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By Robin Milbrand

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is a unique sporting event all by itself. What makes it unique is not the game of basketball but its special design of the tournament and its rules.

Imagine if your favorite college team had the worst record in the country and never even won a single game during the regular season. It still could be possible for that team to win the NCAA Championship.

How can it be possible? The two ways to get into the tournament are by winning your individual conference tournament and winning an automatic bid, or by being chosen by the NCAA Selection Committee as an at-large bid.

At the end of the regular college basketball season, each conference stages an in-conference single elimination tournament. It is here the hopes of every college fan of every college team are fostered and sports Cinderella stories are born.

If that lousy winless college team all of a sudden gets hot and beats all the teams in the conference tournament, they are in the tournament with an automatic bid. Imagine if they get hotter still and win six straight games in the NCAA Tournament, they’re the champion. What other sporting event can boast that worst can turn to best in a period of only three weeks?

To further spark some interest, I have supplied you college basketball fans with a quiz of 25 questions about the NCAA Basketball Tournament history. Warm up the gray cells and see how many you can answer.

  1. What is the last team to win back-to-back championships?
  2. What Princeton basketball star scored 58 points in 196,5 winning a Final Four MVP?
  3. What player owns the single-game highest score in NCAA Tournament history?
  4. Who is the only three-time Final Four MVP?
  5. What team defeated Patrick Ewing and Georgeton Hoyas in 1985, missing only two shots in the second half?
  6. What Cincinnati University star was Final Four MVP in 1961 and1962?
  7. What San Francisco University star was Final Four MVP in 1955 and 1956?
  8. What two Coaches are second to John Wooden in NCAA Championships with four apiece?
  9. In Bill Walton’s historic championship game in 1973 against Memphis State, in which he scored 45 points, how many shots did he miss?
  10. What university beat Kentucky in 1966 with the first all-black starting five?
  11. Who won the NCAA Tournament last year in 2010?
  12. What college team defeated Wilt Chamberlain’s Kansas Jayhawks in 1957?
  13. What player led Syracuse University to its only NCAA Tournament Championship in 2003?
  14. Which coach upset the heavily favored Houston Cougar team with Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler with his North Carolina Wolfpack in 1983?
  15. How many NCAA Basketball Championships did legendary coach Dean Smith win with his North Carolina Tar Heels teams?
  16. What was the last Big East Team to win the tournament?
  17. What was the last little three team (Canisius,Niagara or St. Bonaventure) to appear in the Final Four, and what year?
  18. What was the last team to go undefeated in the regular season and win the NCAA Tournament?
  19. In 1964, the UCLA Bruins under the direction of John Wooden won the tournament with no starting player taller than 6-foot-5. Who was the outstanding backcourt pair that year?
  20. What three different college teams did Bobby Knight take to the tournament?
  21. Who was the last Big 10 team to win the tournament?
  22. In the classic 1979 championship game pitting Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, what schools did they play for?
  23. What was the largest margin of victory in a championship game?
  24. What was the only team to start the championship game with five freshmen?
  25. What is the team that broke the UCLA Bruins streak of seven championships in a row?


  1. The Florida Gators in 2006 & 2007 under Billy Donovan
  2. Sen. Bill Bradley
  3. Austin Carr with 61 points in a game in 1970
  4. Lew Alcindor of the UCLA Bruins
  5. The Villanova Wildcats under Rollie Massimino
  6. The Big O -- Oscar Robertson
  7. Bill Russell
  8. Adolph Rupp of Kentucky and Mike Kryzewski of Duke
  9. One, he made 21 of 22 shots
  10. Texas Western University
  11. Duke University
  12. University of North Carolina
  13. Carmelo Anthony
  14. The late Jim Valvano
  15. Two in 1982 and 1993
  16. University of Connecticut
  17. St. Bonaventure led by Bob Lanier
  18. Bobby Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers in 1981
  19. Gail Goodrich and Walt Hazzard
  20. Indiana, Texas Tech and Army
  21. Michigan State under Tom Izzo in 2000
  22. Larry played for Indiana State and Magic played for Michigan State which won the game
  23. UNLV Running Rebels over the Duke Blue Devils by 30 points in 1990 (103-73)
  24. Michigan in 1993 (The Fab Five)
  25. North Carolina State Wolfpack with David Thompson in 1974

In conclusion, I pick the Ohio State Buckeyes to defeat the Kansas Jayhawks in the championship game.

My choice for the Final Four MVP is the freshman Jared Sullinger of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com March 22, 2011