2014 Fairly Fun Final Four Facts For Fans

You may be wondering which team has had the easiest path to the Final Four.  Or you may not be wondering which team has had the easiest path to the Final Four.  Either way, Florida has had the easiest path by far coming out of the South region.  Kentucky, out of the Midwest had the roughest trip to the big dance, followed by CT out of the East and Wisconsin from the West region.

From Smooth Sailing to Turbulent Skies

  • FL combined total of seeds to victory out of the South: 40 – Albany (16), Pitt (9), UCLA (4), Dayton (11)
  • WI combined total of seeds to victory out of the West: 29 – American (15), Oregon (7), Baylor (6), Arizona (1)
  • CT combined total of seeds to victory out of the East: 19 – Saint Joseph’s (10), Villanova (2), Iowa St. (3), Michigan St. (4)
  • KY combined total of seeds to victory out of the Midwest: 16 – Kansas St. (9), Wichita St. (1), Louisville (4), Michigan (2)

Who gave Whom Fits

  • Some teams simply had the others’ number during the 2013-14 season.  SMU beat UConn twice.  Louisville beat UConn three times.
  • Arkansas gave Kentucky fits, beating them twice in OT.  The Gators devoured the Wildcats three times during the season.  The last game was a one point squeaker in the SEC championship game.  They could meet again in the NCAA championship game.

The Edge

  • Home town/state advantage:  Kentucky.  Lexington is closest to Arlington and the Wildcats have three players from Texas.
  • Home court advantage:  Connecticut.  Even though Storrs is the farthest from Arlington, the Huskies are the only team that has played a game this year near Arlington in a loss to SMU in Dallas.
  • Battle tested team:  Kentucky who beat a 1 and a 2 seed and the 4th seeded Louisville Cardinals that beat UConn three times.
  • Underdog:  Kentucky – unranked in the AP Top 25.
  • Toughest Team Nickname:  Wisconsin Badgers.
  • Latest championships: KY (2012), UConn (2011), FL (2007), WI (1941)


More Obscure 2014 Final Four Facts

  • Number of states players represent on Final Four rosters: 19
  • State breakdown:  FL (8); KY (6); WI (6); IL (5); NY (4); TX (3); CA (2); CT (2); MA (2); NC (2); NJ (2); OH (2); TN (2); IA, KS, MD, MI, MN, VA (1)
  • Number of players under 6 feet:  2
  • Shortest player: 5-9 Brian Long of Kentucky
  • Number of players from Brooklyn, NY: 4
  • Number of players on rosters from an opposing team’s state:  1 – CT player from Wisconsin
  • The Final Four was last held near Arlington (in Dallas) in 1986.
  • Number of Kentucky players from Texas: 3
  • Connecticut lost to SMU in Dallas on January 4, 2014.

And Then There Were 4

And then there were 4:  WI (2), FL (1), UConn (7) and KY (8).

  • Only two Final Fours in history have had more than 1 of the 2014 group competing.

2011:  UConn, Kentucky
2000: Florida, Wisconsin

  • Number of times the SEC has had 2 teams in the Final Four: 2 – 2006 (FL, LSU); 1994 (Ark, FL)
  • Number of championships by team: KY (8), CT (3), FL (2), WI (1)

Last Kentucky championship: 2012
Last Connecticut championship: 2011
Last Florida championship: 2007
Last Wisconsin championship: 1941

  • Team Records against Final Four opponents:

Wisconsin: 1-0 against Florida
Kentucky: 0-2 against Florida
UConn: 1-0 against Florida
Florida: 2-0 against Kentucky; 0-2 against WI, CT

  • # of times Final Four has been in Dallas: 1 – 1986 (Louisville, Kansas, Duke, LSU)
  • Distance of Schools to Dallas/Arlington area:

Lexington: 880 miles
Madison: 989 miles
Gainesville: 990 miles
Storrs: 1,686 miles

  • Home court advantage:  Kentucky (8)
  • Underdog:  UConn (7)





28 Points – Frank “Wassily” Kaminsky

Points - Kandinsy

Points – Kandinsy

I had Arizona advancing to the Final Four, not Wisconsin.  In fact, I had the Badgers losing to Creighton (Barrel) in the Sweet 16.  When I made my picks for the West region, I did so without having seen any of the teams play during the regular season.  So I went by hunch and history.  The last time Wisconsin won a championship was in 1941, when the field was just 8 teams, one of the 8 included Creighton. My parents were just 2 years old. 1941 was the year FDR began his third term and WWII was heating up in Europe and Africa.  The last time Wisconsin made the Final Four was the year 2000 when they danced with the eventual champion Michigan State, runner up Florida and North Carolina.

Had I known just how good a team Wisconsin had, I might have picked them to take the crown this year.  They exemplify what it means to be a team – great passing, solid defense, consistent shooting and dominant center play.  And DOMINANT is the word to describe 7’0 Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky, the Junior from Lisle, (the crocodile) Illinois, a Western suburb of Chicago.  And he was the difference maker with points, and lots of them, in Wisconsin’s OT victory over Arizona, a victory that provoked riots where the streets have no name in Arizona.

When I first heard the name Kaminsky, I thought it was Kandinsky.  I was thinking that it was kind of neat that Wisconsin had a player who might be the great grandson of the Russian painter, Kandinsky. I remember as a young lad, not much older than Frank Kaminsky himself, I visited NYC for the first time and went to the Guggenheim Museum to pay tribute to its architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. While I was impressed with the odd building that looked like something Sun Ra might have designed, a cross between a parking garage and a concrete UFO, I was equally impressed with the Kandinsky exhibit.  I remember buying a postcard of one his works and posting it on the wall of my off campus apartment in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  One of his most interesting works, “Points”, is an apt description of Frank Kaminsky’s contribution in last night’s victory – 28 to be exact – after which he was named the West Region’s MVP.