March Madness, NCAA

The NCAA programs with the most Final Four appearances in March Madness history

With 64 NCAA tournament games in the books, the majority of March Madness is over and the fact that we’re now moving into April signifies that we’re in the final stages.

The four undefeated college programs now converge onto one city to determine the two teams that will battle it out for that year’s championship and their place in March Madness history. The last remaining four? You may have heard of it referred to as the Final Four.

NCAA teams that have advanced to the most Final Fours

As with the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, there are a handful of college programs that have advanced to the Final Four bracket — the fifth round of the tournament — more than any other NCAA Men’s basketball teams. And the names and team colors of these programs aren’t unfamiliar to college basketball fans. Here’s the list of the college teams that have the most Final 4 appearances in NCAA men’s basketball history.

Teams with Most Final Four Appearances
Rank School # Last
1 North Carolina 21 2022
2 UCLA 19 2021
3 Kentucky 17 2015
3 Duke 17 2022
5 Kansas 16 2022
6 Michigan State 10 2019
6 Louisville 10 203
6 Ohio State 10 2012
9 Indiana 8 2002
10 Villanova 7 2022
11 Michigan 6 2018
11 Oklahoma State 6 2004
11 Syracuse 6 2016
11 Arkansas 6 1995
11 Cincinnati 6 1992
11 Houston 6 2021

At the top of the list is the University of North Carolina who has appeared in the Final Four a record 21 times while the UCLA Bruins are second with 19 appearances in the Final Four, but what’s really interesting is that the Kentucky Wildcats are third on the list with 17 showings.

Why is that interesting? It’s because the UK Wildcats are #1 on the list of teams that have the most Elite Eight appearances. On that particular ranking, Kentucky was #1 with nearly 40 appearances in the Elite Eight while UNC was second on that list with approximately 30 showings. This simply means that UNC advanced from that Round of Eight much more often (20/28) than Kentucky did (17/38).

Even more impressive are the UCLA Bruins who have appeared in 20 Elite Eights and advanced 18 of those times onto the Final Four for a .900 winning percentage. The Bruins most certainly were bolstered by a strong run of fourteen Final Four appearances from 1962-1980 – the majority of which were under legendary Coach John Wooden. It helped that Wooden had two of the top three college basketball players of all-time in Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton.

Rounding out the top five are a couple college basketball Blue Bloods: the Duke Blue Devils (16) and Kansas Jayhawks (15).

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