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April 22, 2013

Road Conditions Faced by NCAA Basketball Champs


"Road Conditions" Faced By National Champions

Winning 6 consecutive games to take be crowned NCAA Basketball Champion is never an easy task. However, given the nature of a single elimination tournament, there have been years where eventual National Champions have had to play against a collectively stronger or weaker set of opponents from a "seed" perspective. The table below details the seeds that each of the National Champions has had to face since the Field of 64 began in 1985, a totaling of the seeds faced, and some data regarding the number of high and low seeds each team faced.



School

Seed

Year

Natl Final

Natl Semi

Reg Final

Reg Semi

Rd 2

Rd 1

Seed Total

1s Beat

2s Beat

1s and 2s Beat

Dbl Digits

Villanova

8

1985

1

2

2

5

1

9

20

2

2

4

0

UNC

1

1993

1

2

2

4

8

16

33

1

2

3

1

Syracuse

3

2003

2

1

1

10

6

14

34

2

1

3

2

UNC

1

2009

2

3

2

4

8

16

35

0

2

2

1

Michigan

3

1989

3

1

5

2

11

14

36

1

1

2

2

Kentucky

1

1996

4

1

2

4

9

16

36

1

1

2

1

Maryland

1

2002

5

1

2

4

8

16

36

1

1

2

1

Florida

1

2007

1

2

3

5

9

16

36

1

1

2

1

UCLA

1

1995

2

4

2

5

8

16

37

0

2

2

1

Kentucky

1

2012

2

4

3

4

8

16

37

0

1

1

1

Arizona

4

1997

1

1

10

1

12

13

38

3

0

3

3

Kentucky

2

1998

3

3

1

6

10

15

38

1

0

1

2

Duke

1

2010

5

2

3

4

8

16

38

0

1

1

1

Kansas

6

1988

1

2

4

7

14

11

39

1

1

2

2

Duke

1

1992

6

2

2

4

9

16

39

0

2

2

1

UConn

3

2011

8

4

5

2

6

14

39

0

1

1

1

Duke

1

2001

2

3

6

4

9

16

40

0

1

1

1

UConn

2

2004

3

1

8

6

7

15

40

1

0

1

1

Duke

2

1991

3

1

4

11

7

15

41

1

0

1

2

Indiana

1

1987

2

1

10

5

8

16

42

1

1

2

2

UNC

1

2005

1

5

6

5

9

16

42

1

0

1

1

Mich. St.

1

2000

5

8

2

4

8

16

43

0

1

1

1

Arkansas

1

1994

2

2

3

12

9

16

44

0

2

2

2

Louisville

2

1986

1

11

8

3

7

15

45

1

0

1

2

UConn

1

1999

1

4

10

5

9

16

45

1

0

1

2

Florida

3

2006

2

11

1

7

11

14

46

1

1

2

3

Kansas

1

2008

1

1

10

12

8

16

48

2

0

2

3

Louisville

1

2013

4

9

2

12

8

16

51

0

1

1

2

UNLV

1

1990

3

4

11

12

8

16

54

0

0

0

3



The most difficult series of opponents (from a seed perspective) that a National Champion ever had to face was the one beaten by Villanova in the very first field of 64. The '85 Cats beat two #1 seeds and two #2 seeds - only four other teams (UNC in 1993 and 2009 and Kentucky in 1996 and 2012) have had to beat four Top 4 seeds. Villanova's 2 wins over #1 seeds is only surpassed by Arizona's 3 wins over #1 seeds in 1997. Oddly enough, that same Arizona team faced 3 Double-Digit-Seeded Teams in their other three wins - resulting in an overall Seed Total that is in the middle of the all-time pack. The only other team to face 3 Double-Digit-Seeded Teams was UNLV in 1990. The '90 Running Rebels faced the easiest path ever to a National Title. They faced a 16, 8, 11, and 12 seed to get to the Final Four and then found a 4 and a 3 seed standing between them and the Title. The 1990 UNLV squad was the only National Champion never to face a #1 or a #2 seed. The '00 Spartans and the 2013 Louisville Cardinals faced the weakest Final Four field of any Champions when they faced an 8 and a 5 seed and a 9 and a 4 seed respectively.



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