Final Four History: Participants, Title Game Score, and Location For Every Final 4

As we get prepared for the March Madness 2011 onslaught that will commence beginning next week, I am reorganizing some of our NCAA Tournament history posts. I just posted a simple table that shows the schools with the most NCAA College Basketball Tournament Championships – but to hang a banner, you first have to make the Final 4.

In this post, we review every Final 4 since the NCAA Tournament started in 1939, showing you the champion, the runner-up, the score of the NCAA title game, the other two Final 4 participants, each team’s tourney seed, and the Final 4 location.

Final Four History: Champions, Participants, Locations

Year NCAA Champion NCAA Runner-up Final Four Teams Location Title Game Score
2012       New Orleans  
2011 #3 Connecticut #8 Butler #11 VCU, #4 Kentucky Houston 53-41
2010 #1 Duke #5 Butler #2 West Virginia, #5 Michigan State Indianapolis 61-59
2009 #1 North Carolina #2 Michigan State #1 UConn, #3 Villanova Detroit 89-72
2008 #1 Kansas #1 Memphis #1 North Carolina, #1 UCLA San Antonio 75-68
2007 #1 Florida #1 Ohio State #2 UCLA, #2 Georgetown Atlanta 84-75
2006 #3 Florida #2 UCLA #11 George Mason, #4 LSU Indianapolis 73-57
2005 #1 North Carolina #1 Illinois #5 Michigan State, #4 Louisville St. Louis 75-70
2004 #2 UCONN #3 Georgia Tech #1 Duke, #2 Oklahoma State San Antonio 82-73
2003 #3 Syracuse #2 Kansas #1 Texas, #3 Marquette New Orleans 81-78
2002 #1 Maryland #5 Indiana #1 Kansas, #2 Oklahoma Atlanta 64-52
2001 #1 Duke #2 Arizona #3 Maryland, #1 Michigan State Minneapolis 82-72
2000 #1 Michigan State #5 Florida #8 Wisconsin, #8 North Carolina Indianapolis 89-76
1999 #1 UCONN #1 Duke #4 Ohio State, #1 Michigan State St. Pete 77-74
1998 #2 Kentucky #3 Utah #3 Stanford, #1 North Carolina San Antonio 78-69
1997 #4 Arizona #1 Kentucky #1 North Carolina, #1 Minnesota Indianapolis 84-79
1996 #1 Kentucky #4 Syracuse #1 UMASS, #5 Mississippi State East Rutherford 76-67
1995 #1 UCLA #2 Arkansas #4 Oklahoma State, #2 North Carolina Seattle 89-78
1994 #1 Arkansas #2 Duke #2 Arizona, #3 Florida Charlotte 76-72
1993 #1 North Carolina #1 Michigan #2 Kansas, #1 Kentucky New Orleans 77-71
1992 #1 Duke #6 Michigan #2 Indiana, #4 Cincinnati Minneapolis 71-51
1991 #1 Duke #3 Kansas #1 UNLV, #2 North Carolina Indianapolis 72-65
1990 #1 UNLV #3 Duke #4 Georgia Tech, #4 Arkansas Denver 103-73
1989 #3 Michigan #3 Seton Hall #1 Illinois, #2 Duke Seattle 80-79
1988 #6 Kansas #1 Oklahoma #2 Duke, #1 Arizona Kansas City 83-79
1987 #1 Indiana!!! #2 Syracuse #1 UNLV, #6 Providence New Orleans 74-73
1986 #2 Louisville #1 Duke #11 LSU, #1 Kansas Dallas 72-69
1985 #8 Villanova #1 Georgetown #2 Memphis State, #1 St. John's Lexington 66-64
1984 #1 Georgetown #2 Houston #1 Kentucky, #7 Virginia Seattle 84-75
1983 #6 N.C. State #1 Houston #1 Louisville, #4 Georgia Albuquerque 54-52
1982 #1 North Carolina #1 Georgetown #6 Houston, Louisville #3 New Orleans 63-62
1981 #3 Indiana #2 North Carolina #1 Virginia, #1 LSU Philadelphia 63-50
1980 #2 Louisville #8 UCLA #6 Purdue, #5 Iowa Indianapolis 59-54
1979 #2 Michigan State #1 Indiana State #2 DePaul, #9 Penn Salt Lake City 75-64
1978 Kentucky Duke Arkansas, Notre Dame St. Louis 94-88
1977 Marquette North Carolina UNLV, UNC-Charlotte Atlanta 67-59
1976 Indiana Michigan UCLA, Rutgers Philadelphia 86-68
1975 UCLA Kentucky Louisville, Syracuse San Diego 92-85
1974 N.C. State Marquette UCLA, Kansas Greensboro 76-64
1973 UCLA Memphis State Indiana, Providence St. Louis 87-66
1972 UCLA Florida State North Carolina, Louisville Los Angeles 81-76
1971 UCLA Villanova Western Kentucky, Kansas Houston 68-62
1970 UCLA Jacksonville New Mexico State, St. Bonaventure College Park 80-69
1969 UCLA Purdue Drake, North Carolina Louisville 92-72
1968 UCLA North Carolina Ohio State, Houston Los Angeles 78-55
1967 UCLA Dayton Houston, North Carolina Louisville 79-64
1966 Texas Western Kentucky Duke, Utah College Park 72-65
1965 UCLA Michigan Princeton, Wichita State Portland 91-80
1964 UCLA Duke Michigan, Kansas State Kansas City 98-83
1963 Loyala (IL) Cincinnati Duke, Oregon State Louisville 60-58
1962 Cincinnati Ohio State Wake Forest, UCLA Louisville 71-59
1961 Cincinnati Ohio State St. Joeseph's (PA), Utah Kansas City 70-65
1960 Ohio State California Cincinnati, NYU San Francisco 75-55
1959 California West Virginia Cincinnati, Louisville Louisville 71-70
1958 Kentucky Seattle Temple, Kansas State Louisville 84-72
1957 North Carolina Kansas San Francisco, Michigan State Kansas City 54-53
1956 San Francisco Iowa Temple, SMU Evanston 83-71
1955 San Francisco LaSalle Colorado, Iowa Kansas City 76-73
1954 LaSalle Bradley Penn State, USC Kansas City 92-76
1953 Indiana Kansas Washington, LSU Kansas City 69-68
1952 Kansas St. John's Illinois, Santa Clara Seattle 80-63
1951 Kentucky Kansas State Illinois, Oklahoma State Minneapolis 68-58
1950 CCNY Bradley N.C. State, Baylor New York 71-68
1949 Kentukcy Oklahoma State Illinois, Oregon State Seattle 46-36
1948 Kentucky Baylor Holy Cross, Kansas State New York 58-42
1947 Holy Cross Oklahoma Texas, CCNY New York 58-47
1946 Oklahoma State North Carolina Ohio State, California New York 43-40
1945 Oklahoma State NYU Arkansas, Ohio State New York 49-45
1944 Utah Dartmouth Iowa State, Ohio State New York 42-40
1943 Wyoming Georgetown DePaul, Texas New York 46-34
1942 Stanford Dartmouth Colorado, Kentucky Kansas City 53-38
1941 Wisconsin Washington State Arkansas, Pittsburgh Kansas City 39-34
1940 Indiana!!! Kansas Duquesne, USC Kansas City 60-42
1939 Oregon Ohio State Oklahoma State, Villanova Evanston 46-33

