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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Half of the Final Four Is Controlled by UConn and NC State

  • NC State and UConn are both sending their men’s and women’s teams to their Final Fours.
  • It’s the first time in NCAA history that not one but two schools will have both teams in a Final Four at the same time.
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in NCAA history, both the men’s and women’s teams for two schools have made their respective Final Fours: UConn and NC State.

On Sunday, the NC State women beat Texas to secure their first Final Four appearance since 1998 (a thrilling upset that was marred by the discovery of unequal three-point lines). About two hours later, their men’s team did the same, upsetting Duke. “Seeing the girls have success definitely motivates us,” NC State’s DJ Horne told reporters after the win. 

Fans of UConn, on the other hand, had to wait a full two days in between their men’s and women’s teams cutting down the nets. Paige Bueckers led the Huskies to an 80-73 win over Southern Cal on Monday night with 28 points and 10 rebounds. But while the two schools have achieved the same feat, their basketball budgets could not be more different. 

NC State spent $14.5 million between its men’s and women’s programs during the 2021–22 season, according to U.S. Department of Education data. The men’s program spent $10 million, and the women’s program spent just under $5 million.

UConn, on the other hand, spent significantly more, with a combined expense report of $32.6 million. The men’s program spent $24 million (though $11 million of that was attributed to a settlement). The women’s program spent $8.5 million. 

UConn also isn’t new to sending both its teams to the Big Dance’s grandest stage. In 2014, their programs not only made it to the Final Four but also won their respective championships. NC State has never sent both teams to the Final Four at the same time before now. 

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