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View Full Version : Past Non-BCS Conf. Final Four Teams



UberZagFan
03-07-2007, 03:47 PM
There has a been a lot of talk about Few getting this team to the final four. Some talk about how the incoming classes over the next few years will make that more a possibility. It surely can be done, but it will be no small feat.

Over the past 22 NCAA tournaments (beginning with the first field of 64), there have obviously been 88 final four teams. Of those 88, only 11 teams have been from conferences outside of the big six. In other words, 12.5% of the teams have played in conferences not named ACC, PAC-10, BigEast, Big 10, Big 12, or SEC. Of those 11, only 8 different schools were represented. Only eight schools outside of the "big 6" conferences since 1985 can claim a final four.

Here are the years, seed, school and conference:

1985 #2 Memphis St (Metro)(vacated)
1986 #2 Louisville (Metro)
1987 #1 UNLV (Big West)
1990 #1 UNLV (Big West)
1991 #1 UNLV (Big West)
1992 #4 Cinci (Great Midwest)
1996 #1 UMass (Atlantic 10)
1998 #3 Utah (WAC)
2003 #3 Marquette (Conference USA)
2005 #4 Louisville (Conference USA)
2006 #11 George Mason (Colonial)

GU can relate to 3 maybe 4 teams on that list with respect to b-ball history and budget. GU is pretty close to comparable to the best on that list with respect to recruiting. A few teams on this list are (or were) comparable to BCS schools in terms of budget/recruiting/national prominence/conference.

But whatever way you look at it, it will be quite an accomplishment to reach that final four weekend. Looking at not only the few number of teams that have done this but also looking at their respective seeds, it's even more amazing what George Mason did last year.

brasszag
03-07-2007, 04:18 PM
Isn't C-USA technically a BCS conference?

CDC84
03-07-2007, 04:20 PM
I realize that this discussion could easily get into a game of semantics (who's a mid major, who isn't, etc.), but George Mason is really in a completely different category than those other teams. I and many others would really consider them to be the first true mid major to make the final 4 since the 1979 Indiana State and Penn teams. Most of those other teams had multi-million dollar athletic budgets to work with, and their conferences were major in basketball in every sense of the word back in their day. The only exception is UNLV, who could've bought and sold Mason's athletic department 15x over during Tark's heyday.

What will be interesting is how people will react if Gonzaga makes a final 4. I think it'll happen at some point, and by the time it does, it just isn't going to surprise people. Yes, they don't have the bucks like the football schools, but anybody who knows anything about college basketball recruiting knows that GU is getting high level preps right now. What was shocking about GMU last year was that they did it with players that very few power conference teams wanted.

94zagoldwomanasherdsmen
03-07-2007, 04:21 PM
but that looks like a list we need to be on; I vote we just get her done and add the final two after that.

Basically the zags need to line up their opponents for the next few weeks, treat 'em like rented mules ride em like they stole 'em and go home with the whole shooting match....hows that for xs and os!

(personal opinion and obvious in depth analysis the likes of which perhaps even BZ will have difficulty understanding, Hillbillyzag should be good to go of course.)

I realize now that this post is representative of a very, very bored basketball fan - Cmon Sunday! before I lose the few marbles I have left.

229SintoZag
03-07-2007, 04:24 PM
I realize that this discussion could easily get into a game of semantics (who's a mid major, who isn't, etc.), but George Mason is really in a completely different category than those other teams. I and many others would really consider them to be the first true mid major to make the final 4 since the 1979 Indiana State and Penn teams. Most of those other teams had multi-million dollar athletic budgets to work with, and their conferences were major in basketball in every sense of the word back in their day. The only exception is UNLV, who could've bought and sold Mason's athletic department 15x over during Tark's heyday.

What will be interesting is how people will react if Gonzaga makes a final 4. I think it'll happen at some point, and by the time it does, it just isn't going to surprise people. Yes, they don't have the bucks like the football schools, but anybody who knows anything about college basketball recruiting knows that GU is getting high level preps right now. What was shocking about GMU last year was that they did it with players that very few power conference teams wanted.

Interesting that marquette, cincinatti and louisville have "graduated" to a BCS league since with the expansion of the big east.

UberZagFan
03-07-2007, 04:27 PM
I and many others would really consider them to be the first true mid major to make the final 4 since the 1979 Indiana State and Penn teams. Most of those other teams had multi-million dollar athletic budgets to work with, and their conferences were major in basketball in every sense of the word back in their day. The only exception is UNLV, who could've bought and sold Mason's athletic department 15x over during Tark's heyday.


I agree with you CDC for the most part. UNLV, Louisville, & Memphis could be up there with the big 6. Mason is really from a different category. But the fact is all are non-big 6. So maybe what you are saying is that the list should really be smaller than 11? Let's exclude UNLV, Louis, Mempis? That would just make it more astonishing for GU or any other similarly situated program to get there.

Just for clarification: I was trying not to use mid-major labels and all that. Only pointing out the rarity it is for a non-big 6 school to get there.