It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a real possibility. The teams ranked one and two before the tournament are a game away from meeting in the championship game. It doesn’t happen very often. It happens even less often than I thought. The last time was a long, long time ago.
Here are all of the instances since the AP poll began in the ’49 season that #1 and #2 have met in the final:
1962 Ohio State/Cincinnati
1961 Ohio State/Cincinnati
1949 Kentucky/Oklahoma State