Final Four Set: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan State And Duke

BASKETBALL

In March Madness, this year’s Final Four is now set:

First up, it was the West Region that featured #1 Wisconsin and #2 Arizona.  This one was anybody’s game, and the Staples Center in Los Angeles was jam packed with Badger and Wildcat fans who made the trip.  Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead, but Arizona came back to take the lead at the half.  Then, in the second half, Wisconsin just caught fire, and seemingly couldn’t miss from three-point land.  They hit every off-balance three they took.  Some shaky clock management decisions led to Arizona’s demise toward the end, and Wisconsin marches on to the Final Four.  And that is two years in a row where they have eliminated Arizona in the Elite 8.  Wisconsin 85, Arizona 78.

Then, it was the marquee match-up between unbeaten #1 Kentucky and #3 seed Notre Dame.  Notre Dame saved their best basketball for this game and gave Kentucky heart palpitations the whole game even jumping out to a 6-point lead late in the game.  But, to beat Kentucky, you have to truly crush them, as they always have just enough gas in the tank to come back.  And even though this one came down to the final seconds, Kentucky did what they needed to get the job done, and they advanced to the Final Four where they will meet Wisconsin.  The Wildcats have already made history as they are the first Division I men’s team with a 38-0 undefeated record. Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66.

Then, on Sunday, it was #4 Louisville, coached by Hall of Famer Rick Pitno vs. #7 Michigan State, coached by Hall of Famer Tom Izzo.  Both of these guys know how to win in March.  Louisville got the edge early, but the Spartans came charging back to lead late.  The Cardinals are resilient though and their valiant effort got the game to overtime.  But, in OT, Michigan State was just the more polished team, and their inexplicable championship run continues into the Final Four.  Michigan State 76, Louisville 70.

Duke BasketballFinally, it was #1 Duke vs. #2 Gonzaga.  Gonzaga was hoping this was the year where their fantastic program finally made the final four.  Unfortunately, squaring off against a super talented Duke team isn’t exactly easy.  Gonzaga hung in there for most of the way, but Duke’s defense was simply too constrictive, and Coach K and Duke advanced to their 12th Final Four.  That’s incredible!  Duke 66, Gonzaga 52.

Kentucky vs. Wisconsin and Duke vs. Michigan State next Saturday.

Share
No comments

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply