This year's Final Four features some traditional programs (pictured). But how does this group stack up against some of the greatest Final Fours since the Magic vs. Bird classic championship matchup in 1979?
2003: Carmelo makes an impression
Although freshmen sensations were increasingly common at the time, Syracuse’s 2003 breakout star Carmelo Anthony (15) led the Orangemen to their first national title in the modern era with an 81-78 win over Kansas.
2008: One shot saves Kansas
In the 2008 Final Four the Kansas Jayhawks and Memphis Tigers both routed their opponents, the North Carolina Tar Heels and UCLA Bruins, respectively, to set up a showdown in the title game. Kansas’ Mario Chalmers hit the most memorable shot of the tournament – a three pointer to send the game into overtime – as the Jayhawks went on to beat Derrick Rose’s Tigers 75-68.
1996: Kentucky blows through the competition
Even by Kentucky’s standards, the 1996 Wildcats team was a pretty incredible assemblage of talent that became known as The Untouchables. Nine players on that roster made it to the NBA. The Wildcats breezed through the majority of their tournament games – winning six games by an average of 21 points – although they got tested by UMass (81-74) in the Final Four and Syracuse (76-67) in the championship game.
1991: Duke upsets UNLV
After Duke's lopsided 103-73 loss in the 1990 NCAA Tournament, pundits had the team preparing for a second straight defeat, again at the hands of UNLV. But Duke had other plans. The Blue Devils handed the Runnin' Rebels a shocking 79-77 loss in what some fans consider to be the biggest upset in the tournament's history.
1982: Phi Slama Jama debuts
The Houston Cougars' Final Four teams in 1982 and 1983 are remembered for their high-flying style on the court as well as their clever nickname – Phi Slama Jama – a play on typical fraternity names that was coined by a Houston sportswriter. Unfortunately, both Cougar teams failed to win a title in either Final Four appearance.
2007: Florida repeats as NCAA champion
It was a special year for Florida’s basketball team in 2007 when the team became the first to win back-to-back championships since the 1991-92 Duke Blue Devils. But unlike Duke, the Gators handily won both games with the team taking home the trophy after an 84-75 win against the Ohio State Buckeyes in '07.
1992: Duke repeats as NCAA champion
The 1992 Blue Devils accomplished a feat that was virtually unheard of since John Wooden coached the dominant UCLA Bruins teams of the 1960s by repeating as NCAA champs. Their victory came at the expense of the hyped Fab Five freshmen at the University of Michigan. The Wolverines' final two games of the tournament were vacated in 2002 as part of a punishment involving a basketball team booster.
2011: VCU plays bracket buster
NCAA tournament office pools are a source of pride amongst many people. But brackets were busted in 2011 when two Cinderella teams — VCU (pictured) and Butler — smashed their way into the Final Four. The No. 8 seeded Butler beat the the No. 11 seeded VCU 70-62 to make it to the final dance. Unfortunately, Butler went down to 2011 favorite UConn in the final game, finally setting some brackets right again.
2006: George Mason makes the Final Four
The 11th-seeded George Mason Patriots took on the role of "giant killer" during their 2006 run, knocking down No. 1 seed UConn to make it to the Final Four. But the excitement had to end at some point and, for George Mason, it was their 73-58 loss to Florida in the Final Four.
1985: Villanova upsets Georgetown
In 1985, the Big East conference reigned supreme in college basketball and sent three teams to the Final Four. The No. 1-seeded Georgetown Hoyas were accompanied by fellow No. 1 St. Johns Red Storm and the 8 seed Villanova Wildcats. Two of the teams made it to the tournament final but in a stunning upset, Villanova triumphed over heavily favored Georgetown to win the game, 66-64.
1997: Arizona beats three No. 1 seeds
The University of Arizona Wildcats made history during their run to the NCAA championship in 1997. To get to the final, they had to beat No. 1 seeds Kansas and North Carolina. Then they knocked off No. 1 seed Kentucky to win the national title. Yes, that was three No. 1s to get the championship, which was a first in the tournament.
1983: NC State wins at the buzzer
North Carolina State is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes to an NCAA championship game in history. As heavy underdogs to the Houston Cougars, NC State eked out a two-point victory on an unbelievable, last-second tip-in. The shot of NC State coach Jim Valvano running around the court will forever be remembered by sports fans.
1993: Chris Webber's time out
Any basketball player knows your team's time-outs are limited. But Michigan's Chris Webber forgot how many the Wolverines had left when he called one during the waning seconds of the final 1993 game. The move cost Michigan a technical foul and possibly the chance at an NCAA championship.
1979: Magic vs. Bird
The 1979 Final Four pitted Earvin "Magic" Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans against Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores. It was a huge game as two of the biggest superstars faced off on college basketball’s biggest stage with the Spartans scoring a 75-64 win to nab the championship. The game’s legacy continued to gain strength as Magic and Bird faced off as bitter rivals in the NBA during the 1980s.