A year after the wildest, least-chalk filled Final Four ever, we have probably the most historical grouping in a Final Four ever. There are a variety of ways to look at this. If we go by just national championships, then any Final Four that had UCLA would be at the top, on the strength of just one of the participants.
For example, in 1970, the Final Four featured the winningest program ever, along with three others (Jacksonville, St. Bonaventure, and New Mexico State) who had never before or since appeared in a Final Four. I don’t think we want to look at just total championships won, because UCLA would carry matchups. No one would think that 1970 Final Four pairing was a historical group of Final Four participants.
Here is are the Top Ten Final Fours, as measured by the total Final Four appearances for all four programs (from 1939-2012, and not just at the time of the event).
* Note: I’m not mailing it in to Kentucky for 2012, just listing the four teams by current listed odds of winning for formatting.
If we look at the top programs of the NCAA Tournament Era (1939 to present), then we have four of the top seven (along with UCLA, North Carolina and Duke). Every team has a national title to its credit, something that you can say about only 16 of the 73 other Final Four groups.