Does Arizona rank among the states with the most March Madness appearances?

Is Arizona Among States With Most March Madness Appearances?
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As Selection Sunday for March Madness nears, we have chosen to analyze the track record of Division 1 basketball teams in Arizona over time in connection with sports wagering.

Arizona is home to four Division I teams: the Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, Grand Canyon Antelopes, and Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.

The Wildcats are currently the frontrunners with the best chances of winning the Big Dance in March Madness, with odds of +1000 at Caesars Sportsbook Arizona.

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Comparing the Wildcats and Sun Devils

The Arizona Wildcats have been playing basketball since the 1904-1905 season, starting with a game against a YMCA team. They made their first NCAA appearance in 1951 and became consistent contenders in the late 1980s. From 1985 to 2009, the Wildcats made the NCAA Tournament for 25 consecutive years, demonstrating an impressive streak that was unfortunately followed by the emergence of Arizona betting apps.

Under the leadership of coach Lute Olson, the Wildcats clinched the national championship in 1997 by defeating the Kentucky Wildcats in an exciting overtime game, finishing with a score of 84-79. Arizona also made it to the Final Four in 1988, 1994, and 2001, but unfortunately lost to Duke in the championship game.

This year, the Wildcats are ranked 13th in the RPI standings with a 25-6 record, including a 14-6 standing in the Pac-12. Led by Coach Tommy Lloyd, the team is powered by junior Azuolas Tubelis from Lithuania and junior Oumar Ballo from Mali, who stand at 6-11 and 7-0 respectively. As the 2-seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, they will play on Thursday night against the winner of the No. 7 Utah vs. No. 10 Stanford game.

Arizona State Sun Devils, ranked 6th in the Pac-12 tournament, will play against Oregon State on Wednesday night. Led by coach Bobby Hurley, the team has a strong lineup featuring three senior starters, junior DJ Horne, and sophomore Frankie Collins. The team is anchored by 7-0 senior Warren Washington in the middle, with seniors Devan Cambridge and Desmond Cambridge making up the smaller perimeter. Desmond Cambridge has previously played for Brown and Nevada before joining the Sun Devils.

The Arizona State Sun Devils have made 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, making it to the Elite Eight three times, with their most recent appearance in 1975. Currently ranked 61 in the RPI, the Sun Devils will need a solid showing in the Pac-12 Tournament in order to secure an at-large bid for this season.

Find out more about the anticipated performance of these teams in the conference tournament by reading this article.

Who would have thought that antelopes and lumberjacks had something in common?

The Grand Canyon Antelopes, with a 123 RPI and a record of 20-11 overall and 10-7 in the WAC, entered Division I basketball in the 2013-14 season as new members of the Western Athletic Conference. The team was led by former Phoenix Suns player Dan Majerle for the first six seasons, before Bryce Drew from Valparaiso took over coaching duties for the last three seasons.

The Antelopes debuted in the NCAA Tournament in the shortened 2020-2021 season, falling to Iowa as a 15-seed. They now have an opportunity for a promising showing in the upcoming WAC Tournament, beginning with a matchup against UT Arlington. Earlier in the year, they achieved a notable win on the road against the 2-seed Sam Houston St. With 6-4 sophomore Ray Harrison leading the way, the Antelopes are predicted to win by 9.5 points against UT Arlington, according to BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona.

The last Arizona team in the competition is the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. Despite a difficult season with a 9-22, 5-13 record, they have won their first two games in the Big Sky Tournament and are now just two victories away from earning a place in the Big Dance. Their upcoming match is against Montana on Tuesday. NAU has been a member of the Big Sky conference since 1970.

Northern Arizona has made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, losing by close margins in both instances. They first entered in 1998, falling 65-62 to Cincinnati, and then again in 2000, losing 61-56 to St. John’s. Despite being seeded 15th in both tournaments, the Lumberjacks displayed strong performances.

What is the state’s ranking?

Arizona is ranked 12th on our state chart for the most March Madness appearances per school. In order to create a fair comparison across states with different numbers of eligible schools, calculated the number of appearances by a state and then divided it by the total number of schools in that state.

The University of Kansas is currently ranked as the top team in the NCAA tournament. This year, they will be making their 51st consecutive appearance in the tournament, maintaining a streak of 33 years. In addition to the University of Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State, the only other Division I teams in the state, have also seen success in their respective programs.

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States with the highest number of March Madness appearances per school

Rank State Tournament Appearances By School
3New Mexico20.5
5West Virginia18.0



Jenkins Amy
Jenkins Amy
Journalist / Reporter

Howard Jenkins, an experienced journalist, is currently covering the Arizona sports betting industry for Before his focus on U.S. sports betting, he worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Jenkins is also a founder and editor of

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