After over a week of exhilarating basketball action, in what started with 68 teams, it has now come down to four of the best teams in the nation, with only two who will end up in the National Championship game. Here are the four teams who will duke it out for a chance at the biggest prize in college basketball.
The first matchup includes the Kansas Jayhawks versus the Villanova Wildcats. Kansas came into the tournament a one-seed and ended up being the only one-seed left coming into the final four. Kansas has defeated sixteen-seed Texas Southern, nine-seed Creighton, four-seed Providence, and ten-seed Miami, with their Miami win being their most impressive one by far, winning by 26 points, effectively beating a Miami team who was on a hot streak up to that point. Villanova, on the other hand, was a two-seed coming into the tournament. Villanova has beaten fifteen-seed Delaware, seven-seed Ohio State, eleven-seed Michigan, and five-seed Houston. Villanova may have been considered the favorite heading into this game, however, in their game against Houston, one of their top scorers, Justin Moore, suffered a torn Achilles, which was a brutal blow for the Villanova squad.
The second and final matchup is the Duke Blue Devils versus the North Carolina Tar Heels. In what could be set up to be the most storybook ending for Coach K in his final season, the legendary coach has an opportunity to beat Duke’s fiercest rival one last time to send them to the national championship. Duke, up to this point in the tournament, has defeated fifteen-seed CSU Fullerton, seven-seed Michigan State, three-seed Texas Tech, and four-seed Arkansas. North Carolina, on the other hand, looks to spoil Coach K’s storybook ending by making a heck of an underdog run after what was a mostly mediocre regular season by their standards. However, in the tournament, North Carolina has gone on a remarkable run, beating nine-seed Marquette, one-seed Baylor, four-seed UCLA, and fifteen-seed Saint Peters ending their amazing Cinderella run.
With many great stories leading up to the final set of matchups before the championship, it has fans like myself ready for gameday already. Now it is only a matter of time before all questions are answered and the championship contestants are set.