Throughout history, the NCAA basketball tournament has been dominated by teams from the six major conferences — ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC. In fact, 61 of the 71 total championships — more than 85 percent — have been won from teams from one of these six conferences.
Not surprisingly, the Pac 10 is the overall leader with 15, led by UCLA. The Bruins have won 11 NCAAs overall — 10 under John Wooden, including seven in a row from 1967 through 1973.
The ACC is next with 11 titles, led by five by North Carolina, three from Duke and two from NC State.
The Big East, Big 10 and SEC are even with 10 total titles apiece. Multiple winners are Kentucky (SEC) with seven; Indiana (Big 10) with five, and Michigan State (Big 10), Florida (SEC) and Cincinnati, Louisville and UConn (all Big East) with two apiece.
Kansas has won three of the five Big 12 NCAA championships and Oklahoma State (then Oklahoma A&M) the other two.
CCNY Now in CUNY
The other 10 championships are divided amongst the Mountain West (Wyoming, Utah and UNLV); West Coast (San Francisco twice); and Patriot League (Holy Cross); CUNY (CCNY); Atlantic 10 (LaSalle); Horizon (Loyola of Chicago); and Conference USA (Texas Western, now UTEP).
CCNY, which remains the only team to win both NCAA and NIT championships in the same year, 1950. The Beavers now face the likes of Baruch, Lehman and Hunter in the City University of New York (CUNY) Athletic Conference.
Butler could join the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago as the only Horizon League champions. Loyola Chicago beat two-time champion Cincinnati in overtime to win the crown in 1963.
Duke aims for its fourth championship overall and first since 2001 — all under Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K is looking to tie Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp for second all time behind Wooden with four championships.
Footnote: Of course, many of these conferences did not exist when Oregon won the first NCAA tournament in 1939. The championship tallies above are based on where the schools play today.