TAKE THE QUIZ! Here's an 'Elite Eight' trivia questions for NCAA Tourney's opening day

TAKE THE QUIZ! Here's an 'Elite Eight' trivia questions for NCAA Tourney's opening day

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Welcome, welcome. Come on, sit down — you know you’re not leaving your couch for the next four days. The first game tips off in a few hours, which gives you some time to test your Men’s March Madness knowledge. Are you up for the task? We have assembled an “Elite” list of eight questions that you may or may not ace. School is in session and your pop quiz awaits. And no, you won’t be paid for your participation.

Deputy Editor, Deadspin. Author, "One Lucky Fan: From Bleachers to Box Seats, Chasing the Ultimate Sports Dream to Visit All 123 MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL Teams." Earthwalker.

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Q1: Name the ‘realest’ Cinderellas

Q1: Name the ‘realest’ Cinderellas

Illustration for article titled TAKE THE QUIZ! Here's an 'Elite Eight' trivia questions for NCAA Tourney's opening day
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Oh sure, everyone loves a good Cinderella run. And if you’re like me and take the NCAA Tournament, and its history, seriously (you are reading this) you can no doubt rattle off the biggest ones to crash a Final Four like Loyola and George Mason.

But would it surprise you to learn that since the brackets expanded to 64 (later 68) in 1985, only three teams have won it all seeded higher than a 4.

Name these true Cinderellas who got the glass slipper to fit at the end of the ball.

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A1. 1985 Villanova (8), 1988 Kansas (6), 2014 UConn (7)

A1. 1985 Villanova (8), 1988 Kansas (6), 2014 UConn (7)

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NBD, just the biggest tourney upset of all-time and two guys who will eat and drink free for life in Lawrence, Kansas, and Storrs, Connecticut, based on Herculean six-game runs by Danny Manning and Shebazz Napier. I know that, “It’s March … anything can happen,” is something you hear annually, but it’s just not true. In fact, only six teams seeded 5-or-higher have been runners-up in that time, most recently Kentucky (which shouldn’t even count), who lost to that UConn team as an 8-seed. Otherwise it’s been an elite feast in the finals year after year.

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Q2: Those left behind, never to dance

Q2: Those left behind, never to dance

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Most teams have never won an NCAA title, either in the modern era or in old-timey cager days. That’s just a sad fact of haves and have-nots. But most teams can at least say they had a chance to win one. Even if it’s like a Dumb & Dumber “chance.” Then there are four serious have-nots out there who have never even had their ticket punched to a Big Dance since any form of it has been in place beginning in 1939. Northwestern was the last team to exit this inglourious grouping with their appearance in 2017.

Name the poor bastards they left behind.

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A2: Army, The Citadel, William & Mary, St. Francis (BK)

A2: Army, The Citadel, William & Mary, St. Francis (BK)

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Army, The Citadel, William & Mary and St. Francis of Brooklyn, N.Y., have been waiting for their number to be called for a long, long time. Army made the Patriot League semis this season as the 4-seed, but was upset by No. 9 Loyola Maryland. The Citadel was tied with top-seeded UNC Greensboro in the Southern Conference quarters last week … but lost 80-72. William & Mary fell to No. 2 Northeastern in the Colonial Athletic Association quarters, 63-47. And St. Francis (BK) was left out of the four-team NEC tourney, won by the last team in, Mount St. Mary’s. The schneid continues for another season for all.

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Q3: Back-to-backers (who didn’t win both)

Q3: Back-to-backers (who didn’t win both)

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Back in ancient times — you know, the ’60s and ’70s — UCLA won the damn NCAA title every year and twice on Sundays. While the modern era (since the brackets expanded in 1985) has seen more parity, the number of repeat champions has been slim. Most people can name the two teams that have done it: Duke in 1991-92 and Florida in 2006-07. But can you name the five programs that also made two title tilts in a row but didn’t win both? Two teams lost the championship, and then avenged it the next year; one team won it, but couldn’t repeat; and two others lost both appearances.

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A3: Duke, UNC, Arkansas, Michigan, Butler

A3: Duke, UNC, Arkansas, Michigan, Butler

Illustration for article titled TAKE THE QUIZ! Here's an 'Elite Eight' trivia questions for NCAA Tourney's opening day
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Two of the most storied programs of the modern era — and its fiercest rivals — lead the way here. Duke (1990-91) and North Carolina (2016-17) turned bitter disappointment into the ultimate victory. Arkansas and their “40 minutes of Hell” won it all in 1994, but went down to Ed O’Bannon, Tyus Edny and those UCLA Bruins who won their only title of the March Madness era in 1995 (the poor dears). And woe is Michigan’s Fab Five in 1992-93 losing to Duke and North Carolina and Butler in 2010-11 losing to Duke and UConn.

There is an unspoken wild card here, and if your guess was this team, hold it until the next question ...

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Q4: Three in a row, anyone? Why, yes ...

Q4: Three in a row, anyone? Why, yes ...

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We covered all the teams to make two title games in a row … except ... I left out one on purpose with the way I worded the question. Because there has only been one team since the 1985 expansion to make THREE final games in a row. They won it, lost it (in overtime), and won it back. The first vintage spawned an eventual NINE NBA players.

Name this team, which comes as close to “dynastic” as we’ve had in the past 35 years.

