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Larry Bird, Indiana State, 1979. Larry Legend could have led Moe and Curly to the title game the way he was playing.

Bill Bradley, Princeton, 1965. Led the unheralded Tigers to the Final Four, set an NCAA tournament record with 58 points against Wichita State in the third-place game.

Bill Walton, UCLA, 1973. Big Red had some help but was as dominating as perhaps anyone in NCAA tournament history, capping it with 44 points in the title game.

Jerry West, West Virginia, 1959. He set an NCAA tournament record while averaging 32 points and took the no-name Mountaineers into the title game against California.

Lew Alcindor, UCLA, 1967. The man who would later become Kareem helped the Bruins set a tournament record for average margin of victory on their way to 10 straight Final Four wins.

Bill Russell, San Francisco, 1956. Twenty-six points, 27 rebounds in the title game alone.

Austin Carr, Notre Dame. 1970. Just three games, but went for 61, 52 and 45. Nice.



Butler is the first Division I school from Indiana to reach consecutive Final Fours. Five-time national champion Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame had never done it.

Kentucky coach John Calipari joins Rick Pitino as the only coaches to lead three different schools to the Final Four. Calipari also took Massachusetts and Memphis, while Pitino did it with Providence, Kentucky and Louisville.

The Horizon League (Butler 2010-11) joins the Big West (UNLV 1990-91), Missouri Valley (Cincinnati 1961-62) and West Coast (San Francisco 1955-56) conferences as the only non-BCS conferences to send a member to consecutive Final Fours.

All four of UConn’s Final Four appearances (1999, 2004, 2009, 2011) have gone through the NCAA tournament’s West regional.

Butler is one of nine teams to reach the Final Four a year after losing in the national title game, joining Ohio St. (1962), North Carolina (1969), North Carolina (1982), Houston (1984), Duke (1991), Michigan (1993), Kentucky (1998) and Michigan State (2010).

UConn’s men’s and women’s teams have reached the Final Four in the same season for the third time. Only six other schools have done it, none more than once.

Story Continues →