. Tuesday’s victory gave Hampton a 17-17 record.
  • A No. 15 seed has defeated a No. 2 seed seven times. Florida Gulf Coast was the most recent No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed, defeating Georgetown in the 2013 Tournament en route to the Sweet Sixteen. In 2012, the No. 15-No. 2 upset happened twice. This year, No. 2 Kansas and No. 15 New Mexico State play in the Midwest Region, and their records are similar. Kansas is 26-8, while New Mexico State is 23-10.
  • Every NCAA Tournament champion since 2009 has come from east of the Mississippi River.
  • Defending NCAA Tournament champion Connecticut, which failed to make this year’s tournament, fell to Arizona State on Wednesday in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). Meanwhile, Florida, which also played in the 2014 Final Four, failed to make a postseason berth this year, finishing with a record of 16-17.