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The Countdown: 18 days until the ACC

In 2 1/2 weeks, Pitt will join a conference in which they will compete against the team with more Final Four appearances than any other.


In 18 short days from now, Pitt will officially be a member of the ACC. Largely due do the perennial powers on Tobacco Road, the ACC is without a doubt the premiere basketball conference in the NCAA Division I. Yesterday, we looked at Duke's 19 ACC Tournament titles. Today, we will take a look at North Carolina's 18 Final Four appearances.

The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has been around since 1939. In its 75 years of existence, 87 different teams have made up the participants in the Final Four. With so few teams making an appearance in such a long period of time, one can imagine that there are quite a number of teams making multiple trips...none more so than the North Carolina Tar Heels.

From 1939 through 2013, the Tar Heels have reached the Final Four 18 times. At least one Final Four appearance came in every decade of the tournament's existence, with the exceptions being the 1930s and 2010s (of course, neither decade is close to the full 10 years of competition). Of those appearances, North Carolina won nine of the semifinal games, turning five of them into a national championship

To put this into a perspective that Panther fans are all too familiar with, Pitt has only one Final Four appearance, coming in 1941. Other notable local universities making at least one appearance include Penn State (1954), Duquesne (1940), and West Virginia (1959, 2010).

The Panthers will travel this upcoming season to Chapel Hill, their first visit to the Dean Dome since the 1996-97 season.