UAAP Final Four
The UAAP Final Four refers to the playoffs of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) tournaments.
The Final Four in which the four teams (out of eight) with the best records qualify for the postseason playoff games was instituted in Season 56 (1993–94). Previously the postseason was a championship series between the top two teams, with the #1 seeded team holding the twice to beat advantage, i.e., they have to win only once to clinch the championship. The #2 team has to win twice.
The tournament is now conducted in three stages with the institution of the Final Four playoffs:
- The two-round eliminations, where a team plays the other teams twice. The four teams with the worst records are eliminated.
- The semifinals, wherein the #1 seeded team plays the 4th seeded team and the #2 seeded team plays the 3rd seeded team. Both #1 and #2 seeded teams possess the twice to beat advantage, while the #3 and #4 teams have to win twice.
- The finals, which is a best of three series.
On the year before the implementation of the Final Four playoffs, the University of Santo Tomas swept the elimination round, and following the then existing rules, the Glowing Goldies were awarded the championship outright. After that season, the UAAP revised the rule so that the team that sweeps the elimination round will instead advance to the best-of-3 Finals automatically. While the #2 team will have the twice to beat advantage in the semifinals where it awaits the winner of the game between the #3 and #4 teams.
The revised postseason format was implemented in Season 57 (1994–95) but it was not until Season 70 (2007–08) that a team swept the elimination rounds. The University of the East was the first to accomplish this feat under the new format, causing the sweep clause to be used. UE thus automatically advanced to the Finals but this reward became a bane as the Red Warriors had to wait for 21 days before the championship series can be started due to several factors, namely, the unavailability of the playing venue (Araneta Coliseum), two tie-breaker games and two semifinal games. The Red Warriors became rusty, so to speak, causing them to lose the championship series 2–0 against La Salle (their last elimination round opponent). As a result, the Policy Board formulated the "bonus rule" in which the team that sweeps the elimination rounds will qualify for the Finals outright but will only need to win twice; the other finalist needs to win thrice. Thus, giving the sweeper a 1-0 lead in a virtual best-of-five.
For the men's tournament, ties among the semifinalists were broken by an extra game, irrespective of the seedings. Ergo, in a tie for the 2nd seed, the game that will be used to break the tie serves as a de facto game one of a best-of-three series. If two teams are tied for the fourth seed, the game that will be used to break the tie serves as a knockout game between the two. If three or more teams are tied, usually the team with the best points difference gets a bye to the final tie-breaker game against the winner/s of the teams with the lower points difference. In Season 72 (2009–10), the league abolished the tiebreaker games and instead will use "common sense" in determining seedings for the playoffs in case of ties.
In juniors' and women's tournaments, only ties for second and fourth are broken by an extra game. Ties for first and third are broken by the points difference of the tied teams.
- If no team sweeps the elimination round:
- Seeds #1 and #2 teams possess the twice to beat advantage
- Team #1 meets #4 while #2 meets #3 in the semifinals.
- The semifinal winners advance to the Finals.
- The team that wins 2 games in the Finals wins the championship.
- If a team sweeps the elimination round:
- Seed #1 advance to the Finals.
- Seed #2 advance to the semifinals with the twice to beat advantage.
- Teams #3 and #4 face off to meet #2 in the semifinals in a one-game playoff.
- In the finals, the #1 seed only has to win twice, while the other opponent has to win thrice.
- In case of two teams being tied, an extra game will be played to determine which seed they will possess.
- In case of three or more teams being tied, the team with the best head-to-head record usually possesses the best seeding, while the other teams will play an extra game to determine the second-best seeding,
 Television and radio
The Final Four is heavily covered by the media. With the UAAP as one of the leading collegiate leagues in the country, the Final Four games are broadcast live throughout the country.
Beginning year 2000, the UAAP Finals and the Final Four games, were broadcasted by ABS-CBN's UHF channel Studio 23 nationwide and produced by ABS-CBN Sports. Prior to Studio 23, the games were broadcasted by Silverstar Sports on the state-controlled People's Television VHF channel 4. Since 2009, the UAAP is also aired in high definition through cable channel Balls, via their subsidiary Balls HD. Upon signing a new contract at the conclusion of UAAP Season 72, the Finals will be aired through VHF television channel ABS-CBN 2, beginning in 2010.
Prior to 2001, the games were also aired live on DZSR Sports Radio 918-AM; after ABS-CBN's takeover of broadcast rights, its Manila FM station 101.9 For Life! aired updates during and after the games, but not blow-by-blow coverages. In 2010, radio coverage of the games were aired on DZRJ-AM 810.
