The NCAAB Championship has undergone plenty of changes since Oregon emerged from a field of eight teams to claim the first men’s basketball championship in 1939.
The tournament predates the first-ever NBA game by close to a decade and, heading into its 84th year, only eight schools have won the NCAAB Championship three times or more.
The field was expanded in 1985 to 64 teams and has become even harder to win as a result, with just two defending champions retaining the title in close to 40 years since.
Let’s take a look at the long history of the NCAAB Championship, covering the most successful schools and coaches in the history of the Big Dance.
|What||NCAAB Championship 2023|
|When||Wednesday 15th March - Monday 3rd April 2023|
|How to watch||BT Sport and ESPN Player|
There are 36 schools which have won at least one national title, with just 15 of those lifting multiple championships.
The most successful program in NCAAB Championship history is UCLA, as they have won 11 championships. However, the Bruins won 10 of those 11 titles during a dominant spell in the 1960s and 70s, with their last triumph coming in 1995.
Kentucky follows with eight championships, the last of which came in 2012 when former NBA champion Anthony Davis helped them to glory.
In the 21st century, three teams - North Carolina, Duke and Connecticut – lead the way with three tournament wins. Duke is also the most successful program since the expansion in 1985, having claimed five national titles since 1991.
North Carolina is the third-most successful program in the history of the competition, while the Tar Heels have made more appearances in the Final Four than any other team. They have made it to the last four 21 times, progressing to the championship game on 12 occasions and winning half of those.
Kansas won the 2022 edition, making the Jayhawks the sixth-most successful school in NCAA history with four titles. They will be out to become the first program to win back-to-back national titles since the University of Florida in 2007.
Two Conferences – the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Pac-12 Conference – boast 33 previous winners between them. The likes of Duke and North Carolina make up the bulk of the ACC wins, while UCLA has won 11 of the 16 Pac-12 titles ahead of a switch to the Big Ten next year.
Best conference tournament player runs of all time
Best conference tournament team runs of all time
No one has come close to John Wooden, who is the most successful coach in NCAAB Championship history. He led UCLA to 10 of the 11 titles won by the program, as he coached the Bruins from 1948 to 1975.
It took 16 years for Wooden to claim his first title in 1964, going on to win nine more in the following 11 years before his retirement. That includes an unmatched streak of seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973.
After that, it’s Mike Krzyzewski, who left as the coach of the Duke Blue Devils in 2022. He was in charge for all five national titles won by Duke University during a 32-year spell as head coach. He picked up the last of those titles in 2015.
The most successful active coach heading into this year’s tournament is Bill Self, after collecting his second championship with the Jayhawks last year.
Self had guided Kansas to the program’s third title back in 2008. That 14-year gap between wins is the longest between championships of any coach who has won the NCAAB Championship multiple times.
|Team||No of wins||Years|
|UCLA||11||1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975,1995|
|Kentucky||8||1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012|
|North Carolina||6||1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017|
|Duke||5||1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015|
|Indiana||5||1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987|
|Kansas||4||1952, 1988, 2008, 2022|
|UConn||4||1999, 2004, 2011, 2014|
|Villanova||3||1985, 2016, 2018|