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NCAA Tournament History and Final Four Reviews
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Historical NCAA Tournament Facts
· History of the NCAA Tournament · Bracketville
· School Records · The Final Four over the years

Lookbacks: Previous NCAA Tournament Coverage
· 2008 NCAA Tournament
· 2007 NCAA Tournament
· 2006 NCAA Tournament
· 2005 NCAA Tournament
· 2004 NCAA Tournament
Lookback: 2008 NCAA Season and Tournament
For the first time in NCAA tournament history, all 4 number 1 seeds made it to the Final Four.
· NCAA Champion: Kansas Jayhawks: It wasn't easy for Kansas. They barely won a couple games (Davidson Elite 8 and Memphis in the Championship). However, they proved they were the best team by beating the best (North Carolina and Memphis) in one weekend. The Kansas Jayhawks were the most talented, well-rounded, and deepest team in the tournament. And it showed.
· Stephen Curry should have been the MVP of the tournament. He led Davidson on a nearly impossible comeback to upset Georgetown and got his little school to Detroit (site of next year's Final Four) and the Elite 8 regional final.
· Best game: This is easy. #12 seed Western Kentucky knocked out #5 Drake in a first round, overtime thriller 101-99. Drake had to rally back with a flurry of scoring in the late minutes of regulation just to get the game in OT. Each team traded big shot after big shot until Ty Rogers hit a last second (win-or-go-home) triple from way outside the line (story)
· Outcome that lies: Kansas beat UNC by 18 (84-66) in the Final Four. However, after leading by 28 in the first half, UNC battled back to cut the lead to just 4 points with 11 minutes to play. The game could have went either way at that point.
· Live by the 3, Die by the 3: Duke learned the hardway.. missing 15 consecutive 3-pointers in a 2nd round loss to West Virginia (link). The Blue Devils should have learned from Oregon the night before that you can't always shoot your way out of a slump in 1 game. The Oregon Ducks were 2-21 from behind the arc in the 2nd half of their first round loss (story).

Blank NCAA Bracket
2008 Predictions:
· Round-by-round: NCAA Tourney Picks
· Advance: NCAA Tournament Prediction
Advance Tourney Picks (PDF) - Tourney Picks with Analysis
Bubble and Bracketology:
· Bracketology · Bubble · CBS Bubble
*NEW* Bubble Teams Ranked · Teams In (predicted) · Auto Bids
Lookback: 2007 Season and NCAA Tournament
2007 Tourney Picks, Updated after each round and at any other time.
· Final 2006-2007 Hoops: Total Ranking
· Picks 2007: NCAA Tournament Predictions
· Picks 2007: Advance NCAA Tourney Picks

2007 National Champions:
Florida Gators

· 2007 NCAA Champs: Florida Gators.
· Flurry of Threes- Gators Again.
· Womens Champion: Tennessee Lady Vols

2007 Tournament Highlights
#1 Seeds
S. Ohio St. Buckeyes (2) (results)
E. UNC Tar Heels (1) (results)
M. Florida Gators (3) (results)
W. Kansas Jayhawks (4) (results)
#2 Seeds
W. UCLA Bruins (6) (results)
M. Wisconsin Badgers (5) (results)
E. Georgetown Hoyas (8) (results)
S. Memphis Tigers (7) (results)
#3 Seeds
W. Pittsburgh Panthers (10) (results)
M. Oregon Ducks (15) (results)
E. Wash. St. Cougars (23) (results)
S. Texas A&M Aggies (9) (results)
#4 Seeds
M. Maryland Terrapins (11) (results)
E. Texas Longhorns (16) (results)
W. Southern Ilinois Salukis (17) (results)
S. Virginia Cavaliers (39) (results)
Other
7S. Nevada Wolf Pack (31) (results)
6S. Louisville Cardinals (33) (results)
7M. UNLV Runnin Rebels (29) (results)
6M. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14) (results)

· BRACKET

Women's Hoops
2007 Championship
· Coverage
Tennessee vs Rutgers
· Women's Hoops
Women's Champ: Tennessee- Wrap: The Lady Vols won legendary coach Pat Summit her 7th title.


2007 Monday Morning Talking Points
· It's the Florida Gators, again. In a sense, its not really a surprise. You take last year's championship team and bring them all back and this is what you get. Rock solid down low (Noah, Horford, Richar), and lights out shooting (Brewer, Green, Humphrey). The Ohio State Buckeyes are a great team. Two takeaways: 1) Freshman Mike Conley, Jr makes the team run, he's the real deal; and, 2) Oden is the real deal. Several sports writers counted him out even before the Final Four. He fended off Florida's big guys all game long-- storming to a 25-point, 11 rebound super star performance. As hot as Florida was (10 of 18 on 3's, with Green hitting 3-3 and Humphrey swishing 4-7), you take away 3 of those or so, and you still come back to the Buckeyes long ball: 2 for 19. That's what lost the game. A John Starks-esque night (read: Starks shot 2-18 in 1994 NBA Finals Game 7).
Lookback: 2006 Season and NCAA Tournament
2006 Tourney Picks, Updated after each round and at any other time.
· Final 2005-2006 Hoops: Total Ranking
· Picks 2006: NCAA Tournament Predictions
· Picks 2006: Advance NCAA Tourney Picks

2006 National Champions:
Florida Gators

· The Gators proved they were the best team this year by cruising through the tournament with an average margin of victory of 16 points (results). The national championship game rout of UCLA and the convincing victory over Villanova in the Regional Final were the highlights.

