Of the seven men’s basketball programs to make the NCAA Tournament Final Four 10 times or more, only North Carolina have done it in 2016. From the rest of the group, which includes Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and UCLA, the Bruins are the ones on the longest current drought, failing to make it eight years in a row.
Louisville Cardinals – 10
The Cardinals made their first Final Four in 1959, twice in the 1970’s, four times in the 1980’s before a long 19-year drought. With current head coach Rick Pitino they’ve gone to the Final Four three times (2005, 2012, 2013), winning the national title in 2013. The Cardinals have also been champions in 1986 and 1980, with Denny Crum as the head coach.
Ohio State Buckeyes – 10
The Buckeyes have made the Final Four 11 times, but the 1999 trip was vacated. Of these trips, four turned out to be on the way to the final and just once, in 1960, with Fred Taylor as the head coach and Jerry Lucas on the court, did they win the national champions. Their last Final Four was in 2012. They’ve gone twice with current head coach, Thad Matta.
Kansas Jayhawks – 14
Kansas are quite familiar with making it to the Final Four (1940, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1971, 1974, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2012). They’ve won it all three times: In 1952 under Phog Allen, 1988 with Larry Brown as the head coach and 2008 under Bill Self. Self, the current head coach, has been to the Final Four twice with the Jayhawks, last time in 2012.
Duke Blue Devils – 16
The Blue Devils have four Final Four appearances before Mike Krzyzewski, but their ascent to what they are today came during the Coach K era, beginning in 1980. It’s been 12 Final Fours (including five in a row from 1988-1992) and five national championships (1991-1992, 2001, 2010, 2015), which counts for the school’s entire haul.
Kentucky Wildcats – 17
Eight time national champions, the last coming in 2012 under John Calipari, who has taken the Wildcats four times to the Final Four in the last six seasons. Kentucky were in the Final Four three times in the 40’s, twice in the 50’s, once in the 60’s, twice in the 70’s, once in the 80’s, four times in the 90’s (including three straight 1996-1998) and their current 00’s count is all under Calipari.
UCLA Bruins – 17
From 1962 to 1976, UCLA made the Final Four 13 times. Their 1980 trip was vacated. Since then? Only four times: 1995 (winning the national title), 2006, 2007, 2008. They’re 11-time national champions, the most in the NCAA, 10 of them coming from 1964 to 1975. John Wooden coached them in those 10 titles.
North Carolina Tar Heels – 19
The only team on this list to make the Final Four in 2016, which happens to be their 19th visit and first since 2009. It’s their fourth Final Four with Roy Williams, who also led them to a couple of national championships (2005, 2009). The other three the Tar Heels have came under Frank McGuire (1957) and Dean Smith (1982, 1993). Under Smith (coaching from 1961 to 1997) they made 12 of those Final Fours, including five times in the 1990’s.