In American sports, the FINAL FOUR is the last four teams remaining in a playoff tournament . Usually the final four compete in the two games of a single-elimination tournament's semi-final (penultimate) round. Of these teams, the two who win in the semi-final round play another single-elimination game whose winner is the tournament champion. In some tournaments, the two teams that lose in the semi-final round compete for third place in a consolation game .
The term "final four" is most often used in the United States and in sports heavily influenced by that country; elsewhere, only the term "semi-finals" is in common use. "Final four" first appeared in print in a 1975 article for the _Official Collegiate Basketball Guide_, whose author Ed Chay was a sportswriter for the _Cleveland Plain Dealer _. Chay stated that the Marquette basketball team "was one of the final four" during the previous season\'s tournament . The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) pioneered the term and later trademarked it.
The oldest and most common use of the term is in reference to the
final four teams in the annual NCAA Division I Men\'s Basketball
The NCAA also uses "Final Four" for other sports besides basketball, such as the Men\'s and Women\'s Volleyball Championship . For ice hockey tournaments, the NCAA uses a variation of the term: the "Frozen Four ".
Because the term is now a registered trademark of the NCAA in the U.S., no other organizations in that country can use the phrase to refer to their tournaments. Organizations in other countries may officially do so. Many basketball organizations outside the U.S. use the term for the semifinal and final rounds of their tournaments such as the FIBA Americas League ( FIBA Americas League Final 4 ), the EuroLeague ( EuroLeague Final Four ), the Champions League (Champions League Final Four ), the Israeli Premier League , and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines . The CEV Champions League in volleyball also uses "Final Four" for its final rounds.
* 1 Non-sports use * 2 See also * 3 References * 4 External links
"Final Four" refers to the crew of STS-135 , the final Space Shuttle mission.
The term is also used in some television shows to denote the last remaining four contestants, such as the Philippine TV series _StarStruck_ and the reality show _Survivor _.
* NCAA Men\'s Division I Final Four appearances by school * List of NCAA men\'s Division I basketball tournament Final Four participants
* ^ Koerner, Brendan (March 18, 2004). "Why Is It Called "March Madness"?". _Slate.com_. _Slate _. Retrieved March 9, 2016. * ^ Lubinger, Bill (March 14, 2011). "Interested in making some profit from the Final Four? That\'s just March Madness (for your lawyers)". _ The Plain Dealer _. Retrieved March 9, 2016. Was a mere passing reference by Ed Chay, the late Plain Dealer sportswriter, in a story he wrote on page 5 of the 1975 Official Collegiate Basketball Guide. 'Outspoken Al McGuire of Marquette, whose team was one of the final four in Greensboro, was among several coaches who said it was good for college basketball that UCLA was finally beaten,' Chay wrote. 'Final Four' was first capitalized in the NCAA's 1978 basketball guide. * ^ Irene Klotz (2011-07-21). "NASA\'s \'Final Four\' astronauts close out shuttle era". Reuters. * ^ Seth Borenstein (2011-07-22). "Crowd to NASA\'s \'Final Four\' astronauts: Welcome Home". Associated Press via MSNBC.