What a long, strange and winding road this year has been in the NCAA tournament. We started this season with a brand new format and four play in games to have a chance to make a miracle run. Little did we know that one team out of that First Four, would still be standing at the Final Four. Sure, there were the usual suspect, and the teams that seem to be in and dominate the tournament every season. But this year had to be the most diverse field in recent history. Everybody wanted to crown Ohio State the national champion before the first tip off and they went home in the Sweet 16.
Last years runner up didn’t even garner enough respect to get seeded any high than 8th. But with each passing round, they looked like a team that had the drive to return to the Final Four. The Final Four is a very eclectic one to say the least, you have two former champions, last years runner up, and a team that nobody even wanted in the tournament to begin with. The Uconn Huskies are not really a surprise to be here, but nobody thought they would after winning 5 games in 5 days in the Big East Tournament. Kentucky wasn’t expected to be here since they had to play Ohio State, but somehow found a way to win. Butler was here last year, they weren’t supposed to return but after beating Florida, they have returned. The surprise here has to be the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. This team played in the First Four and has found a way to win every game thus far.
Unfortunately you are stuck with a UConn vs Kentucky and VCU vs Butler in the National Semi-finals. I may be in the minority here, but I would love to see them re-seed and have a chance to see Butler and VCU for the whole thing. But enough about what I want to see, let’s break down the games as they are seeded.
UConn vs Kentucky
This should be a very close and intense game, both these teams are immensely talented and lead by very good coaches. I feel that UConn has more senior leadership and probably will have the maturity to face anything Kentucky can throw at them. But on the other side, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Kentucky stun UConn with their speed and ability. Kentucky is a dangerous team that can run the floor with the best of them. But I don’t think this game will be the most entertaining.
Butler vs Virginia Commonwealth
In what is the most surprising match up of the Final Four, this one will probably be most entertaining game of the day. Because both of these teams have captured the nations imagination and it is a very even match up. Butler has been on this stage once before, and came within a last second heave of possibly winning it all. But VCU is on fire right now, and everybody is falling in love with this team. I think Butler has to take the nod here because they will have the experience and maturity to overcome the butterflies of being on such a big stage. But that being said, don’t be surprised to see VCU in the game and if they can weather the Butler attack, they could really shock the world. Either way, this is a can’t miss game.
I will have my predictions about the game up closer to tip-off, so be sure to check back for that.
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