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Double play

Florida two wins away from football-basketball title pair

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Posted: Thursday March 30, 2000 10:31 PM

  Glen Rice Glen Rice led Michigan to the 1989 basketball championship, completing the Wolverines' double. Allsport

By Ryan Hunt,

Billy Donovan has heard since the day he was hired that he couldn't turn football-happy Florida into a basketball school.

In truth, there aren't too many that can be considered both.

Florida is two wins shy of becoming only the fifth Division I school in the NCAA tournament era to have won both football and basketball championships.

The only schools to raise banners in both sports since the NCAA basketball tournament started in 1939 are Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and UCLA. (Nine other schools that have won a football championship also won basketball titles in the pre-tournament era).

Coincidentally, UCLA's only football national championship was in 1954, when the Bruins split the crown with Michigan State.

Trophy Time
Schools with football and basketball titles*
Team  FB titles  BB title 
Michigan  3 ('47)  1 ('89) 
Ohio State  5 ('42)  1 ('60) 
Michigan State  2 ('52)  1 (79) 
UCLA  1 ('54)  11 ('64) 
* Since NCAA tournament began in 1939
First title in parentheses

The Gators, who won the '96 football title, would not have the shortest span between titles, should they make it to the championship game and win. The Ohio State Buckeyes won a share of the 1957 football title, then won the 1960 hoops crown.

But Florida likely will have to get through Michigan State to cut down the nets.

Should the Spartans and Gators win their respective semifinal games, it would present a rematch of their football showdown in the 2000 Florida Citrus Bowl.

It would be the first time two schools played each other in a New Year's Day bowl game and then in the NCAA tournament championship. For the record, the Spartans won the football matchup 37-34 on a last-second field goal.

The only other schools that have played in a Jan. 1 bowl game and the basketball national championship game in the same year are Kentucky (1951), California ('59), Arizona ('94), Oklahoma State ('45, 46), Oklahoma ('47, '88) and Michigan ('65, '76, '89, '92 and '93).

This year, there will be at least one more, since both Michigan State and Wisconsin (Rose) played in Jan. 1 bowl games. The Badgers, who have lost all three basketball meetings with MSU this season, did win their regular-season football game against the Spartans 40-10.

Both Michigan State and Wisconsin won their bowl games. The only teams to win a basketball title and a New Year's game are the '89 Wolverines and Oklahoma State (formerly Oklahoma A&M) in '45 and '46.

Related information
No. 5 seeds must proceed with caution against 12 seeds
NCAA tournament tidbits
Statitudes: Sweet 16 By the Numbers
Statitudes: Donovan completes Final Four trifecta's NCAA Tournament Coverage
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