This year’s Final Four teams represent a mixed bag, to say the least.
North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon, and Gonzaga make up the last four teams standing as well as one of the most intriguing last four teams in recent memory.
This year’s matchups have all the backstory needed already. UNC looks to capture that title that alluded them so heavily in last year’s National Championship game. Gonzaga and South Carolina are both entering their first Final Fours in each program’s history. And finally, Oregon reaches its first Final Four since 1939, which in fact, was the first Final Four.
As great as the back stories are, the matchups are even better because they’re so unpredictable.
In the first matchup tomorrow, Gonzaga will face off against the Cinderella team of this March, South Carolina.
Although being the overall number one seed, the Final Four was far from a shoe-in for the Zags as they finally get over that jump by reaching their first final Four after losing in the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 in past years.
Mark Few and the Zags finally tackled that postseason monster despite so much regular season success.
On the flip side, South Carolina, a 7th seed, has rolled its way to the Final Four, beating the likes of Duke, Baylor, and Florida, all higher seeded teams. Their magical run has captured the imagination of college hoop fans who now have a legit underdog to root for. Their tough and gritty play will match up well with a Gonzaga squad that can also pound you offensively and defensively.
In the late game, UNC will take on Oregon.
Starting with Oregon, the Ducks haven’t seen this type of success on a basketball court in over 78 years, but they certainly have earned it.
Coming out of a tough PAC-12 conference, the Ducks were at the top all season and proved why this tournament winning close games and dominating like they did versus Kansas. They have all the weapons necessary to matchup up with UNC’s potent offensive attack, but it’s the defensive end where they will have to shine to defeat the Tar Heels.
North Carolina is obviously no stranger to the Final Four. This will be their 20th appearance in the Big Dance which is the most all-time. On top of that, they have a huge chip on their shoulder as they were seconds away from a title last season had it not been for one of the most memorable shots in history on the side of the Villanova Wildcats.
This year is different, though. They are a year more experienced and a year better. They have many options on the offensive end that can gash you and in this tournament, have been stout defensively. They withstood a tough Kentucky squad on a last second shot, so they are more than battle tested for this matchup.
Overall, it’s going to be an exciting night next Saturday and the best thing is, we have no idea what will happen. This is truly anyone’s tournament to win with no dominating, sure fire team.
This is just how we should want it.
Who do you think will win the National Championship? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.