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When It Comes To The Final Four, Power Is Truth

It’s hard for non-power schools to make it and almost impossible for them to win it.

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NCAA Final Four - Practice Sessions
 INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 31: The ball rack is seen on the court during practice the day before the Final Four on March 31, 2006 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Chances are good that, as the only No. 1 seed remaining in the field, Virginia will come away with the title in this year’s Final Four.

The fact the Cavaliers will continue to beat the revenge drum may be tiresome, but it has some merit too in spurring them on.

Top seeds won 22 of 40 men’s national championships since seeding began in 1979, pending this year’s result. The predictive value of garnering a No.1 seed may be improving: 12 of 19 titles this century, and seven of the last 10, were won by a No. 1 seed, including UNC in 2017 and Villanova last season.

Virginia’s presence in the Final Four gives the ACC 33 entrants over the 41 years of seeding (80.5 percent of the time). Since multiple entrants were allowed from the same league in 1975, the ACC had 35 representatives in 45 opportunities (77.8 percent).

Remarkably, only one ACC-based program outside North Carolina has ever won an NCAA championship. In fact, a single ACC team outside the Triangle’s Duke, UNC and NC State earned a championship – Maryland in 2002.

Louisville and Syracuse won while members of other leagues. The Terps, of course, are now members of another league.

This is the fifth season in the past six in which no team from outside the power elite crashed the Final Four.

FOURTUITOUS
Final Four Fields Since Seeding Commenced In 1979
(Champions Underlined, ACC Champions in Bold)
Year Seed, Team Seed, Team Seed, Team Seed, Team Non-Power League
2019 1 Virginia 2 Michigan State 3 Texas Tech 5 Auburn
2018 1 Villanova 1 Kansas 3 Michigan 11 Loyola Chicago Loyola Chicago
2017 1 UNC 1 Gonzaga 3 Oregon 7 South Carolina
2016 1 UNC 2 Villanova 2 Oklahoma 10 Syracuse
2015 1 Duke 1 Wisconsin 1 Kentucky 7 Michigan State
2014 1 Florida 2 Wisconsin 7 UConn 8 Kentucky
2013 1 Louisville 4 Michigan 4 Syracuse 9 Wichita State Wichita State
2012 1 Kentucky 2 Kansas 2 Ohio St. 4 Louisville
2011 3 UConn 4 Kentucky 8 Butler 11 VCU Butler, VCU
2010 1 Duke 2 West Virginia 5 Butler 5 Michigan St. Butler
2009 1 UNC 1 UConn 2 Michigan St. 3 Villanova
2008 1 UNC 1 Kansas 1 Memphis 1 UCLA Memphis
2007 1 Florida 1 Ohio State 2 Georgetown 2 UCLA
2006 2 UCLA 3 Florida 4 LSU 11 George Mason George Mason
2005 1 UNC 1 Illinois 4 Louisville 5 Michigan State Louisville*
2004 1 Duke 2 UConn 2 Oklahoma St. 3 Georgia Tech
2003 1 Texas 2 Kansas 3 Marquette 3 Syracuse Marquette*
2002 1 Maryland 1 Kansas 2 Oklahoma 5 Indiana
2001 1 Duke 1 Michigan St. 2 Arizona 3 Maryland
2000 2 Michigan St. 5 Florida 8 UNC 8 Wisconsin
1999 1 Duke 1 UConn 1 Michigan St. 4 Ohio State
1998 1 UNC 2 Kentucky 3 Stanford 3 Utah Utah
1997 1 UNC 1 Kentucky 1 Minnesota 4 Arizona
1996 1 Kentucky 1 UMass 4 Syracuse 5 Mississippi St. UMass
1995 1 UCLA 2 Arkansas 2 UNC 4 Oklahoma St.
1994 1 Arkansas 2 Arizona 2 Duke 3 Florida
1993 1 UNC 1 Kentucky 1 Michigan 2 Kansas
1992 1 Duke 2 Indiana 4 Cincinnati 6 Michigan Cincinnati*
1991 1 UNC 1 UNLV 2 Duke 3 Kansas UNLV
1990 1 UNLV 3 Duke 4 Arkansas 4 Georgia Tech UNLV
1989 1 Illinois 2 Duke 3 Michigan 3 Seton Hall
1988 1 Arizona 1 Oklahoma 2 Duke 6 Kansas
1987 1 Indiana 1 UNLV 2 Syracuse 6 Providence UNLV
1986 1 Duke 1 Kansas 2 Louisville 11 LSU Louisville*
1985 1 Georgetown 1 St. John's 2 Memphis 8 Villanova Memphis
1984 1 Georgetown 1 Kentucky 2 Houston 7 Virginia Houston
1983 1 Houston 1 Louisville 4 Georgia 6 N.C. State Houston, Louisville*
1982 1 Georgetown 1 UNC 3 Louisville 6 Houston Louisville*, Houston
1981 1 LSU 1 Virginia 2 UNC 3 Indiana
1980 2 Louisville 5 Iowa 6 Purdue 8 UCLA Louisville*
1979 1 Indiana St. 2 DePaul 2 Michigan St. 9 Penn DePaul*, Ind. St., Penn

CHAMPIONS
Seed No. Seasons Won
1 22 2018, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1990, 1987, 1984, 1982
2 8 2016, 2004, 2000, 1998, 1991, 1986, 1980, 1979
3 5 2011, 2006, 2003, 1989, 1981
4 1 1997
6 2 1988, 1983
7 1 2014
8 1 1985

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