NCAA tournament: By the numbers
From 1-65, here's a look at the nuggets, factoids and did-you-knows that will have you ready for this year's NCAA tournament
65. At 65, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim would be the second-oldest coach to win a national championship. Phog Allen was the oldest ever at 66 years and 129 days old when Kansas won in 1952. The next oldest was John Wooden in 1975 at 64. Lute Olson, Dean Smith and Jim Calhoun are the only other coaches to win a title after turning 60.
64. Cornell is representing the Ivy League for the third straight year (its fifth appearance overall). Meanwhile, it's been 64 years since Harvard appeared in the NCAA tournament. That's the longest drought for any team that has previously played in the Big Dance. In terms of long tournament droughts, the Ivy League is the place to look. After Harvard, the next two longest droughts belong to Dartmouth (51 years) and Yale (38).
63. It was 63 years ago that Holy Cross' George Kaftan became the first player to score at least 30 points in a Final Four game. The most recent to do it? Carmelo Anthony in 2003 against Texas.
62. Minnesota's RPI of 62 is the lowest for any at-large team in this year's field. That is tied for the seventh-worst at-large RPI over the last 15 tournaments. The last at-large Big Ten team with a lower RPI was also Minnesota, in 1995, with an RPI of 66. The lowest at-large RPI of the last 15 years? New Mexico in 1999 had an RPI of 74.
61. Notre Dame's Austin Carr holds the record for most points in an NCAA tournament game with 61 against Ohio in 1970. In fact, it is only one of five 50-point performances in the history of the Big Dance. Carr is Notre Dame's all-time leading scorer. But just 88 points behind him is Luke Harangody. In three career tourney games, Harangody has only 32 points.
60. Thinking about picking Baylor to make a deep run in 2010? The Bears haven't won an NCAA tournament game in 60 years. In 1950, the Bears beat BYU in the regional semifinals before falling to Bradley. Baylor has been to only two tournaments since then (1988 and 2008) and fell in the first round both times.
59. Saint Mary's is looking for its first NCAA tournament win since 1959, when Tom Meschery led the Gaels over Idaho State for their first and only tournament win. After that year, SMC didn't make it back to the tournament for 30 years. Overall, the program has lost five straight tournament games. This is the third straight appearance in which the Gaels are a 10-seed.
58. It was 58 years ago when Clyde Lovellette became the first and only player to lead the nation in scoring and win a championship when Kansas won the 1952 title. After leading Houston to an improbable Conference USA title, Aubrey Coleman is the first national scoring leader to appear in the tournament since Gonzaga's Adam Morrison in 2006.
57. It was 57 years ago that Washington's Bob Houbregs poured in 42 points against LSU in the national third-place game. It was the first time a player scored 40-plus points in a Final Four game. Since then, only three players have scored more: Bill Bradley (58), Hal Lear (48) and Bill Walton (44). The last player to score 40 points in any round was Stephen Curry in 2008.
56. Wofford won't need to do much to improve on the Southern Conference's performance in the 2009 tourney. Last year, 16-seed Chattanooga lost to Connecticut by 56 points. That was the third-largest defeat in tournament history. The largest margin? Back in 1963, Loyola (Ill.) beat Tennessee Tech by 69 points.
55. Last year, 55 of the tournament's 64 games were decided by four points or more. That is tied for the most since the field expanded from 48 to 64 teams in 1985. Compare that to 1990, when seemingly every game came down to the wire. That year, 24 of 63 tournament games (no opening-round game) were decided by 3 points or fewer. Ironically, UNLV beat Duke by 30 points in the title game.
54. The 9-seeds are 54-46 in games vs. the 8-seeds, the only seed vs. seed first-round matchup in which the lower-seeded team has won more than 50 percent of the matchups. In this year's tournament, Florida State, Northern Iowa, Wake Forest and Louisville look to add to the 9-seed win total with "upsets" in the first round.
53. Mike Krzyzewski (27) and Jim Boeheim (26) now have a combined 53 appearances in the tournament. The next three 2010 tourney coaches on the all-time list -- Rick Barnes (18), Bob Huggins (18) and Gary Williams (17) -- also have 53 combined appearances. In fact, you could take the 26 least-experienced tourney coaches in this year's tournament, and together they would not equal the number of combined appearances for Coach K and Boeheim.
52. Current members of the Missouri Valley Conference have won 52 NCAA tournament games. That's the most for any current conference that does not have a title. The Valley hasn't been quite as successful of late. Northern Iowa is looking to prevent the MVC from going winless in three straight NCAA tournaments for the first time since a string of four straight from 1987-90.
