© St. Petersburg Times, published March 23, 2003
1981: 2nd-round stunners
The second round was vicious to No.1 seeds in 1981. In consecutive days, No.1s DePaul and Oregon State lost on buzzer-beaters. John Smith of Saint Joseph's made a layup to knock out the Blue Demons, Kansas State's Rolando Blackman swished a corner jumper to defeat the Beavers. Defending champion Louisville sustained a slightly more improbable second-round defeat that season. The Cardinals lost to Arkansas 74-73 on a halfcourt heave by U.S. Reed as time expired.
UCLA and North Carolina are tied for the most Final Four appearances with 15. Kentucky and Duke are tied for third with 13. Schools with multiple appearances the past 10 years: Kentucky (4), Michigan State (3), Duke (3), Arizona (3), Florida (2), North Carolina (2), Kansas (2), Arkansas (2) and Maryland (2).
North Carolina's record streak of 27 consecutive tournament appearances was snapped last season. Arizona, with 19, has the longest active streak.
Sam Clancy, who left Pitt as the school's all-time leading rebounder, had 38 points and 19 rebounds in two tournament games in 1981 before an 11-year pro football career as a defensive end. Reggie Rogers, an All-America defensive tackle and first-round pick of the Detroit Lions, also was a forward for Washington in the mid-1980s. He made 4 of 5 field goals in the Huskies' 80-78 second-round victory over Duke in '84.
Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson was a part-time starter at forward as a freshman for Florida State's 1988 NCAA Tournament team. He hit all three of his 3-point attempts in a 102-98 opening-round loss to Iowa. He playing sparingly the next year, when the Seminoles were upset in the first round by Middle Tennessee State.
Houston has been to the Final Four five times without capturing the championship. Next best, or worst, are Illinois, Kansas State and Oklahoma with four, and Syracuse, Iowa and LSU with three.
Who has the most points in tournament history?
Broadcasters Curt Gowdy and Billy Packer have firsthand tournament experience. Gowdy played for Wyoming in 1941, going scoreless in two games. Packer was the second-leading scorer (14.1 ppg) for Wake Forest's only Final Four squad in 1962, helping the Deamon Deacons to third place and earning a spot on the All-East Region team.
Duke's Christian Laettner (1989-92) with 407. Laettner also has played in the most games, 23.