Note: The number listed by each team is their tournament seed. Seeding did not occur until 1979, which interestingly is the year that many people feel changed college basketball forever: the Magic-Bird title game. FYI, future Final Four sites include:


  • 2011: Reliant Stadium — Houston, TX (April 2nd, 4th)
  • 2012: Louisiana Superdome — New Orleans, LA (March 31st, April 2nd)
  • 2013: Georgia Dome — Atlanta, GA (April 6th, 8th)
  • 2014: Cowboys Stadium — Arlington, TX (April 5th, 7th)
  • 2015: Lucas Oil Stadium — Indianapolis, IN (April 4th, 6th)
  • 2016: Reliant Stadium — Houston, TX (April 2nd, 4th)

The NCAA Tournament has expanded on numerous occasions since 1939. Interestingly, before 1975 only one team per conference was allowed to be in the NCAA Tournament. Here is a breakdown of the number of teams in the tournament during each different iteration:

  • 1939-1950: 8 teams
  • 1951-1974: varied between 16 teams and 25 teams
  • 1975-1978: 32 teams
  • 1979: 40 teams
  • 1980-1982: 48 teams
  • 1983: 52 teams (48-team tourney with four play-in games beforehand)
  • 1984: 53 teams (48-team tourney with five play-in games beforehand)
  • 1985-2000: 64 teams
  • 2001-2010: 65 teams (64-team tourney with one play-in or “opening round” game beforehand)
  • 2011-Beyond: 68 teams, with four “opening round” games to open tournament.

Six times, the National Championship game has been decided by one point, with two of those games being decided in overtime. The most recent 1-point game was 1989 when Michigan beat Seton hall in OT. The largest margin of victory in an NCAA Championship game was 30, when UNLV beat Duke 103-73 in 1990.

About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.


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