51. The record books say Kentucky is making its 50th appearance in the NCAA tournament, but in reality it is No. 51. The Wildcats' 1988 appearance was later vacated and does not count toward their official total. Either way, no school has been to the Big Dance more. In fact, North Carolina and UCLA -- both with 41 appearances and both absent from this year's tourney -- are the only other schools to crack 40.
50. It was 50 years ago that Bob Knight was a reserve for Ohio State during its national title run. Sixteen years later, Knight coached Indiana to a title, becoming the first person with a national championship as a player and head coach. In 1978, Joe B. Hall coached Kentucky to a national title 29 years after he was a member of Adolph Rupp's 1949 championship team. Then in 1982, Dean Smith coached North Carolina to his first title 30 years after winning a title as a player at Kansas. No one else has pulled off the player-coach title combo. So who might have a shot? New Mexico coach Steve Alford led Knight's 1987 Indiana team to the title.
49. It was 49 years ago that Cincinnati topped Ohio State in the first of two straight title games between the schools. The 1961 meeting marked the first time that two schools from the same state met in the title game. Our best chance for that happening this year? Quite possibly an all-Pennsylvania final between Pittsburgh and Villanova.
48. The AP began conducting a basketball poll in 1948. Since then, the team ranked No. 1 going into the tournament has won the title 20 times, and only three times since the tournament expanded in 1985. Kansas is looking to be the first AP No. 1 to win the title since Duke in 2001. The only other time the Jayhawks entered the tournament as No. 1 in the nation was 1997, when Arizona beat KU in the Sweet 16 and later cut down the nets despite being No. 15 in the nation going into the tournament.
47. The NCAA tournament has included teams from the District of Columbia and 47 states (Alaska does not have a D-I basketball school). That number used to be 46, until North Dakota State became the first tourney team from the Peace Garden State in 2009. That leaves three states that have never experienced the madness: Alaska (of course), Maine and South Dakota. Maine has one D-I team (Maine), while South Dakota State recently became the only D-I school in its state.
46. Since the tournament expanded in 1985, 46 games have been won by teams seeded between 13 and 15. Last year, 14-seed Cleveland State of the Horizon knocked off Wake Forest in the first round. Historically, the Colonial has been the most successful league when seeded that low, winning seven such games.
45. Over the last 45 years, only four teams have won the title after being unranked in the preseason AP poll. Texas Western did it in 1966, then Villanova in '85, Syracuse in '03 and Florida in '06. The most obvious candidate this year is once again Syracuse, which earned a 1-seed despite being unranked to start the season.
44. It's been 44 years since we've seen an NCAA tournament that did not involve UCLA, Indiana and North Carolina. Those three schools all missed the tournament this year. The last time that happened was 1966.
43. Last year, Pittsburgh became the 43rd different team to be a No. 1 seed since seeding began in 1979. Some of the more surprising teams that have never been a 1 are Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Alabama.
42. On March 22, 1957, UNC's Lennie Rosenbluth attempted 42 field goals in a triple-overtime game against Michigan State in the national semifinals. It remains the Final Four record for field goal attempts by an individual. For a little perspective, the entire Michigan State starting five combined for 27 field goal attempts in the championship game last year.
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41. Glen Rice may just be the greatest college player to wear No. 41. In 1989, Rice set a record with 184 points in a single tournament, eclipsing Bill Bradley's old mark. Get ready for some déjà vu this year. Glen Rice Jr. wears No. 41 and started the last nine games of the season for Georgia Tech, which faces Oklahoma State on Friday. The freshman has 171 points this season, still shy of his father's single tournament total.
40. Rhode Island was left out of the NCAA tournament despite an RPI of 40, the highest for any team not selected this year. This is the eighth straight year -- and 13th of the last 14 -- that at least one of the RPI top 40 was left out of the Big Dance. However, it's nowhere near the best RPI to miss out over that span. In 2006, Missouri State had an RPI of 21 and a 20-8 record, but didn't get picked on Selection Sunday.
39. Bob Huggins has coached in 39 NCAA tournament games, but he's never cut down the nets at the end. That is the most games for any active coach who has never won a title. The last three times that a Huggins team had a top-two seed, it was bounced in the second round. Texas' Rick Barnes is next on the list, having coached three different schools in a total of 36 games, but no title.
38. Illinois has 38 NCAA tournament wins, the most for any school without a championship. It may be the most storied college basketball program never to win a title, something that won't change this year for the Illini, who are in the NIT. Of course, Illinois has come close recently, losing to North Carolina in the 2005 title game. In this year's field, Texas has the most tournament wins without a title, with 35. Temple and Purdue are next in line (each has 31 tourney victories without a championship).
37. The most overall wins for an NCAA champion is 37 by Kansas in 2008. If either Kansas or Kentucky wins the title this year, that team will end the season with 38 wins (both teams are 32-2 heading into the tourney).
36. This is the 36th year that the term "Final Four" has been in use to describe the last four teams remaining in the tournament. According to the official NCAA record book, Ed Chay of the Cleveland Plain Dealer used the phrase in discussing Marquette coach Al McGuire in 1975 for the "Official Collegiate Basketball Guide." Three years later, the phrase was capitalized by the NCAA, as a way to make it official.
35. There are 35 teams returning to the NCAA tournament from last year's bracket. Why is that so important? Since the field expanded to 64 in 1985, 23 of the 25 champions have been teams returning from the previous year. The lone exceptions are Louisville in 1986 and Syracuse in 2003. This may be of particular interest to Kentucky and Kansas State, which both missed the tournament last year.
34. In his 34th season at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim has the longest tenure at one school among all active coaches. Only 14 coaches have ever had a longer stint at one place. Boeheim has 42 NCAA tournament wins, which is tied with Denny Crum for fourth-most among coaches who have appeared in the tournament at only one school.
33. At 33, Butler's Brad Stevens in the youngest coach in the field and the seventh-youngest in Division I. If Butler goes on a miracle run, he would be the second-youngest ever to win it all. At just 31, Branch McCracken was the youngest coach to win the national title, when he led Indiana to the 1940 championship. In fact, the first three titles were won by coaches under 36. It has happened only twice since.
32. With only 32 games under his belt, Xavier's Chris Mack is the least experienced coach in the field. A year after Russ Pennell and Ken McDonald made it to the tournament in their first season, Mack is the only first-year coach in the tournament. Steve Fisher is the only coach to win the national title in his first season; he led Michigan to the 1989 championship after becoming the interim head coach toward the end of the season. Fisher, now the coach at San Diego State, is back for his 10th NCAA appearance.
31. The schools in the 2010 field have won 31 of the 71 national championships in history. Kentucky has the most in the current field with seven, followed by Duke and Kansas with three each. Interestingly, three of the four schools with the most titles are not represented this year. UCLA (11), Indiana (5) and North Carolina (5) have combined for 21 titles.
30. It was 30 years ago when Louisville's Denny Crum beat his alma mater UCLA in the 1980 national title game. That has happened only one other time: UCLA's John Wooden defeated Purdue in 1969 (Crum was a Wooden assistant on that 1969 team). So who could pull it off in 2010? A Utah State-Gonzaga title game would certainly qualify as a long shot for Stew Morrill. The same holds true for Wake Forest's Dino Gaudio and Ohio. That leaves only four other possibilities, albeit remote ones: Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon against Kansas, Baylor's Scott Drew against Butler, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings against Purdue and Oklahoma State's Travis Ford against Kentucky.
29. This is the 29th straight year that a team from the Northeast Conference has appeared in the NCAA tournament, but the league has never won a first-round game. The conference's only three tournament wins have been in the opening-round game (sometimes called the play-in game), including two of the last three seasons. The 28-year first-round drought is the longest stretch for a conference in NCAA tournament history. From 1986-2005, the Southland went 20 years without a first-round win, which accounts for the second-longest stretch. Now it is up to Robert Morris for the second straight year. The Colonials draw Villanova in the first round.
28. Coastal Carolina's 28 wins are the most ever for a school that missed the NCAA tournament. The Chanticleers marched through the Big South regular season with a 15-3 conference record but fell to Winthrop in the title game. Wichita State is the only other school this season with 25 or more wins to miss out on the Big Dance. Previously, there have been 13 teams with at least 26 wins that weren't invited, including eight in the last two seasons alone.
27. Before you go picking that fifth seed to win the whole thing, consider this: Since seeding began in 1979, 27 of the 31 titles have been won by top-three seeds. That breaks down to 17 1-seeds, six 2-seeds and four 3-seeds. You have to go back to fourth-seeded Arizona in 1997 to find the last team seeded lower than third.
