term that is commonly applied to the last four teams remaining in a playoff tournament
, most notably NCAA Division I college basketball
tournaments. The term usually refers to the four teams who compete in the two games of a single-elimination
(penultimate) round. Of these teams, the two who win in the semi-final round play another single-elimination game whose winner is the tournament champion. In some tournaments, the two teams that lose in the semi-final round compete for third place in a consolation game
a tournament format where four teams play two rounds of single-elimination games
, resulting in a single champion.
The term "final four" is most often used in the United States
and in sports heavily influenced by that country; elsewhere, only the term "semi-finals" is in common use."Final four" first appeared in print in a 1975 article for the Official Collegiate Basketball Guide
, whose author Ed Chay was a sportswriter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer
<nowiki></nowiki>. Chaye stated that the Marquette
basketball squadron "was one of the final four" during the previous season's tournament
. The NCAA
began to use the term and later trademarked it.
The oldest and most common use of the term is in reference to the final four teams in the annual NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
. Each Final Four team is the regional champion from the East, South,... Read More