With a fourth national championship, UConn join an elite group that includes Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina and UCLA of basketball programs to win the NCAA Tournament at least four times.
Like Duke, Connecticut have been able to do it in a relatively short time. The Huskies have won the four national titles in the span of 16 seasons, while Duke have been able to do it in the span of 21 seasons.
Duke Blue Devils (4): Despite winning their first national title in 1991, Duke have been a prominent college basketball power for the last 50 years, making it to the Final Four eight times before finally winning their first title. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has his fingerprint on pretty much every major success the program has had since taking over 33 years ago, leading them to all four championships. The first came in 1991, beating Kansas 72-65 and Christian Laettner winning the MOP. They won the title back-to-back, beating Michigan and the Fab Five 71-51 in 1992; this time Bobby Hurley picked up the award.
The next championship came in 2001, with the 82-72 win over Arizona. Shane Battier, a future NBA champion with the Miami Heat, won the MOP award this time. It took another nine years to win the fourth title, this time in a very close game against Butler, winning 61-59. Kyle Singler was the award.
UConn Huskies (4): Another school that’s relatively new to the championship business. UConn’s basketball history pretty much begins with Jim Calhoun in 1986. He is the one who has led the program to its first Final Four in 1999, following it that up with three more visits in the next 12 years. UConn won the national title in 1999 as well, beating Duke 77-74 in the final with Rip Hamilton, a future champion with the Detroit Pistons, winning the MOP.
UConn won their second national title in 2004. They beat Duke in the national semifinal before a win over George Tech 82-73, as Emeka Okafor picked up the MOP. Another seven years and Duke were on top again, this time beating Butler (finalists two years in a row). They beat the Bulldogs 53-41 in an UGLY game as Kemba Walker picked up the MOP award. UConn picked up their fourth national title in 2014 with Kevin Ollie, a former Calhoun player and assistant, as their head coach. They beat Kentucky 60-54 as senior Shabazz Napier took the MOP home.
Indiana Hoosiers (5): Branch McCracken and Bob Knight split the five championships Indiana have between them. One of the old powers of the NCAA, Indiana haven’t been to the Final Four since 2002, and haven’t won a national title since 1987. The first came in 1940 under a very different format, beating Kansas 60-42. The second championship of the McCracken era came 13 years later, once again beating Kansas, this time 69-68.
Bob Knight took over in 1971 (coached in Bloomington until 2000), winning three national titles. The first came in 1976, with a big 86-68 win over Michigan in the final. Kent Benson picked up the MOP award for that one. Five years later Indiana struck gold again, this time beating North Carolina 63-50, and Isiah Thomas, a future NBA Finals MVP, picking up the MOP award. Knight won his third national title in 1987, as Indiana beat Syracuse 74-73, and Keith Smart won the MOP.
North Carolina Tar Heels (5): Frank McGuire won the Tar Heels their first national title in 1957, beating Kansas (who lost quite a lot on the big stage) 54-53. The MOP went to Wilt Chamberlain on the losing side. It took UNC 25 years, a change of coach (Dean Smith now) and a Michael Jordan and James Worthy to be on the team for their second national title, beating Georgetown 63-62 with that famous Jordan shot while Worthy picked up the MOP.
Smith added a second national title in 1993 as North Carolina beat Michigan 77-71 with the infamous Chris Webber timeout; Donald Williams won the MOP. A new era began in 2003 with Roy Williams, and North Carolina picked up a fourth title in 2005, beating Illinois 75-70 and Sean May winning the MOP. Four years later came a fifth championship, beating Michigan State 89-72, and Wayne Ellington winning the MOP.
Kentucky Wildcats (8): When they talk about blue bloods, Kentucky are probably the first name that comes up. They won their first four national titles under Adolph Rupp. The first came in 1948 with a win over Baylor, 58-42. They made it back to back, beating Oklahoma State 46-36, as Alex Groza won the MOP on both occasions. A third championship came in 1951, this time beating Kansas State 68-58 as Bill Spivey picked up the MOP award.
Rupp won his fourth and final national title in 1958, beating Seattle with Elgin Baylor (who also won the MOP) in the final. It took 20 years for the next one to come, with Joe B. Hall as the head coach. Kentucky beat Duke 94-88 in the final; Jack Givens was the MOP. Title number 5 came under Rick Pitino, a champion with Louisville in 2013. He led Kentucky to the title in 1996, beating Syracuse 76-67. Tony Delk was the MOP.
Tubby Smith came after Pitino and led the kids to a national championship in 1998, his first season in charge. Kentucky beat the surprising Utah in the final, and Jeffrey Sheppard won the MOP. Then came the long 14-year wait until John Calipari got his dream freshman class, beating Kansas 67-59 in the final. Anthony Davis won the MOP.
UCLA Bruins (11): The standard for success in college basketball for many years, winning 10 of those titles under John Wooden, coming in the span of 12 years, and it’s been 19 since they’ve won their last national title. The first one came in 1964, as Walt Hazzard won the MOP award after beating Duke 98-83. A year later, and UCLA win the championship with a 91-80 win over Michigan, although Bill Bradley of Princeton won the MOP.
In 1968 UCLA destroyed North Carolina 78-55 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar picking up the MOP. In 1969 it was another one sided final, beating Purdue 92-72, and Kareem picking up his second MOP. In 1970 it was a three-peat, this time having a harder time against Jacksonville with a 80-69 win, and Sidney Wicks picking up the MOP. In 1971 the fourth in a row, beating Villanova 68-62 in the final. Howard Porter from ‘Nova won the MOP. Five in a row in 1972, this time beating Florida State 81-76 as Bill Walton picked up the MOP. 1973? Six in a row, beating Memphis 88-67 in the final, and Walton picking up another MOP.
Wooden coached his final game in 1975, as UCLA beat Kentucky 92-85. Richard Washington won the MOP. Then came the long wait; for 20 years to be exact. UCLA beat Arkansas 89-78, as Ed O’Bannon won the MOP. UCLA have been waiting ever since.