Final Four teams show that March Madness is unpredictable
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 29, 2018,
Mar 29, 2018, 6:39
We'll be doing these on each Final Four team during the course of the weekend, but for MI, the national championship expectations are very much real. The regional finals ended up providing a bit of stability to a wild and upset-filled NCAA Tournament with two 1-seeds headlining the teams in San Antonio.
Grandpa might tell you UCLA or IN should still be IN the mix.
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Villanova is now the favorite to win, as the Wildcats are getting odds of +120 to prevail. The Wolverines beat the Ramblers on March 13, 1964 - the year after Loyola won the national title - in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis, 84-80.
In one of next Saturday's semifinals, it's a barnburner of a matchup between top-seeded programs with rich histories: Villanova vs. Kansas.
No less significant is that Villanova has 134 victories and counting over four years. That's the program's most wins in a season since 1996.
30. The magic number for Villanova.
In the second half, the Wildcats pushed the lead up to 15 points without the help of the 3-point shot.
TBS, which will air the Final Four this weekend, probably has reason for optimism moving forward. That set the stage for Nova winning it all a week later in Houston with Arcidiacono dishing to Kris Jenkins for the national championship winning shot.
There's another number worth noting: $60 million.
Despite a spectacular season so far for Villanova, questions remained heading into the month of March.
The Wildcats overwhelm their opponents with their superior offense and even West Virginia - a team known for their tremendous defensive capability - succumbed to the number-one seed.
Any way you count it, the Wildcats' decade of dominance has turned their blood as blue as their "V" logo.
In Sweet 16 play through the Elite 8, three of the four of us selected 5 winners out of 12 games. "We knew the identity of their team was the toughness and physicality, and that proved to be true".
Michigan State last won the title in 1989.
"He's our rock", said guard Donte DiVincenzo, who scored eight points. That dropped MI to 2-2 against the spread during the tournament, as they covered against No. 14 Montana (61-47) in the first round and No. 7 Texas A&M (99-72) in the third round but fell short against No. 6 Houston (64-63) in the Round of 32; MI was favored by 3.5 points against Houston. "There was a lot of talk that we weren't going to get in if we didn't win the tournament, and we know in the Missouri Valley how good a league it is from top to bottom".
The 2016 team trumps the underdog '85 champs that shocked the sport for best in Nova history.
Much of that decline owes to the Sweet 16, which featured nine teams seeded fifth or lower and, according to Sports Media Watch, averaged 10.5 million viewers on TBS and CBS, down 10 percent from previous year. "Every time you get to do it is special, every time you're on that court with those group of guys, it's special".
Some of the brightest prospects in basketball showcased their skills as they looked to take their respective teams to the finish line and make it to the final four. Sources tell me the 'Nova scout team simulating it in practice for the starters was forced to learn it in a few hours. Now, it's come down to just four: Michigan, Loyola-Chicago, Villanova and Kansas. On the other side, two of the most elite college basketball teams, Kansas and Villanova will be fighting for their spot in the championship games. "Our guys wouldn't think that way".
-Cinderellas have gotten to the Final Four previously, but their run usually ends before the title game. He's been to the town twice for Final Fours as a spectator, and said he'd love to see a four-year rotation of the same sites, with San Antonio one of them.
The idea of christening a dazzling new arena with a championship banner raised to the rafters would be appropriate hanging in the rarified air as college basketball's top team.