college basketball

March Madness by the numbers

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March 22nd, 2021

Few sporting events produce more eye-popping numbers and scintillating stats than March Madness due to the tournament's enormous 68-team field and jam-packed 67-game schedule.

Join us now as we look at some of the more fascinating numbers from the past 35 years of "The Big Dance."

1 – The number of times a No. 16 seed has beaten a No. 1 seed in the first round. The UMBC Retrievers not only upset the Virginia Cavaliers in 2018, they crushed them by 20 points in a startling 74-54 romp.

3 – The number of times since 1985 that the Final Four was played without a single No. 1 seed. That was in 1980, 2006 and 2011.

5 – Only five teams ranked 10th or lower have made it to the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. The list includes LSU (1986), George Mason (2006), VCU (2011), Syracuse (2016), and Loyola-Chicago (2018).

6 – The number of national championship games lost by Kansas and Michigan. Kansas has reached nine title games and lost six of them, while Michigan has won just once in seven championship game appearances.

9 – The number of players who have scored more than 300 points in NCAA Tournament play. Christian Laettner is the only man to have eclipsed 400 points, with 407 in 23 games for Duke between 1989 and 1992.

11 – The number of national championships won by UCLA. No team has more. The Bruins won an incredible 10 of these titles during a 12-year span of dominance from 1964 to 1975.

19 – The number of teams who have been undefeated entering March Madness. Only six of them (31.5%) have gone on to win the tournament. Wichita State had the worst performance, coming in 32-0 and going out in the Round of 32 to Kentucky in 2014.

22 – The biggest comeback in the history of March Madness. Duke trailed Maryland 39-17 in the first half in 2001 but came back to win 94-84.

30 – The largest margin of victory in a NCAA Tournament championship game. UNLV hammered Duke 103-73 in 1990.

33.7 – Points per game scored by Princeton’s Bill Bradley from 1963-65. No player with more than 300 March Madness points has a better points-per-game average.

61 – The number of points scored by Austin Carr for Notre Dame against Ohio in 1970. Nobody has more points in a single game than Carr.

97 – The number of March Madness wins by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. No coach comes close, with Roy Williams 18 victories behind in second.

115 – The highest score by a team that still managed to lose. Wyoming scored 115 points against Loyola Marymount in 1988 but lost the game 119-115. Two years later Michigan scored 115 points against Loyola Marymount (again!) and lost 149-115.