NCAA Tournament: Champions & Have-Nots of the Sweet Sixteen

NCAA Tournament: Champions & Have-Nots of the Sweet Sixteen

Rick Pitino

Of the 16 teams remaining in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, 10 have already won the NCAA Tournament: Kentucky, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, Duke, Michigan State, Louisville, UCLA, North Carolina State and Utah.

Gonzaga, a #2 seed, have never even been to the Final Four. This is the sixth time the Bulldogs are in the Sweet Sixteen, and they’ve advanced to the Elite Eight just once, in 1999. Head coach Mark Few was hired the season after, and aside from WCC domination during his reign, memorable tournament success has eluded him.

Oklahoma, coached by Lon Kruger, have four Final Four appearances, the last of them in 2002. They made the national championship game in 1988, losing to Kansas coached by Larry Brown and starring Danny Manning. The 62-year old Kruger has been around for quite some time in college basketball, with his longest trip in the NCAA tournament being a Final Four appearance with Florida in 1994.

Mike Brey

Notre Dame have been coached by Mike Brey since 2000, but this is only the second time they’ve been to the Sweet Sixteen with him (previous one in 2013). They haven’t made the Elite Eight since 1979 and the Final Four since 1978.

West Virginia are in the Sweet Sixteen for a third time under Bob Huggins, taking them to the Final Four in 2010. He also has a FF appearance with Cincinnati in 1992. The Mountaineers have just one more Final Four appearance in their history (1959). That year they made the final, losing to California despite having Jerry West on their side.

Xavier are in the Sweet Sixteen for a third time under Chris Mack and have four more appearances prior to his arrival, beginning in 1990. They’ve never gotten past the Elite Eight, getting that far just twice; in 2004 and 2008.

Gregg Marshall

Wichita State, another mid-major power, are the last on our non-champions list, the Shockers are in the Sweet 16 for only the sixth time in school history and a second under Gregg Marshall. They’ve been to the Elite Eight four times and through the Final Four twice: 1965 and 2013.

As for the list of champions, UCLA leads the list with 11, although the last of them was in 1995. Kentucky follow with 8, including the one John Calipari coached to in 2012. Next among the remaining teams are North Carolina with five titles; Roy Williams has coached on two of them (2005, 2009). Duke are four-time champions, all with Mike Krzyzewski at the helm. Louisville have three titles, including one under Rick Pitino in 2013. Pitino also coached Kentucky to the title in 1996. After that comes Michigan State with two championships, the last of ’em in 2000, with Izzo already coaching. North Carolina State are two time champions as well from 1974 and 1983. Arizona have one champions from 1997, Utah from 1944 and Wisconsin from 1941.

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