1 of 8John Biever/SI/Kevin C. Cox/Joe Robbins/Getty Images
A No. 5 seed in 2010 and a No. 8 seed in 2011, Butler is definitely the most unlikely back-to-back Final Four team in recent memory. Led by Gordon Hayward, the 2010 squad upset top-seeded Syracuse in the Sweet 16 and No. 2 seed Kansas State in the Elite Eight to make its first Final Four. The Bulldogs memorably edged Michigan State in the national semifinals only to lose -- barely -- to Duke in the title game. Minus Hayward, Butler returned stars Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack (top right) this year only to fall onto the tournament bubble in mid-season. Coach Brad Stevens brought Butler back into the tourney as a dangerous eight-seed, upsetting Florida in the Elite Eight to punch its ticket to Houston.
2 of 8Chris Chambers/Kevin C. Cox/Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Michigan State (2009-10)
Sparty has made a pair of back-to-back Final Fours in the 21st century. This recent version, led by Kalin Lucas (top right) and Durrell Summers (bottom left) failed to win Tom Izzo a second national championship. Michigan State fell to North Carolina in the 2009 championship game in Detroit and succumbed to Cinderella Butler in the 2010 semis.
3 of 8Kevin C. Cox/Streeter Lecka/Andy Lyons/Getty Images
North Carolina (2008-09)
When North Carolina topped Illinois to win the 2005 national championship, Tar Heel nation knew it would be in for a rebuilding period. Gone were Sean May, Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants and Marvin Williams. Over the next two years, Roy Williams blueprinted a powerhouse. In came Tyler Hansbrough and a supporting cast including Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green (bottom). Hansbrough and Co. fell to national champion Kansas in the 2008 Final Four but came back hungry and won it all, rather easily, a year later.
4 of 8Stephen Dunn/Jed Jacobsohn/Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Bruins made it to three straight Final Fours, but heartbreak came with each trip. Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo (top left) ran into Florida's buzzsaw in the 2006 national title game, as did the 2007 team in the semis. Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook (bottom right) teamed with Darren Collison to make one final run toward the title in 2008, but Memphis dashed UCLA's dreams in the national semifinals.
5 of 8Bob Rosato/SI
The Gators are the only team to win repeat titles since Duke in 1991-92. They did it with the same essential parts both seasons. Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey dropped underdog George Mason and UCLA in the 2006 Final Four. A year later, they rolled through the tournament, ousting UCLA in the semis and Greg Oden-led Ohio State in the championship game.
6 of 8Bob Rosato/SI/Craig Jones/Getty Images/AP
Roy Williams' final two years in Lawrence proved fruitful. In 2002, the No. 1 seed Jayhawks began the Final Four with a flourish, going up 13-2 on Maryland. They unraveled, however, and fell to the eventual champion Terps 97-88. Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison (top right) returned for the 2002-03 season and went up against the two most electrifying players in the 2003 tournament. They routed Dwyane Wade-led Marquette by 33 points in the national semifinals, but Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse proved too much in the title game.
7 of 8Bob Rosato/SI/Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Terps' Final Four appearances were both memorable but for different reasons. In 2001, Maryland made it as a No. 3 seed and met up with Duke for the fourth time that season. Terrance Morris (bottom right) and the Terps stormed to a 22-point lead but faltered the rest of the way, especially down the stretch, and wound up losing by 11. The following season, without Morris, a group led by Lonny Baxter, Juan Dixon and Steve Blake (top right) brought Gary Williams a national title, beating surprise finalist Indiana.
8 of 8Jed Jacobsohn/Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AP
Michigan State (2000-01)
If you include 1999, Michigan State actually made three straight Final Fours. Oh, did the Spartans boast an embarrassment of riches. The 2000 national championship team guided by seniors Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and A.J. Granger gave way to Charlie Bell (top right) and Zach Randolph and Jason Richardson (bottom right) in 2001. Somehow, the Spartans made it back to the Final Four despite the changeover but fell to Arizona.
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