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"The alumni events were pretty awesome …"
“We are happy that we found your packages for the tournament! It was the first time we went to one of these events with our kids and they loved it. We might have convinced them to apply to North Carolina after all this excitement.”
— Joanie B, Chapel Hill, NC
The Men’s NCAA Final Four Tournament - An exciting college sports tradition since 1939 that is one of the most storied and thrilling single-elimination tournaments in the world
Since 1939, the National Collegiate Athletics Association has held this annual tournament to determine the winner of the Division I field of men’s college basketball teams. Over the years, this tournament has expanded greatly to the current 68 teams that compete every March and it has without a doubt become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the world.
As amazing it it may be to believe, UCLA holds the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships at 11 wins. And legendary coach John Wooden led those UCLA Bruins to a whopping 10 of their 11 titles. Let that sink in for a minute fans. Wow! Coming in at second place in the national title jewelry competition, the University of Kentucky (UK) has eight national titles. And they will not let you forget it whenever you come within shouting distance of Lexington, Kentucky. Recently sliding into third place, the University of North Carolina holds six national titles, and hot on their heels are Indiana University and Duke University who are tied for fourth place with five national titles each. Now if you ever are lucky enough to make the trip to Bloomington, Indiana to experience perhaps the most beautiful campus and college town in the nation, the proud Hoosiers will tell you that it’s not just about Bobby Knight leading the Hoosiers to multiple national titles. It is the fact that the Indiana Hoosiers still hold the impossible mind-blowing record of being the only college team in men’s NCAA basketball history to go an entire season undefeated to win the NCAA Championship in 1976. Like the 1972 Dolphins, these Hoosiers celebrate every year when the last undefeated team stumbles and chocks up a loss. Champagne corks fly at Nick’s Olde English Hut on Kirkwood Avenue and the Hoosier Nation dreams of grabbing that title once again. The University of Connecticut Huskies are sixth on the list with four national titles and the University of Kansas (KU) & Villanova University are tied for 7th place with three national titles each.
The Men’s NCAA Tournament consists of multiple rounds and they fall in the following order:
The First Four
The First Round (Round of 64)
The Second Round (Round of 32)
The Regional Semi-finals (Sweet Sixteen)
The Regional Finals (Elite Eight)
The National Semi-finals (Final Four)
The National Championship
The Men’s Tournament is single-elimination, you win or go home, and this contributes to the “Madness” and tension that permeates every game from high-profile team to Cinderella. Although these lower-ranked Cinderella teams are forced to play stronger teams, they need only one win to advance higher in the tournament.
So what do they mean by the term Mid-Majors?
Mid-major teams are defined as teams from any of the following conferences: America East Conference (America East), Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN), Big Sky Conference (Big Sky), Big South Conference (Big South), Big West Conference (Big West), Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA), Conference USA (C-USA), Horizon League (Horizon), Ivy League(Ivy), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Mid-American Conference (MAC), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), Mountain West Conference (MW), Northeast Conference (NEC), Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), Patriot League (Patriot), Southern Conference (SoCon), Southland Conference (Southland), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Summit League (Summit), Sun Belt Conference (Sun Belt), West Coast Conference (WCC), and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Yeah, we know … that’s a lot to take in if you’re new here. But that’s the beauty of college basketball! Any team can take it all.
It can happen for sure! Do you remember the National Championship game in 1990 when University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) won over Duke with a 103-73 smash-fest? UNLV was definitely considered a Mid-Major as a member of the Big West Conference and at the time, Jerry Tarkanian was the coach of the Runnin' Rebels and they were widely viewed as a large program despite their conference affiliation. Today we have a similar situation in Gonzaga, which often punches above their weight class coming from a smaller conference. A Cinderella team won the National Championship last in 1977 when Marquette beat North Carolina with a 67-59 win. However, Marquette was considered at the time to be a traditional basketball power. Prior to this, in 1962 Cincinnati, then in the MVC, won the National Championship 71–59 over Ohio State of the Big Ten conference.
Seeding and Brackets in the NCAA Tournament
NCAA basketball tournament selection process is generally as follows: The selection committee ranks all of the 68 teams from 1 through 68. The committee then divides all of the teams amongst the different regions. The top four teams will be spread across the four regions, and each receives a No. 1 seed within their respective region. The next four ranked teams will then be distributed among the four regions, each receiving a No. 2 seed in their region, and the process continues all the way through the process until each team has been given it’s seed.
The selection committee also makes strong efforts to place basketball teams in such a way that teams from the same conference will not meet until the regional finals. Also, the selection committee makes every attempt to place teams in venues that are not too close to their college campus to avoid any home team advantage. To comply with these rules, the selection committee can move a team up or down one seed from their original seed line to make this happen. In this way, the brackets are set.
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"Our employees had such a great time …."
“Thank you for assisting our group at the Final Four. We had a really wonderful time. Your staff even got a wave hello from Dick Vitale when we were together with them the day before the big game. That was cool.”
— Michael Murphy, RVP, Cisco
"Going to the Final Four was a truly amazing experience. Your top-notch host team at Sports Travel & Tickets made our trip even better! We will be back next year!"