26. It has been 26 years since Arizona last missed the NCAA tournament. After finishing 16-15, the Wildcats will again be staying home. Their streak of 25 straight appearances is the second-longest of all time. North Carolina made the NCAA tournament in 27 straight years from 1975-2001.
25. Over the last 25 years, teams from the SWAC have only one NCAA tournament victory. That came when Southern beat Georgia Tech in 1993. Since then, SWAC schools are on a 17-game tournament losing streak, the longest active streak of any conference. In 1995, Texas Southern fell to eventual finalist Arkansas by just one point. Since then, no SWAC school has come within even 10 points in a first-round game. The last time a SWAC representative didn't get a 16-seed was 1999.
24. Back this year, BYU has been in 24 previous NCAA tournaments but has never appeared in the Final Four. That's the most appearances for any team not to make the Final Four. The Cougars have been among the final eight on three occasions, most recently in 1981 when Danny Ainge led them to a thrilling Sweet 16 win over Notre Dame. BYU has actually lost eight straight NCAA tournament games, with the last win coming in 1993. The school with the second-most appearances without a Final Four is Missouri, with 22 going into 2010.
23. Wofford and Arkansas-Pine Bluff are both making their first NCAA tournament appearances. That does not bode well for their chances in the first round. Twenty-three straight teams making their first tournament appearance have lost in the first round. The last to win was Hampton in 2001, when it upset 2-seed Iowa State. Since 1990, of the 73 teams to make their first NCAA tournament appearance, only three have won a first-round game.
22. With 22, Boston College has the most NCAA tournament wins for a team never to appear in the Final Four. The Eagles didn't make the cut this year, but Missouri did. After reaching the Elite Eight last year, the Tigers now have 21 wins in the Big Dance but have never made the Final Four.
21. John Wooden won 21 games in the Final Four, more than any other two coaches combined. In fact, of the 65 coaches in this year's field, only nine have more than 21 total NCAA tournament wins.
20. Roy Williams had coached in 20 straight NCAA tournaments prior to this year, a streak that was split between 14 years at Kansas and six with North Carolina. With the Tar Heels staying home, it will go down as the second-longest coaching streak of all-time. From 1975-97, Dean Smith led North Carolina to 23 straight tourneys. Lute Olson led Arizona to 23 straight from 1985-2007, but the NCAA doesn't officially recognize the streak since the 1999 appearance was later vacated.
19. Bo Ryan has coached Wisconsin in 19 tournament games, and a noticeable trend has emerged. Under Ryan, the Badgers are 10-2 against teams with a lower seed, but just 1-6 against higher seeds. The lone upset was last year in the first round against fifth-seeded Florida State. In fact, that was the first time they'd beaten a team seeded higher than ninth under Ryan. A 4-seed this year, the Badgers wouldn't face a higher seed until the Sweet 16 at the earliest.
18. It's been 18 years since Houston last made the tournament. That is the longest drought for any 2009 participant that had previously played in the tournament. UC Santa Barbara has the next-longest drought, having last made it in 2002.
17. Since the field expanded in 1985, 12-seeds have advances to the Sweet 16 a total of 17 times. However, those 12-seeds are just 1-16 in the regional semifinals, with the lone win belonging to Missouri in 2002. Last year, Arizona was the lone 12-seed to make the Sweet 16 but fell to top-seeded Louisville. This year, New Mexico State looks to become the first school to make the Sweet 16 twice as a 12-seed. In 1992, the Aggies beat DePaul and Louisiana-Lafayette before losing to UCLA.
16. History has not been friendly to 16-seeds. Since the tournament expanded in 1985, 16s are 0-100. In fact, it has been 12 years since a 16 has even lost by single digits. That's when Fairfield fell to North Carolina by eight. Things got interesting four years ago when Albany led Connecticut by 12 with 11½ minutes to go, but the Huskies came back to win by 13 points.
15. Rick Barnes and Mike Krzyzewski are both making their 15th straight appearance in the Big Dance, the longest streak among active coaches. All of Coach K's have come at Duke, while Barnes' first three were at Clemson. Barnes is 19-14 over that span, while Krzyzewski is 32-13.
14. Only two 14-seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16, the lowest seed to make it that far. In 1986, Cleveland State upset Indiana and Saint Joseph's before losing to David Robinson and Navy. That was Cleveland State's only prior NCAA tournament appearance before going back in 2009. In 1997, Chattanooga upset Georgia and Illinois before God Shammgod and Providence got the better of the Mocs. That was the first year after the Terrell Owens era for Chattanooga basketball.