Championship Game: Monday Morning Talking Points
· Florida-UCLA: Two red-hot teams arrive in the NCAA title game. UCLA has won 12 straight (schedule) including the PAC-10 title. And Florida has won 10-straight including the SEC title (schedule). Can UCLA win another title (NCAA Final Four Statistics)? Or can Florida get its first (story)?

Final Four: Pre-Game Thoughts
· Florida-George Mason: George Mason isn't going to fool Florida. They won't be able to run their usual offensive set-up as smoothly as they did vs. UCONN. If defense wins the game for Mason it will be because of Tony Skinn. But the true X-factor for the Patriots will be Folarin Campbell. This guy is the one likely future NBA-er in the bunch. He's just a sophomore, but he's capable of lighting it up (he scored 51 in a big high school game and he was 2-time first team all-met in Washington, DC area-- profile). If George Mason advances to the championship, we believe it will be because of a big performance from Campbell.
· UCLA-LSU: Which UCLA will show up? The '2nd half vs Gonzaga' team, or, the 'Memphis Regional Final' team? Probably, closer to the later. LSU will put their defensive master on the engine of UCLA's offense, Farmar. It becomes a slugfest between Big Baby and Hollins in the paint. So, two things end up deciding the game. 1) The winner between Davis/Hollins; and 2) The team that gets 2 or 3 three-point baskets to fall in during the right stretch of the game.

Final Four: Monday Morning Talking Points
· For the first time since 1980, not one of the #1 seeds has advanced to the Final Four.
· Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64-teams, the lowests seeds to ever make it to the Final Four are George Mason (2006) and LSU (1986). LSU lost to #2 seed, Louisville who was the eventual NCAA champ that year (led by center "Never Nervous" Pervis Ellison). Villanova is the lowest seed to ever win the NCAA Tournament (#8 seed in 1985).
· George Mason beat the last two NCAA tournament champions (UNC and UConn) to advance to this year's Final Four. They also beat Michigan State (which went to the Final Four last year).
· Tons of Final Four statistics, including all seed details: here.
· Flashback: First-round tournament shockers here.

2006 Tournament Highlights
· Heartbreak for Adam Morrison and Gonzaga: Leading the entire game until the last 10 seconds as UCLA slowly turned an 18-point deficit into a 5-point hole, before digging it out with a frantic final second win.
· This year's tourney, for the UCLA-Gonzaga game and others will be remembered for one reason: "no lead is safe". A few other games (G.W. over UNC-Wilmington; G.Mason down 16-2 early vs UNC) featured huge deficits turned around into victories.
· Couldn't agree more with Dennis Dodd. UCLA-Memphis was not a good example of UCLA's excellent defense, it was ugly basketball. Dodd's column. Then again, UCLA did hold a team to 30 points this season (February 9th, at Washington State) (UCLA results).

2006: The night before
· Memphis is for real. UConn is the bigger question mark.
· What's the deal with the committee giving Tennessee a #2 seed? They just might know what their doing. It could be a big tourney for the Volunteers.
· Ohio State looked bad in its last two Big 10 tourney games. Big improvement needed for a Final Four trip.
· Surprise upset pick? Northwestern State over Iowa.

2006 Monday Morning Talking Points
· Forget the Minneapolis bracket, its all about Oakland (the all-underrespected bracket). They've got Adam Morrison and Gonzaga in the same bracket as UCLA, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Memphis. Then, you have Indiana, Arkansas, Bucknell and Kent State as potential spoilers. Tough.

· Best first round games:
1) Syracuse vs Texas A&M: McNamara and company draw a tough first opponent.
2) Gonzaga vs Xavier: Morrison gets red-hot Xavier out of the gate.
3) Kentucky vs UAB: UAB's chance to prove Conference USA value.
4) Pittsburgh vs Kent State: Kent St. is always a threat.
5) Marquette vs Alabama: 'new' Big East vs. 'old school' SEC.
6) Arizona vs Wisconsin: Classic PAC-10/Big-10 clash.
7) Nevada vs Montana: A stage for mid-level western teams.
8) Georgetown vs Northern Iowa: A test of might for UNI.

