NBA free-agency tracker:

Chris Chase

Butler's hometown Final Four isn't as rare as you think

Chris Chase
The Dagger

View photo

.

Butler playing a Final Four in its hometown of Indianapolis has been one of the biggest stories in the lead-ups to Saturday's games. Most media reports suggest that the Bulldogs are the first team to have such a luxury since UCLA won a NCAA tournament title at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

This statistic is technically true. Though if you expand the word "hometown" to mean more than just the city boundaries, a local Final Four is more common than you think.

In 1974, North Carolina State won a national title (and snapped UCLA's six-year title streak) in nearby Greensboro. Though it's a 60-mile drive, the Wolfpack had huge support in the Greensboro Coliseum.

Fourteen years later, Danny Manning and Kansas cut down the nets in Kansas City's Kemper Arena. Though not in the same state, the game in western Missouri was a virtual home game for the Jayhawks, who had just a 45-minute bus ride to the arena.

The good news for Butler? Each of those teams hoisted a trophy at the end of the Final Four. Purdue (Indianapolis, 1980); Duke (Charlotte, 1994) and Michigan State (Detroit, 2009) weren't so lucky in local Final Fours.

View Comments