…And Then There Were Four!
Brackets blew up all over the country as an unlikely foursome came out on top — Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky and Virginia Commonwealth, the Cinderella team of this year’s NCAA college basketball tournament. According to ESPN, out of 5.9 million entries in its bracket tournament, only two had these teams as the Final Four heading to Houston’s Reliant Stadium on Saturday (April 2nd). There isn’t a single Number 1 seed for only the third time since seeding began in 1979, and it’s the first time that no Number 1 or Number 2 seed is among the top four teams. The Final Four have a combined seeding of 26, which breaks the record of 22 from 2000, and they have a combined winning percentage of .755, the second lowest since 1985.
Eleventh-seeded Virginia Commonwealth, a team that doubted they’d even get an NCAA tournament invite, stunned top-seeded Kansas 71-61 to win the Southwest regional final. They’ll be playing against eighth-seeded Butler, the loser in the championship game last year to Duke, which upset second-seeded Florida 74-71 in overtime to win the Southeast regional final.
Fourth-seeded Kentucky downed second-seeded North Carolina 76-69 to win the East regional final and return to the Final Four for the first time since winning the national title in 1998. They’ll play against third-seeded Connecticut, the only team that didn’t score an upset to reach the Final Four, which defeated fifth-seeded Arizona 65-63 to win the West regional final.