NCAA Men's Final Four
Kansas St. vs. Michigan St. was an electric way to start off the Sweet 16 on Thursday Night. Markquis Nowell set an NCAA record with 19 assists and also 20 points for the wildcats. Michigan St. had a clutch possession to tie the game in regulation and force overtime and K State was pretty lucky they got to overtime the way their final two possessions went, allowing the Spartans to tie it up late. The Wildcats have had a very impressive run, knocking off two of the most historic coaches in college basketball, Calipari and Izzo, in back to back rounds. They also looked extremely impressive from the perimeter, going 46% from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats unfortunately fell short to the 9 seed Florida Atlantic who is advancing to their first Final Four in school history. They’ve had an extremely improbable run and are the lowest seed in this year’s final four yet still have better odds to win than Miami. As of late, it has been pretty common to have one lower seed in the final four, in 2021, UCLA reached the Final Four and in 2018, Loyola (Chicago) reached the final four, both as 11 seeds. The Owls will be facing off against the Aztecs from San Diego St. who has also had a very impressive run, capped off with a win of the #1 overall seed, Alabama. They beat Creighton in a thriller in the Elite 8 and find themselves in the school’s first Final Four.
At this point in the tournament, it’s extremely difficult for me to make a prediction because my bracket is only at 28% for correct picks with none of my final four picks remaining. Both teams are extremely hot and playing the best basketball they’ve played all year. I expect it to be a pretty low scoring game, but it’s going to come down to the wire and I think the Owls from FAU will become the lowest seed to ever advance to the National Championship game.
On the other side of the bracket, we have a 4 vs. 5 matchup (usually reserved for the round of 32) between Miami and UCONN. UCONN looks to be the best team remaining in the tournament and are my pick to win the National Championship game. I said the same thing about the longhorns however in the Elite 8, so hey, what do I know. I wasn’t extremely impressed with Miami coming into the tournament and they still have the lowest odds to win it all so I expect UCONN to take the W in the Final Four. They have beat every opponent by double digit points and I could easily see that trend continuing.
This year’s Final Four is like no other, without any 1, 2, or 3 seeds, the remaining 3 games are a complete coin toss. No one expected most of these teams to make it to this point, yet here we are. This is March (well April officially), and we wouldn’t want it any other way.