The 2011 Final Four is not complete yet, but with VCU clinching a berth with a shocking 71-61 Elite Eight win over top-seeded Kansas, it has already made history. VCU's victory, combined with Butler's win over Florida on Saturday, means that two mid-major schools have advanced to the Final Four.â†µ
How rare is that, you ask? Pretty rare. In fact, it has not happened once since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The last time two non-power conference schools advanced to the Final Four was way back in 1979, when Larry Bird's Indiana State club advanced along with Pennsylvania. Several non-power conference teams have made Final Four runs since then, most notably UNLV (three times), Houston (three times) and George Mason in 2006, but those teams never had a second mid-major joining them.
We're also guaranteed of at least one of those teams advancing to the NCAA title game, since VCU plays Butler in the Final Four schedule next Saturday. Could one of these teams somehow become the first non-power conference champion since UNLV in 1990? Hope still remains.