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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 12, 2020

2020 Final Four in Atlanta: Everything you need to know

Everything you need to know about March Madness

The NCAA announced on March 12 it is canceling the 2020 men's and women's basketball championships and all other remaining winter and spring sports because of the coronavirus.

What is the Final Four?

The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament has four regions: the South, East, West, and Midwest. The winner of each region advances to the penultimate round of the tournament and becomes one of the last four teams standing, joining the Final Four.

The Final Four is comprised of the final two rounds of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament — two semifinal games on Saturday, and the championship game on Monday, with all three games taking place in the same arena.

How did the Final Four get its name?

The name is pretty self-explanatory, as the Final Four refers to the last four teams standing in the NCAA tournament.

The first known use of the term to refer to the penultimate round of the NCAA tournament came in 1975 when, according to Slate, Ed Chay wrote in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Marquette was ”one of the final four” teams of the 1974 tournament.

In 1978, the NCAA ran with the phrase, referring to it as the “Final Four,” and later registering the trademark, meaning no one else in the U.S. can use the term for their tournaments.

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Who are some notable Cinderellas who’ve made it to the Final Four?

Villanova — 1985 (the 8-seed Wildcats are the lowest seed ever to win the title.)
George Mason — 2006 (11-seed George Mason received an at-large bid, then beat Michigan State, UNC, and 1-seed UConn.)
VCU — 2011 (11-seed VCU remains the only team to reach the Final Four from the First Four.)
Butler — 2011 (The 8-seed Bulldogs weren’t expected to return to the Final Four after losing Gordon Hayward, but they willed themselves back to the championship game anyways before losing to Kemba Walker and UConn.)
Loyola Chicago — 2018 (The 11-seed Ramblers made the most of their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1985 before Michigan ended the run in the semifinal.)

WATCH: The greatest comebacks in March Madness history

Who has been to the most Final Fours?

North Carolina has been to 20 Final Fours — the most of any school. Kentucky and UCLA have both been to 17, Duke has 16, Kansas has 15, Ohio State and Michigan State have 10. No other schools have double-digit appearances. 

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