Rothstein: The Four Most Improbable Final Four Runs Ever

Jon Rothstein
Jon Rothstein@JonRothstein
Rothstein: The Four Most Improbable Final Four Runs Ever

This is April!

Let's take a look below at the four most improbable Final Four runs of all-time:

*In no particular order.

Most Improbable Final Four Runs

North Carolina State (2024)

The Wolfpack were 17-14 at the end of the regular season but have since won nine consecutive games to reach the Final Four for the first time since 1983. The most amazing part of NC State's run? It finished the regular season on a four-game losing streak. No one saw this coming. Per the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, NC State is a 9.5-point underdog versus Purdue in Saturday's first semifinal.

UCLA (2021)

The Bruins lost their best returning player --- Chris Smith --- to a torn ACL in December, but it didn't stop UCLA from going on an all-time run. Similar to NC State, the Bruins lost four straight games late in the season. After coming back to beat Michigan State in the First Four, UCLA beat BYU and Abilene Christian before winning close games against Alabama and Michigan to reach the Final Four.

VCU (2011)

Three teams from the CAA reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011, but VCU obviously had the biggest impact. After losing in the CAA Tournament title game to Old Dominion, many people felt that the Rams wouldn't even be in the bracket on Selection Sunday. All of them were wrong. VCU beat USC in the First Four and won four straight games against Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas to complete an improbable run to the Final Four. The Rams averaged 8.3 made three-points during the regular season in 2010-11 --- they averaged 12 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

George Mason (2006)

The Cinderella of Cinderellas, Jim Larranaga's team was a surprise entry to March Madness on Selection Sunday after it received an at-large bid over Hofstra, who beat the Patriots twice in the final few weeks of the season. It didn't deter George Mason. Wins against Michigan State, North Carolina, and Wichita State set the table for an epic Elite Eight victory over UConn in Washington D.C.

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Jon Rothstein is not a FanDuel employee. The reporting of Rothstein is not subject to FanDuel's verification and does not represent the views or input of FanDuel. Betting based on Rothstein's reporting will not guarantee a successful outcome. Always do your own due diligence and use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.

Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and a contributor to the CBS Broadcast Network since 2016. He joined FanDuel in 2022 as a Content Creator. Rothstein is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks.