Posts Tagged ‘Road to the Final Four’

They Are The Champions!

April 3, 2018

Congratulations are in order for Villanova Wildcats who successfully navigated March Madness and the Road to the Final Four culminating in their NCAA College Basketball Tournament victory last night over the Michigan Wolverines.  It was an awesome season with a lot of great games (and more than the usual share of surprises along the way).  This is what makes college basketball so much fun (and aggravating at the same time, go figure).  Next up . . . the start of major league baseball and only a five month wait until the start of college football (and the Michigan State Spartans are in the way too early pre-season top-25 — woohoo!).

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Final Four, 2018!

March 26, 2018

Is the cream starting to rise to the top?  There are still a a couple of “blue blood” teams left in the tournament, but the lower seeds continue to win.  Loyola University-Chicago (#11) continued its Cinderella story by advanced to the elite eight and then on to the Final Four!  On Thursday, only one of the higher seeds advanced (Michigan [#3]); whereas on Friday, only one of the higher seeds did NOT advance (Purdue [#2]).  On Saturday and Sunday all of the higher seeds advanced except for #9 Kansas State who could not get past this year’s Cinderella, Loyola-Chicago.  On to San Antonio next weekend for the Final Four!

Sweet Sixteen games
Villanova (#1) defeated West Virginia (#5)
Kansas (#1) defeated Clemson (#5) by four (4) points.
Duke (#2) defeated Syracuse (#11) by four (4) points.
Michigan (#3) defeated Texas A&M (#7)
Texas Tech (#3) defeated Purdue (#2)
Florida State (#9) defeated Gonzaga (#4)
Kansas State (#9) defeated Kentucky (#5) by three (3) points.
Loyola-Chicago (#11) defeated Nevada (#7) by one (1) point.

In the regional finals, there was only one #1/#2 matchup (Kansas/Duke in the midwest); a #1/#3 matchup (Villanova/Texas Tech in the east), a #3/#9 matchup (Michigan/Florida State in the West), and a #9/#11 matchup (Kansas State/Loyola Chicago) in the south).

Elite Eight games
Villanova (#1) defeating Texas Tech (#3)
Kansas (#1) defeating Duke (#2) by four (4) points in overtime.
Michigan (#3) defeating Florida State (#9) by four (4) points.
Loyola-Chicago (#11) defeating Kansas State (#9).

The madness continues.  Congratulations to the four teams who survived the second weekend to arrive at the Final Four.

The
East Regional Champs
Villanova (#1)

will play . . . the

Midwest Regional Champs
Kansas (#1),

and, the

South Regional Champs
Loyola-Chicago (#11)

will play . .  the

West Regional Champs
Michigan (#3).

Sweet Sixteen, 2018!

March 19, 2018

History was made this weekend when a #1 seed (Virginia) was defeated by a #16 seed (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) for the first-time ever in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  Congratulations to UMBC!  Virginia was not the only “favored” seed to not survive the first weekend . . . eight (8) other higher-seeded teams lost in the first round: Arizona (#4), Wichita State (#4), TCU (#6), Miami (#6), Arkansas (#7), Missouri (#8), Creighton (#8), and Virginia Tech (#8).  Then in round two, the upsets continued with six (6) additional “favored” teams losing: Xavier (#1), North Carolina (#2), Cincinnati (#2), Tennessee (#3), Michigan State (#3), Auburn (#4).  Madness indeed.  The Michigan State Spartans took care of business to win their opening-round game against a formidable Bucknell team on Friday, but were unable to handle Syracuse’s zone defense and lost by two (2) points yesterday thus ending their season.   Congratulations are in order for the “Sweet Sixteen” survivors of the first weekend.  Good luck one and all next week!  Let the Madness continue?

East Regional
Villanova (#1)
Purdue (#2)
Texas Tech (#3)
West Virginia (#5)

South Regional
Kentucky (#5)
Nevada (#7)
Kansas State (#9)
Loyola-Chicago (#11)

Midwest Regional
Kansas (#1)
Duke (#2)
Clemson (#5)
Syracuse (#11)

West Regional
Michigan (#3)
Gonzaga (#4)
Texas A&M (#7)
Florida State (#9)

The Brackets are Set!

March 12, 2018

The ‘madness” has been ongoing all season, so we didn’t really have to wait for March, but now that March is here, the madness can officially begin!  I always look forward to this time of year and put together what I consider to be a quality bracket only to have it “busted” before the end of the first weekend.  I guess this is what makes the tournament so much fun (and aggravating if it is your team that falls early).  Here are the teams (and their seeds) in this year’s tournament.  My Spartans garnered a #3 seed in the Midwest  regional and will play Bucknell on Friday.  Good luck to all, and Go Green!

East Regional
#1 Villanova
#16  Long Island University/Radford

#8 Virginia Tech
#9 Alabama

#5 West Virginia
#12 Murray State

#4 Wichita State
#13 Marshall

#6 Florida
#11 St. Bonaventure/UCLA

#3 Texas Tech
#14 Stephen F. Austin

#7 Arkansas
#10 Butler

#2 Purdue
#15 Cal State Fullerton

South Regional
#1 Virginia
#16 University of Maryland, Baltimore County

#8 Creighton
#9 Kansas State

#5 Kentucky
#12 Davidson

#4 Arizona
#13 Buffalo

#6 Miami
#11 Loyola-Chicago

#3 Tennessee
#14 Wright State

#7 Nevada
#10 Texas

#2 Cincinnati
#15 Georgia State

Midwest Regional
#1 Kansas
#16 Pennsylvania

#8 Seton Hall
#9 NC State

#5 Clemson
#12 New Mexico State

#4 Auburn
#11Charleston

#6 TCU
#11 Arizona State/Syracuse

#3 Michigan State
#14 Bucknell

#7 Rhode Island
#10 Oklahoma

#2 Duke
#15 Iona

West Regional
#1 Xavier
#16 North Carolina Central/Texas Southern

#8 Missouri
#9 Florida State

#5 Ohio State
#12 South Dakota State

#4 Gonzaga
#13  UNC Greensboro

#6 Houston
#11 San Diego State

#3 Michigan
#14 Montana

#7 Texas A&M
#10 Providece

#2 North Carolina
#15 Lipscomb

 

Big Ten Tournament Champs, 2018!

March 5, 2018

Congratulations to the Michigan Wolverines who were crowned the Big Ten tournament champions yesterday.    The Spartans won their quarterfinal game against Wisconsin, but lost in their semi-final round to the Michigan Wolverines who then defeated Purdue in the finals to claim the title.    The Big Ten continues to have four teams among the AP top-25:  Michigan State [#2], Purdue [#8], Ohio State [#13], and Michigan [#15].

Next up for the Spartans: the NCAA Tournament.  The brackets and seedings will be revealed on Sunday.  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Michigan State (#2) losing to Michigan (#15).
Duke (#5) losing to unranked Virginia Tech by one (1) point.
Kansas (#6) losing to unranked Oklahoma State.
Purdue (#8) losing to Michigan (#15).
North Carolina (#9) losing to unranked Miami by three (3) points and losing to Duke (#5).
Texas Tech (#12) losing to West Virginia (#20).
Ohio State (#13) losing to unranked Penn State by one (1) point.
Auburn (#14) losing to unranked Arkansas.
Rhode Island (#17) losing to unranked St. Joseph’s and losing to unranked Davidson by two (2) points.
Clemson (#18) losing to unranked Syracuse by three (3) points.
West Virginia (#20) losing to unranked Texas.
Nevada (#21) losing to unranked San Diego State by five (5) points.
Kentucky (#23) losing to unranked Florida.
Middle Tennessee State (#24) losing to unranked Marshall.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Virginia (#1) defeating unranked Louisville by one (1) point and defeating unranked Notre Dame by five (5) points.
Michigan State (#2) defeating unranked Wisconsin by three (3) points.
Xavier (#3) defeating unranked DePaul by three (3) points.
Villanova (#4) defeating unranked Seton Hall by one (1) point in overtime.
Wichita State (#11) defeating unranked UCF by four (4) points in overtime.
Texas Tech (#12) defeating unranked TCU by four (4) points.
Michigan (#15) defeating unranked Iowa by six (6) points in overtime.
Tennessee (#16) defeating unranked Georgia by five (5) points.
St. Mary’s (#22) defeating unranked Pepperdine by three (3) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Duke (#5) defeating North Carolina (#9).
Cincinnati (#10) defeating Wichita State (#11) by one (1) point.

March Madness 2017, Final Four!

March 27, 2017

The second weekend of the NCAA Tournament has come to a close and we have reached the pinnacle of the tournament — the Final Four teams!  And as usual, probably not the four teams that the majority of fans would have picked.  Only two of the #1 seeds survived along with a number three seed and a number seven seed.  Cinderella is alive and well.  What another exciting tournament for college basketball fans.

The upsets in the tournament during the second round this second weekend included:
Kansas (#1) losing to Oregon (#3).
Florida (#4) losing to South Carolina (#7)

The Final Four teams remaining (by regional):

East Regional
South Carolina (#7)

Midwest Regional
Oregon (#3)

South Regional
North Carolina (#1)

West Regional
Gonzaga (#1)

March Madness 2017, Elite Eight!

March 25, 2017

Happy Saturday!  As we reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, the field has been halved yet again to the Elite Eight with the Final Four yet to be determined by the end of the weekend.  Three (3) number one seed still remain (Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga), but a couple of Cinderellas are still hanging around (South Carolina [#7 seed] and Xavier [#11 seed]) so it will be fun to see how the games go today and Sunday.

The upsets in the tournament during the first round of the second weekend included:
Baylor (#3) losing to South Carolina (#7).
Arizona (#2) losing to Xavier (#11).

The teams remaining (by regional):

East Regional
Florida (#4)
South Carolina (#7)

Midwest Regional
Kansas (#1)
Oregon (#3)

South Regional (top four seeds advanced)
North Carolina (#1)
Kentucky (#2)

West Regional
Gonzaga (#1)
Xavier (#11)

March Madness 2017, Down to Thirty-Two!

March 18, 2017

The Spartans win!  The first round of the NCAA Tournament has come to a close and the field has been cut in half.  The first full-day of games had only a couple of surprises and both involved the higher-seeded Big Ten school going down in defeat (Minnesota [#5] and Maryland [#6]).   Day two found only a couple more “upsets” — Dayton (#7) losing to Wichita State and Miami (#8) losing to Michigan State (#9).  Tom Izzo worked his March magic as the Spartans found a way, following a very slugging start, to get the win.

Next up for the Spartans:  a Sunday game in the Tulsa Regional Final where they will face the Jayhawks from Kansas . . . .    Go Green!

The upsets in the tournament this first weekend included:
Minnesota (#5) losing to Middle Tennessee State (#12).
Maryland (#6) losing to Xavier (#11)
SMU (#6) losing to USC (#11)
Dayton (#7) losing to Wichita State (#10)
Miami (#8) losing to Michigan State (#9).

The teams remaining (by regional):

East Regional
Villanova (#1)
Duke (#2)
Baylor (#3)
Florida (#4)
Virginia (#5)
South Carolina (#7)
Wisconsin (#8)
USC (#11)

Midwest Regional
Kansas (#1)
Louisville (#2)
Oregon (#3)
Purdue (#4)
Iowa State (#5)
Michigan (#7)
Michigan State (#9)
Rhode Island (#11)

South Regional
North Carolina (#1)
Kentucky (#2)
UCLA (#3)
Butler (#4)
Cincinnati (#6)
Arkansas (#8)
Wichita State (#10)
Middle Tennessee State (#12)

East Regional
Gonzaga (#1)
Arizona (#2)
Florida State (#3)
West Virginia (#4)
Notre Dame (#5)
St. Mary’s (#7)
Northwestern (#8)
Xavier (#11)

 

Selection Sunday 2017!

March 12, 2017

It has arrived . . . March Madness!  Later today, the field will be selected for the 2017 NCAA College Basketball Tournament.  Is your team in?  My team (Michigan State, Go Green!) is not guaranteed entry this year, but I remain hopeful that their rigorous non-conference schedule, coupled with more than a couple of key players out with injuries (before the season even began), coupled with still managing to play above .500 in Big Ten play, coupled with very few upperclassmen with a good showing in the Big Ten Tournament, will earn them a berth in the tournament.  But if not . . . there is always next year!  Here are some helpful links as we begin the Road to the Final Four in earnest.  Tulsa’s BOK Center is hosting some of the regional games this year (Friday and Sunday games for the East and Midwest Regionals) and I will be at each and every game!  Woot!  I love this time of year!

Tournament Schedule
Joe Lunardi’s latest “Bracketology
Tournament Challenge (create your brackets now)

 

The Final Four, 2016!

March 28, 2016

What an exciting couple of weeks for college basketball fans.  Yes, there were the requisite upsets that ruined many a bracket, there were the close wins as time ran out, there were the wins in overtime and the field of sixty-eight has been reduced to the final four . . . It was not a good weekend for #1 seeds as three of the four found themselves on the wrong side of the final scores.  Only one #1 seed survived along with two #2 seeds and a #10 seed.

North Carolina (#1) defeated Notre Dame (#6)
Oklahoma (#2) defeated Oregon (#1)
Villanova (#2) defeated Kansas (#1)
Syracuse (#10) defeated Virginia (#1)

On to Houston for the Final Four next weekend where North Carolina will face Syracuse in one of the semi-finals while Oklahoma will face Villanova in the other.  Good luck one and all.