This Final Four is not for surprises.
The 17 national championships won by Duke, North Carolina and Kansas have been shared by Villanova, Villanova, Kansas, and North Carolina. Each school has won at least three national championships, making this the first Final Four where all four teams have won multiple titles.
North Carolina is the closest thing to a Final Four party-crasher. It was seeded eighth by the South Region, but has won 10 out of 11 of its last 11 games.
These are just some of the impressive numbers for the remaining four traditions-rich programs in the NCAA Tournament. These are some facts about the Final Four teams:
COACH K’S FINALE: Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski will make his 13th Final Four appearance to take sole possession of the first place. Former UCLA coach John Wooden had 12. Krzyzewski has also won more NCAA Tournament games (101) than any other coach.
ON THE MARK: Mark Williams blocked 16 shots during Duke’s first two games. This is the record for most Duke players in an NCAA Tournament. Shane Battier had 16 when Duke won the title in 2001. Williams is also shooting 80.6% from floor which means he has the best field-goal percentage of any Duke player who has attempted at least 25 times. Duke has shot 53.8% in this tournament thanks to Williams’ accuracy, which is the highest field-goal percentage among the original 68 teams.
A.J. GRIFFIN: WATCH OUT Griffin is the barometer of Duke’s success against semi-final opponent North Carolina this year. He scored 27 points against North Carolina , but only five points in the 34 minute period when the Blue Devils lost 94-81 at home to the Tar Heels a month later.
FAMILIAR FISH: This is North Carolina’s 21st appearance at the Final Four. The Tar Heels are also the most successful school with 130 wins in NCAA Tournament games.
SELECT COMPANY – Hubert Davis, North Carolina’s coach, is one of two individuals who can play and coach at the Final Four with the exact same school. Davis was a member of the 1991 North Carolina team which lost to Kansas in an NCAA semifinal. Dick Harp was the only person who reached the Final Four as both a player and a coach at the same school. He played (1940) in Kansas and coached (1957). Davis was also an assistant coach for Roy Williams’ team when North Carolina reached the NCAA final in 2016. The title was won in 2017.
MANEK Vs. DEVILS: Brady Manek scored at minimum 20 points in both of North Carolina’s previous meetings with Duke this year. He scored 21 points in the Tar Heels’ loss to Duke at home. When North Carolina beat Duke, he had 20 points and 11 assists. Manek scored 86 points during this NCAA Tournament, which is the most by any player.
GETTING STICKY: Tournament foes can shoot only 34.1% at the Jayhawks. This is the highest NCAA Tournament field goal defense percentage of any team from the original 68-team field.
MORE WINNS THAN ANYONE: Kansas’ final victory in the Midwest Region over Miami gave the Jayhawks their 2,355 all time victories. Kansas was able to win the Division I title over Kentucky. Kentucky lost in the first round and ended its season with 2,354 all time wins.
UNDER 70: Kansas has held its nine previous opponents to less than 70 points in eight of their last nine games. When they allow less than 70 points, the Jayhawks are currently 24-0. Creighton, was the only team that scored more than 70 points against Kansas in this tournament. They lost 79-72 to the Jayhawks during the second round. Villanova is Kansas’ semifinal opponent. Villanova has won nine straight, but only two of its seven previous games have seen it reach the 70 point mark.
NO MOORE: Justin Moore is the Villanova’s leading scorer (34.4), third on the team for 3-pointers (80), scoring (2.3), assists per game (2.3) and third in rebounds per match (4.8). Moore ruptured his right Achilles tendon during a 50–44 South Region final win over Houston. Villanova will be unable to participate in the Final Four.
SAMUELS’ SURG: Jermaine Samuels averaged 17.5 points during the tournament and scored at least 15 points each game. Samuels averaged 10.4 points when he entered the tournament.
COLD BUT PROMISED: Villanova shot 27.5% (3 of 51) from 3-point range in its two previous games, but still made it to the Final Four. The Wildcats were 9 out of 30 on 3-point attempts against Michigan, and 5 out of 21 against Houston. In 13 games, they’ve scored 30% or less from the 3-point line in this season’s contests but went 9-4.