Final Four

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The term Final Four is used in the field of sport and describes the final tournament of a competition played with four teams.

In a final four tournament, the winners from the two semi-finals determine the tournament winner and thus the winner of the competition in the subsequent final. As a special feature of semi-finals and finals in other competitions, the matches take place on two match days, usually on a weekend. For this reason, one speaks of a "final weekend". The semi-finals are played on the first day, and an optional game for third place and the final on the second day. In some competitions there is no match for third place.

Origin of the term in the college sector

The Final Four has its origins in American University Sports Federation National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in which the term is used exclusively for the Basketball Division I.

Final Four refers to the two semi-finals in the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship for women and men, which are usually played at the end of March or beginning of April. Since 2017, the two women's encounters have traditionally taken place on Friday and the men’s meetings elsewhere on Saturday. The final two days later (that of the women on Sunday, that of the men on Monday) takes place at the same place as the semi-finals, but since all four have already been awarded trophies and championship rings as regional champions before the last day, one speaks only rarely from Final Four on the day of the final . Since the Most Outstanding Player has so far mostly been awarded to players from the championship team and at most players from the runner-up, the Term Final Four describes the game day before the final.

International competitions in Europe

National competitions in Europe





National competitions in the United States

  • basketball
    • NCAA Basketball Division 1 (Men)
    • NCAA Basketball Division 1 (Women)


In the 14th episode of the third season of How I Met Your Mother with the title The Bracket (German: The Avenger ), the tournament tree (English: Bracket ) of March Madness in basketball is exemplified by the ensemble trying to predict which one will be from Barney Stinson's ex-girlfriend tries to warn women about him. Lily tells him to apologize to the Final Four .

In the 19th episode of the first season of The Middle with the title The Final Four (German: Die Final Four ) Mike Heck receives tickets for the Final Four from Frankie's boss Don Ehlert, but has to let the tickets expire due to a memorial service.

Individual evidence

  1. Kevin Bonsor, Dave Roos: How March Madness Works. On: How Stuff Works website; Venice, CA, March 17, 2003-2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018 (in English).