And Then There Were 4
Connecticut, Kentucky, Butler, and Virginia Commonwealth. Not No. 1 seeds and not exactly what people had in mind when they thought of this years Final Four in Houston. This year’s tournament has been about the upsets and the unexpected.
VCU- The Rams kicked off their historic weekend surviving Florida State 72-71. Standing in their way for a spot in the Final Four was No.1 seed Kansas. Jamie Skeen led the Rams with 26 points as VCU downed the Jayhawks 71-61. They lead Kansas 41-27 at halftime and didn’t look back. VCU is only the third No. 11 seed in tournament history to reach the Final Four (George Mason 2006, LSU 1986).
Butler- Another year, another Final Four for the Bulldogs. Butler made the National Final last year as a No. 5 seed. They are back in the Final Four this year with a chance to make the finals as an No. 8 seed. The Bulldogs started the weekend beating Wisconsin 61-54. After sinking No. 1 Pittsburgh last week, Butler had to face the No. 2 seed Florida in the Southeast bracket Final. Shelvin Mack scored 27 points for Butler in their overtime victory versus Florida. The Final score was 74-71 after Butler outscored Florida 14-11 in the overtime period. Butler will face VCU in the first national semi-final game Saturday, April 2 at 6:09pm on CBS.
Connecticut- The Huskies have been on a roll since their impressive Big East Tournament run. As the No. 3 seed in the West bracket, UCONN cruised through their first three games until they ran into No. 5 Arizona. The Huskies beat No. 2 San Diego State Thursday 74-67 to reach the regional final versus Arizona. Kemba Walker scored 20 points in the 65-63 victory. After missing the tournament last season, Jim Calhoun has his Huskies in the Final Four for the second time in the last three years.
Kentucky- The Kentucky Wildcats are no strangers to big games in the NCAA Tournament. They certainly showed their poise this weekend beating the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the East Bracket. They started by downing Ohio State with a game winning shot by freshman guard Brandon Knight with five seconds left on the clock. The final score was 62-60. The Wildcats reached the Final Four Sunday night with an impressive victory over No.2 North Carolina (76-69). Knight led Kentucky with 22 points in the regional final victory. The Wildcats will face Connecticut in the second national semi-final on Saturday April 2 at 8:49pm on CBS.