One of them even lost in an historic and unprecedented first-round upset.SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQLive NCAA bracket | Live scoreboard | Full TV scheduleAnd one of them, by default, will leave that history behind before midnight Saturday — barring overtime — with a victory in the NCAA Tournament South Region final, a principle perk of which is a trip to the Final Four in Minneapolis.Except, it won’t really be by default. The outcome will be decided by jumpshots that connect, layups that are blocked, turnovers that are committed and maybe even some coaching decisions. Bashing the coaches who do not advance during March Madness can be a more popular sport for many than college basketball itself. Those people will be short one target soon enough.“When somebody’s at the end of their career, I think you’re trying to look at things that way,” Painter told reporters Friday at KFC Yum! Center. “When you’re in the process and you’re coaching, you’re just trying to take each team you have and mold them together to win the most games and try to be good at this time of year.“There’s a lot of great coaches that don’t make the Final Four. I think there’s a lot of those coaches who haven’t done that that have really changed peoples’ lives with the time they’ve put in, and I think that’s the whole point. … I think that’s the true test of a coach, is what your former players think of you. Especially the ones that played. Because sometimes guys don’t like you when they don’t play.”Purdue had perhaps the best team in the country in 2010. The trio of E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel became a duo when Hummel injured his knee in a late-February road game at Minnesota. The door had been open that season to not only a Final Four, but also an NCAA title. Without Hummel, the Boilers were relatively fortunate to reach the Sweet 16 and fall to eventual national champion Duke.“Really, we just want to do it for ourselves, but also the people that came before, the guys that had that same opportunity and would die to be in our place, to do it over again,” Boilers forward Grady Eifert told Sporting News. “And, obviously, Coach Painter. He’s been at the helm for a while and hasn’t had opportunity to break through to that point. But he works his butt off each season and never complains, always is picking us up and giving us confidence.”MORE: Previewing UVA-Purdue Elite Eight matchupVirginia was in the same position in 2015-16, with only one loss through the first 20 games until the Cavaliers lost more than a game: Star wing Justin Anderson hurt his shoulder and missed a month. He and they never were the same. They nearly reached the Final Four anyway, but a late lead against ACC rival Syracuse in the Midwest Region final crumbled as the Orange applied a nothing-to-lose full-court press.“I think it’s as much as you have to block it out, because as soon as the ball is tipped, nothing else matters,” UVA point guard Ty Jerome told reporters. “But I’m embracing it. I think everyone’s embracing it. Just being on this stage is an amazing opportunity, and we’re thankful to be here. I think you have to embrace it and let it fuel you.”To win will put either Painter or Bennett officially in the company of such coaches as Jim Calhoun, Bill Self, Mark Few and Bo Ryan. In a sense, though, they already are. Each of those coaching legends was perennially harangued for falling short of a Final Four appearance. Until, of course, they made it.It took Calhoun 13 tournaments before he got there, same as Ryan. It was 10 for Self before he got to the promised land, but he lost in the regional final four times before breaking through. Few fell short of that mark 17 times before his Bulldogs finally reached the 2017 Final Four, falling a few points short in the championship game.For all those guys accomplished, for all the times they were put in position as No. 1 NCAA Tournament seeds — Self alone has been there nine times — none ever lost a first-round game to a 16-seed. No one had until Bennett and the Cavaliers fell to UMBC last March.SWEET 16 PROFILESCline gives Purdue Final Four shot | UVA happy to defend ‘ugly’ win The residual of that result kept UVA from earning the No. 1 position in the AP poll in this season’s first three months, even though the team was undefeated well into January. A Final Four trip here won’t make anyone forget what happened on that night in Charlotte N.C., when the Retrievers briefly became America’s Team. But it can change the conversation about Virginia basketball.“I’d love it if it happened,” Bennett told reporters. “But I decided, after last year — I told our guys, ‘What did that experience teach me?’ Going through what we did, losing and all those things … it created a fire in me that I wanted to become a better coach and pursue trying to get these guys as far as they can: a Final Four, national championship.“It’s burning hot, but it did something maybe as significant or greater. It made me realize that if that does never happen, I’ll still be OK. Because I’ve been blessed beyond what I deserve. And I think it’s freed me up to go after this as hard as I can, as hard as we can.” There will be a first-time head coach in the 2019 NCAA Final Four, but by no means will that person be a rookie.Purdue’s Matt Painter and Virginia’s Tony Bennett have coached in a combined 21 NCAA Tournaments. They’ve won with lower seeds and lost with higher seeds. Each has been heartbroken by untimely injuries. Each has seen his team succumb to an opponent’s desperate, last-measure full-court pressure.