· No easy road for Duke this year. LSU or Syracuse makes for a tough sweet 16 match-up. And before that, George Washington has a lot to prove. Then, to get to the final four its probably a re-match with Texas or a game against Iowa, the Big 10 tourney champs.

· A note for teams in the future. Don't get beat in the first round of your conference tourney by the last place team in the conference. Florida State still got snubbed, but they left too big of an excuse to omit them.

· Missouri State didn't get snubbed. There's no way 'The Valley' deserved 5 teams. Much improved conference? Absolutely. Five teams? Nope. They lost by 15 in the first game of their conference tournament. Case closed.

· Which brings us back to Florida State. At the end of the day, if your the 5th best team in the ACC-- you go. Period. And if your the 5th best team in the ACC and you beat the #1 team in the country a week and a half ago. Well, your in. No questions.
Lookback: 2005 Season and NCAA Tournament
Looking back
2005 Analysis

· 2005 Total Ranking

Our 2005 computer generated NCAA Tournament picks are posted here along with game lines. Also see the entire advance picks which correctly picked UNC as the National Champion before the tournament started. Also see our history of NCAA tournament winners and Final Four teams.

2005 NCAA Champion: North Carolina (beating Illinois 75-70). The game proved that the Tar Heels are definitely a deserving champion. For Illinois, it highlighted the ills of relying on the 3-pointer (even if its only a 19-foot, 9-inch jump shot). The Elite 8 matchups may have been the best Elite 8 games in the history of the tournament... Illinois' comeback at the deafening, ground shaking AllState Arena in Chicago; Michigan State beating Kentucky in two overtimes after Patrick Sparks sent the game into overtime with a last-second, rim-kissing triple from the top of the key; Louisville's big comeback after West Virginia poured in three's most of the game; and then Wisconsin hanging with North Carolina.

The final season ending 2005 ncaa basketball rankings are up.

2005 Season
· Championship Week
· Automatic Bids

2005 #1 Seeds
· Illinois: Sch
· North Carolina: Sch
· Duke: Sch
· Washington: Sch

Lookback 2004 NCAA Season and Tournament
Looking way back
2004 Tourney Analysis

· Auto Bids
· Tourney Picks
· Total Ranking (2004)

The NCAA Champion: UConn, in a boring championship victory over Georgia Tech. UConn dominated the game from the beginning, expecially late in the first half and throughout the 2nd half (Georgia Tech did peck away at the lead in the last 5 minutes). UConn was motivated by revenge, having lost to Georgia Tech early in the season, when the Yellow Jackets shocked the Huskies in a 77-61 rout, that knocked UConn from its then #1 ranking.

Note: Duke's 3-pointer at the buzzer of their Final Four game vs. UConn, that made the final score a 1-point game, was a Vegas line buster. UConn was favored by 2 or 2.5 points (varied).

The Bracket.

When we looked at our end of the season combined total rankings, we found that the Final Four teams were in the Top 7 (Duke #1, UConn #3, Okla. St. #4, and Ga. Tech #7). Because Fanbay.net's rankings combine 3 unique, world-respected, unbiased, computerized polls, this method of ranking has great predictive value. Also, notably, the data seem to support a theory that the Sagarin rankings are actually the best of the 3. It was the Sagarin poll that ranked Georgia Tech 3rd and Kentucky 9th and Stanford 15th. Good luck, check our Final Four picks.

The Final Four: UConn (easily beat Alabama) vs. Duke (topped Xavier in a game where the refs were always in control-- and we think that hurt Duke, and made the game close); and, Georgia Tech (deserving victory over Kansas) vs. Oklahoma State (probably best game of the tournament, a heartbreaker over St. Joe's).

Check out the final regular season total rankings-(a top 150 that takes into account the best computer rankings in the country- the RPI, Sagarin, and Dunkel). Interestingly, Dunkel ranks St. Joseph's 14th (while RPI say #3 and Sagarin says #2), and Sagarin has Stanford at #15 (RPI and Dunkel both have Stanford at #7). Our easy lay out will help you identify which one of these computer rankings is really the best.
2003-04: Final Sagarin

2004 Final Four
San Antonio, Texas
· Okla. St.
· UConn
· Duke
· Ga. Tech

More NCAA Tournament History
NCAA Tournament National Champions
Lowest seeded winners:
· 1985: Villanova #8: beat Georgetown
· 1983: N.C. State #6: beat Houston
· 1988: Kansas #6: beat Oklahoma


March Madness. One of the most exciting times of the year for sports junkies. Fans of 65 teams, and millions more just following the chase because of what it stands for. The most open tournament in the world, de facto through conference tournaments, the NCAA championship, theoretically, could be won by any of over 300 or so teams. 65 get the offical invitation to the Big Dance and beginning in mid-March, for 3 thrilling weekends, colleges compete for the title.

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