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A4: Of course, it’s Kentucky

A4: Of course, it’s Kentucky

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It could only be the 1996-98 Kentucky Wildcats. Rick Pitino took the first two squads to back-to-back title games before leaving for the Boston Celtics, where he would utter the legendary “Larry Bird isn’t walking through that door.” Derek Anderson, Tony Delk, Walter McCarty, Ron Mercer, Nazr Mohammed, Mark Pope, Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner, and basket-making employee #8 Antoine Walker all went on to varying NBA careers (or at least appearances). In ’96 the Cats bested John Wallace and Syracuse. In ’97, Lute Olsen’s Wildcats of Arizona downed the champs. And in ’98, Tubby Smith took the reins and guided Kentucky to it’s second title in three seasons over Utah.

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Q5: Tops of the top scorers

Q5: Tops of the top scorers

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The top NCAA Tournament scorers are legends, but one performance stands out above the rest.

The list of all-time leading scorers in a single NCAA Tournament is a who’s who of legends. Guys who threw teams on their backs and hacked a trail with a machete to a title.

Glen Rice still tops the list with his transcendent performance in 1989, leading Michigan to an unlikely title over Seton Hall. His 184 points over six games just nicks two Hall of Famers who only had five games to get the job done: Princeton’s Bill Bradley (177) and Houston’s Elvin Hayes (167).

You’ve probably heard of the rest of the top 10: Danny Manning, Jerry West, Hal Lear, Joe Barry Carroll, Juan Dixon, Jay Williams and … one other guy. Why is his performance more notable than the others? Well, rather than take five or six games to make this list, and ahead of the thousands of other players who could have made it, this guy lit up the scoreboards in only THREE appearances.

Who is it?

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A5: Austin Carr, Notre Dame

A5: Austin Carr, Notre Dame

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Austin Carr of Notre Dame dumped in buckets by the backhoe in the 1970 tournament. Carr dropped 61 (still the record for most in one game), 52 and 45 points as the Irish won third place in the Mideast Regional (and yes, that used to be “a thing”).

The following year, Carr and ND beat UCLA, which was already notable in those days, but seriously notable this time because UCLA would not lose again for 88 straight games … until running into Notre Dame again. Carr won the AP and Naismith Player of the Year Awards in that 1971 season and was the number one overall pick in the draft, heading to Cleveland. Carr would go on to become known as “Mr. Cavalier” after his 10-year NBA career, where he was named to the All-Rookie team in 1972 and made one All-Star side in 1974.

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Q6: Which game lit up the scoreboard?

Q6: Which game lit up the scoreboard?

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In case of a tiebreaker, you have to put a final score on your bracket. What’d you write for yours? If you’re like most, you predicted team scores in the sixties, seventies, maybe eighties? But definitely not in the 100’s… unless you really are that stupid. While most teams stay below 100 points, some have gone over. Like, way over.

So what was the highest scoring game in tournament history?

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A6: Loyola Marymount vs. Michigan, 1990

A6: Loyola Marymount vs. Michigan, 1990

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The average score of NCAA Men’s final games for the past 30 years hovers around 77-68. If you add those two numbers together you’d still be four short of 149 — the amount of points Loyola Marymount scored in the second round of the 1990 tournament.

No. 11 LMU wound up beating No. 3 Michigan 149-115. The game total, for those of you who can’t do mental math, was 264. No matchup has come close to hitting that record since.

For what it’s worth, Loyola Marymount and Wyoming combined for the second highest scoring game in Men’s March Madness history at 234. LMU won 119 to 115.

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Q7: Which site has hosted the most Final Fours?

Q7: Which site has hosted the most Final Fours?

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March Madness is not stationary. Every year, a new city gets to host an influx of college kids, gamblers, partiers, or all of the above. The Final Four is usually held in indoor football stadiums to accommodate for the masses, but not always. With that in mind, which city has hosted the most Men’s Final Fours?

I can tell you now, it’s not the one you think (ie, above).

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A7: Kansas City, Missouri

A7: Kansas City, Missouri

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You guessed Indianapolis anyway, didn’t you. I see your logic. After all, the NCAA headquarters are in downtown Indy and the city will host their eighth final four this year in the “bubble.” But you’re wrong. One city has held ten championship games. That’s right, ten! Think of a midwestern town smack dab in the center of America. It’s Kansas City, stupid. KC hosted the national semifinals and finals in 1940, 1941, 1942, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1961, and 1964 at Municipal Auditorium. The city got another chance to host the last leg of the big dance in 1988 at Kemper Arena, now known as Hy-Vee Arena.

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Q8: Which conference has the most titles since expansion?

Q8: Which conference has the most titles since expansion?

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Everyone likes to brag about their conference, but is yours actually good? Since 1985, 10 different conferences have claimed a men’s basketball title.

Which one has the most?

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A8: The ACC is the true conference of champions

A8: The ACC is the true conference of champions

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Brace yourselves. For once, Carolina and Duke can celebrate together because the ACC has been the conference of champions since the tournament expanded in 1985. In the span of 30 years, the Atlantic Coast Conference has won 11 national titles. Sure, most championships have been won by a team in the research triangle, but a win for the conference is a win for the conference. Am I right, other ACC schools?

Here’s the list of previous winners.

1991 Duke

1992 Duke

1993 UNC

2001 Duke 

2002 Maryland (now Big Ten)

2005 UNC

2009 UNC

2010 Duke

2015 Duke

2017 UNC

2019 Virginia

In addition to holding the most championship trophies, the ACC also has the best winning percentage and most March Madness wins of any conference since 1985.

Hope you enjoyed our brainteasers! How’d you do?

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Deputy Editor, Deadspin. Author, "One Lucky Fan: From Bleachers to Box Seats, Chasing the Ultimate Sports Dream to Visit All 123 MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL Teams." Earthwalker.