13. From 1991 to 1993, Duke won 13 straight NCAA tournament games, the second-longest streak ever. Florida has a chance to match that streak with a first-round win over BYU. The Gators haven't played in the NCAA tournament since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. That means that UF still has an active 12-game win streak. Interestingly, with North Carolina not in the field, no other team in the 2010 bracket is on a tournament win streak. The longest tourney win streak of all time? Let's just say that the Gators shouldn't hold their breath. UCLA won 38 straight as part of its seven straight titles in the '60s and '70s.
12. If Purdue defeats Siena on Friday, the Boilermakers will have won 12 straight games in the first round of the tournament. Their current 11-game first-round win streak is the longest active streak in the country. Purdue's last first-round loss came in 1993 to Rhode Island. Kansas won 19 straight first-round games from 1985 to 2004, the longest streak of all time.
11. There have been 11 coaches who have led their alma mater to a national championship. They include last year's winner, Roy Williams, as well as Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and Gary Williams at Maryland, both of whom have brought their schools back to the tournament in 2010. This year there are a total of six coaches in the tournament who are at their alma mater. The best bets to be added to that list? Probably West Virginia's Bob Huggins or Purdue's Matt Painter.
10. Mike Krzyzewski has led Duke to 10 Final Fours. His next one will tie Dean Smith for second-most all time. No coach has been to more Final Fours than John Wooden (12).
9. Temple has won nine NCAA tournament games while seeded lower than its opponent, something that could come in handy this year as a 5-seed. Those nine wins are the fifth-most all time as a lower seed. The school with the most wins as a lower seed? It should come as no surprise that Villanova has the most with 15. After all, the Wildcats won the 1985 title as an 8-seed. Nova is a 2-seed this year, and wouldn't face a higher seed until the Elite Eight at the earliest.
8. After leading Houston through the C-USA tournament, Tom Penders is the eighth coach to lead four different schools to the NCAA tournament. Penders previously brought Rhode Island, Texas and George Washington to the Big Dance. Both John Beilein and Tubby Smith joined this group last year. The other five coaches are Lefty Driesell, Jim Harrick, Lon Kruger, Rick Pitino and Eddie Sutton.
7. The state of Texas has tied the record by sending seven teams to this year's NCAA tournament: Houston, Sam Houston State, Texas, Texas A&M, North Texas, UTEP and Baylor. In 2002, California sent seven teams to the tournament, but only two advanced beyond the first round. The previous record for Texas was five bids in 1988 and 2007.
6. Indianapolis will be hosting its sixth national title game. That ties Louisville for the fourth-most of any city. The most common host city has been Kansas City with 10. New York is next with seven but has not hosted the title game since 1950.
5. Since the advent of major college basketball (what we now call Division I) in 1947-48, many teams have come and some have left D-I. However, only five have been playing major college basketball that whole time and never made the NCAA tournament. Northwestern, Army, William & Mary, St. Francis (N.Y.) and The Citadel were all part of the original 160 teams in D-I, but they are now a collective 0-314 in trying to make the NCAA tournament.
4. Kentucky's John Calipari is looking to become just the fourth coach to win a title in his first year at a school. Ironically, the last to do so was Tubby Smith at Kentucky in 1998.
3. For the third time, the Big East is sending eight teams to the NCAA tournament. No other conference has ever sent more than seven. The Big East also sent eight in 2006 and 2008, but did not have a team in the Final Four in either year. Last year, North Carolina became the first school to win the title from a conference with seven or more bids.
2. In a number that seems hard to believe, there are only two current NBA players who have won both an NCAA and NBA title. Nazr Mohammed won two titles at Kentucky and later in the NBA with the Spurs. Richard Hamilton accomplished the feat at Connecticut and with the Pistons. Those two are among 34 players who have both titles, a list that ranges from Michael Jordan to Howie Dallmar.
1. Dick Vitale had one NCAA tournament win in his coaching career. His Detroit team beat Middle Tennessee State 93-76 in the 1977 first round. That is one more win than 26 of the coaches in this year's field, 10 of whom are in the tournament for the first time. The biggest names in the field still looking for their first tourney win? Wake Forest's Dino Gaudio, Baylor's Scott Drew and Clemson's Oliver Purnell, who is 0-5 in his career.
Jeremy Lundblad is a researcher with ESPN Stats & Information. He provides statistical analysis as a writer for ESPNBoston.com.