Fun Facts: Iowa-Tennessee

Three No. 11 seeds have gone to the Final Four

Published: March 19 2014 | 9:59 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:49 am in

It's the first First Four Fun Facts in Hlog history.

I covered the NCAA tournament in Dayton last year. The NCAA tournament loves Dayton. Dayton loves the NCAA tournament. Not all relationships are as balanced, like the one between me and pizza. Now, on with the Fun Facts:

1. Iowa and Tennessee have played each other three previous times, in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Honolulu. Dayton isn't Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Honolulu.

2. Iowa is 25-20 against current SEC members, but has never played Auburn, Florida, Mississippi, Texas A&M or Vanderbilt. The only way it plays any of them this season is if it meets overall No. 1-seed Florida in the national-championship game.

3. Virginia Commonwealth went from its No. 11-seed First Four game in 2011 to the Final Four. It was the third No. 11-seed to go to the Final Four. The others were LSU in 1986 and George Mason in 2006. No team seeded 10th, or 12th through 16th, has ever gone to a Final Four

4. Sunday, Fran McCaffery became the 12th coach to take four different schools to NCAA Division I basketball tourneys. They were Lehigh, North Carolina-Greensboro, Siena and Iowa. The day before, Steve Alford became the 11th. He has done so at Southwest Missouri State, Iowa, New Mexico and UCLA. Oklahoma's Lon Kruger is the only coach to guide five schools to the big tournament.

5. Tennessee hasn't defeated a ranked team (at time it played them) all season and is 2-7 against teams in the NCAAs. Iowa has two wins over ranked clubs (Ohio State, Michigan) and is 4-8 against NCAA teams.

6. Iowa is 7-8 away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tennessee is 7-9 away from Thompson-Boling Arena.

7. Tennessee has players from 10 different states. Including Tennessee.

8. This is the Volunteers' ninth-straight season without a losing record in the SEC.

9. Tennessee's Jordan McRae has six games of at least 24 points and averages 18.6, but has averaged just 12.4 in the last five games.

10. Tennessee's average home crowd this season was 15,475. Iowa's was 15,246. Tennessee's seating capacity is 21,678. Iowa's is 15,400.

11. The Volunteers' averaged over 20,000 fans in 2007-08 and 2008-09 when Bruce Pearl was their coach.

12. David Climer of The Tennessean says Vols Coach Cuonzo Martin should have to win two games in the NCAAs to keep his job.

13. On Feb. 27. Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said this about Tennessee fans calling for Martin's firing: “Hopefully, the powers that be over at Tennessee will tune those idiots out and give (Martin) the kind of time he deserves to do the job he needs to do.”

14. This will be the 105th NCAA tournament game played in Dayton. The vast majority were at University of Dayton Arena, which opened in 1969. No venue has hosted more NCAA games.

15. The state of Iowa hasn't hosted the NCAA men's tourney since Ames did in 1972. Iowa City was a host site in 1954, 1956, 1962 and 1966. It was a different time.

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