FOX Sports South offers up 11 quick facts about Final Four weekend, a countdown that chronicles the supreme accomplishments of individual players (including Princeton star/former presidential candidate Bill Bradley -- right), coaches and the historically best basketball conferences in the land. (Assorted Images)
A long time comin'
FUN FACT NO. 1: BYU leads all D-1 programs with the most NCAA tourney appearances -- 29 -- without ever reaching a Final Four. The most tantalizing opporunity came in 1981, when Danny Aingle (left) vaulted the Cougars to the Elite Eight with a coast-to-coast layup during regional play to beat Notre Dame before the buzzer. (Assorted Images ... Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
The two go hand in hand
FUN FACT NO. 2: Check this out: Of Duke's last three title-game appearances (1999, 2001, 2010), Michigan State was part of that Final Four each time. (Assorted Images)
FUN FACT NO. 3: Kansas center Jeff Withey (2009-12) owns the Final Four Saturday record for blocks in a single game -- rejecting seven Ohio State shots in 2012. Withey's swat-filled day trumped that of Akeem (now Hakeem) Olajuwon, who unofficially blocked six shots in Houston's high-flying, dunk-happy victory over Louisville in the 1983 national semifinals.
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Guard(ian)s of the (Hoops) Galaxy
FUN FACT NO. 4: What's the more impressive -- or perhaps more unlikely -- record for Final Four Saturday: UNLV's Mark Wade (left) racking up 18 assists against Indiana (1987 semifinals) ... or Ty Lawson (right) collecting eight steals against Michigan State in 2009 (NCAA final)? It's worth noting: In the '87 Indiana-UNLV game, the lion's share of Wade assists went to Runnin' Rebels sharpshooter Freddie Banks, who owns the Final Four record for most 3-pointers made in a single outing (10). (Assorted Images)
FUN FACT NO. 5: Kentucky -- which has developed stars like Jack Givens (left), Sam Bowie (middle) and Jamal Mashburn (right) over the years -- has been to 17 Final Fours in its history, with 13 years serving as the longest drought between appearances (1998-2011). Also, since Duke's first Final Four berth (1963), the Blue Devils haven't incurred a Final Four drought longer than 12 years (1966-78). Thanks, Coach K. One last thing: Mike Krzyzewski and UCLA legend John Wooden share the individual coaching record for Final Four appearances (12) -- one ahead of North Carolina's Dean Smith (11).
Speaking of elite-level coaches...
FUN FACT NO. 6: John Wooden (middle) took UCLA to 12 Final Fours from 1962-75 (10 championships during that span) -- the record for any men's hoops coach over a 13-year period. Wooden's closest competition in that realm: Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (right -- eight Final Fours from 1998-2001) and Michigan State's Tom Izzo (left -- six from 1999-2012). (Assorted Images)
The ultimate dual threat
FUN FACT NO. 7: Princeton's Bill Bradley established the Final Four weekend record for single-game points 50 years ago (58 vs. Wichita State in 1965). To be fair, Bradley (22 made field goals) accomplished the feat in the thid place/consolation game -- which was retired after the 1981 Final Four (LSU vs. Virginia ended that series). Here's another notable gem: Bradley (right) was a U.S. senator from '79 to '97 and ran for president in 2000. (Assorted Images)
FUN FACT NO. 8: Since the NCAA tourney's current seeding system was instituted in 1979 (a number assigned to each club per region -- 1-seed, 2-seed, 3-seed, etc.), the 2011 Final Four stands as the only event without a 1- or 2-seed headlining the group. The 2011 tourney quartet included a 3-seed (eventual champion UConn, led by Kemba Walker --middle), 4-seed (Kentucky -- right), 8-seed (Butler) and 11-seed VCU (left). (Assorted Images)
Long shots, unite!
FUN FACT NO. 9: Speaking of long-shot odds, the Final Four has produced only three 11-seeds since 1979: LSU in 1986 (left), George Mason in 2006 (middle) and VCU in 2011 (right). It's also worth noting: All three Cinderellas knocked off the top seeds in their respective regional finals -- LSU over Kentucky, George Mason over Connecticut and VCU over Kansas. (Assorted Images)
Big, bigger, biggest
FUN FACT NO. 10: Since 1976, the Big Ten (right) has sent multiple teams to the Final Four eight times -- the most of any other league in that span. (The ACC and SEC are tied for second, at five multiple berths.) The Big East has accomplished the feat just four times; but it does own one great nugget: It boasts the only Final Four in history to include three same-conference representatives -- Georgetown, St. John's and national champion Villanova in 1985 (left). (Assorted Images)
One more for the road
FUN FACT NO. 11 -- According to various websites, the NCAA acknowledges three unofficial triple-doubles during Final Four weekend play: Kansas center B.H. Born with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 13 blocks against Indiana (1953); Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (right) with 39 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists vs. Louisville (1959); and Michigan State's Magic Johnson (left) with 29 points, 10 boards, 10 assists vs. Penn (1979) -- the game before the epic Magic vs. Larry Bird championship clash. (Assorted Images)