- Number of appearance excludes 4th seed elimination games.
 Best performances
|Twice to beat advantage|
|Qualified for 4th-seed playoff|
|Not in the league|
|x||Did not Qualify|
 Series statistics
 Finals statistics
- Most lopsided game: La Salle 72-47 FEU, 1998 Game 1 (25 points)
- Closest game: Several games, all one-point leads:
- UST 77-76 La Salle, 1994 Game 3
- FEU 65-64 La Salle, 1997 Game 2 (championship clincher)
- Ateneo 73-72 UST, 2006 Game 1
- La Salle 64-63 UE, 2007 Game 1
- Finals appearances: La Salle, 13
- Consecutive finals appearances: La Salle, 9 (1994–2002)
- Championships: Ateneo (2002, 2008-2012) 6, UST (1993–96, 2006), and La Salle (1998–2001, 2007),5 (including UST's 1993 sweep)
- Consecutive championships: Ateneo (2008-2012) 5, UST (1993–96), and La Salle (1998–2001) 4
- As of 2012, the winner of Game 1 won the championship 14 times out of 19.
 Semifinals statistics
- Most lopsided game: La Salle vs NU, 111-85, 2001 (26 points)
- Closest game: Several games, all one-point wins.
- Semifinal appearances: La Salle, 16 (1994–2005, 2007–08, 2010, 2012)
- Consecutive semifinal appearances: Ateneo (1999-2012), 14
 Most frequent matchups
The most frequently played matchups are:
|FEU vs. La Salle||4||5||9|
|Ateneo vs. La Salle||5||3||8|
|La Salle vs. UST||4||4||8|
|Ateneo vs. UST||4||2||6|
|Ateneo vs. FEU||2||3||5|
|FEU vs. UE||5||0||5|
|Ateneo vs. UE||2||1||3|
|La Salle vs. UE||2||1||3|
|Ateneo vs. Adamson||2||0||2|
|UE vs. UST||2||0||2|
|FEU vs. Adamson||1||0||1|
In the 17 tournaments the Final Four format has been applied, the higher seed has beaten the lower seeds in the semifinals due to their twice to beat advantage, for the most part:
- The #1 seed has beaten the #4 seed all 17 times (100%).
- The #1 seed has beaten the #4 seed 12 times on the first game (71%).
- The #1 seed has beaten the #4 seed 5 times on the second game (29%).
- The #2 seed has beaten the #3 seed 10 times (59%).
- The #2 seed has beaten the #3 seed 8 times on the first game (80%).
- The #2 seed has beaten the #3 seed 2 times on the second game (20%).
- Out of the 7 times the #2 seed was beaten, the #2 seed was UE thrice (43%).
- The #3 seed has beaten the #4 times once (100%)
- With UE sweeping the elimination round, there were two semifinal rounds for 2007.
- The #1 seed skipped the semifinals once (6%; in 2007, when UE swept the elimination round)
A victory of the #3 seed in a series is considered a big upset considering that the #3 seed has to win twice, not to mention the perceived superiority of the #2 seed when compared to the #3 seed.
In the finals, the advantage of the #1 seed isn't as pronounced since the competing teams have to win the same number of games:
- The #1 seed has beaten the #2 seed 6 of 11 times (55%)
- The #1 seed has beaten the #3 seed 4 of 7 times (57%)
- The #2 seed has beaten the #1 seed 5 of 11 times (45%)
- The #3 seed has beaten the #1 seed 3 of 7 times (43%)
- The #1 seed has won the championship 10 of 18 times (56%)
 Individual single-game records
Stats since the 2001 season.
|Most points||Ken Bono||33||Adamson||Ateneo||2006 Semifinals|
|Most rebounds||Reil Cervantes
| La Salle
|Most assists||Macky Escalona
|Most steals||Elmer Espiritu
|Most blocks||Nonoy Baclao||7||Ateneo||La Salle||2008 Finals|
*game went into overtime.
 See also
- UE completes 14-0, but barely by Jasmine Payo, Philippine Daily Inquirer. Published 09/14/2007, accessed 1/1/2007.
- Additional incentive for UAAP sweep by Jasmine Payo, Philippine Daily Inquirer. Published 6/28/2008, accessed 6/28/2008.
- Villar, Joey (13 June 2009). "UAAP okays rules on tiebreak, instant replay". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 20 June 2009.[dead link]