When is the last time a Pac-12 team won March Madness?

The Pac-12 is set for its final run through March Madness in its present incarnation this year. When was the last time a team from the Conference of Champions won the NCAA Tournament?

1997 NCAA Championship Final Game
1997 NCAA Championship Final Game / Brian Bahr/GettyImages
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The 2024 NCAA Tournament marks the final time that the Pac-12 will be represented in its current form. The Conference of Champions was previously torn apart by football as 10 of its current members will depart the Pac-12 after this academic year, with four schools (Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado) headed for the Big 12, another four (USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon) joining the Big Ten and two more (Cal and Stanford) playing in the ACC.

Those departures have left Washington State and Oregon State as the last members of the Pac-12, with the pair set to play in the WCC next year as they decide how to try rebuilding the conference. The loss of the Pac-12 is very disappointing since its presence in college basketball has been an important part of the sport's history.

When Was The Last Time A Pac-12 Team Won The NCAA Tournament?

Despite the history of programs like UCLA, the Pac-12 is actually in a bit of a dry spell at the NCAA Tournament. The Pac-12 is on a 27-year drought without a national champion, the longest active title-less streak of any power conference.

The last Pac-12 team to win the national title was Arizona back in 1997, when Lute Olson's Wildcats beat Kentucky 84-79 in overtime to win their first national championship. The dry spell makes sense when you consider the fact that only two Pac-12 teams have even reached the national title game again since then: Arizona (when they lost to Duke in 2001) and UCLA (when they fell to Florida in 2006).

It remains to be seen if Washington State and Oregon State can rebuild the Pac-12 through some kind of merger agreement with the Mountain West that allows the league to retain the Pac-12 brand. There won't be any Pac-12 representation in March Madness until (or if) that happens, making this year's NCAA Tournament the end of an era for the Conference of Champions.

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