And here I thought the trend of close games would continue, but man we’ve sure had some wins by larger margins these past two rounds. Now we’ve established our final four teams, and I for one can say that at least one of them was probably completely unexpected. Let’s review shall we?
Our Sweet Sixteen Matchups:
1Kansas v 5Maryland | Kansas W 79-63
3Miami v 2Villanova | Villanova W 92-69
1Oregon v 4Duke | Oregon W 82-68
3Texas A&M v 2Oklahoma | Oklahoma W 77-63
1North Carolina v 5Indiana | North Carolina W 101-86
6Notre Dame v 7Wisconsin | Notre Dame W 61-56
1Virginia v 4Iowa State | Virginia W 84-71
11Gonzaga v 10Syracuse | Syracuse W 63-60
Sweet Sixteen Notes:
I must say, the Gonzaga v Syracuse game did not disappoint whatsoever. It was a tight game and an enjoyable one. I was surprised that so many of the others got entirely out of hand when they should’ve been tight matches- Oregon surprised me and didn’t implode, North Carolina ran rampant across Indiana, and Virginia surprisingly advanced further than the Sweet Sixteen. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame all fared well and Notre Dame progressed much further than I ever anticipated even with some close finishes.
Elite Eight Runs:
1Kansas v 2Villanova | Villanova W 64-59
1Oregon v 2Oklahoma | Oklahoma W 80-68
1North Carolina v 6Notre Dame | North Carolina W 88-74
1Virginia v 10Syracuse | Syracuse W 68-62
Notes on the Elites:
Villanova, Oklahoma, and North Carolina all won by differing digits- scaling from 5-14 points, but unsurprisingly winning nonetheless as many believed was possible from the beginning of the tourney until now. The dark horse of the final four remaining teams however is the orange powerhouse that is Syracuse. A number ten seed has survived all the way to the final four, knocked off team after team in upset after upset, and survived a close encounter with the equally dangerous Bulldogs of Gonzaga. Syracuse has beaten Dayton by nineteen points, Middle Tennessee by twenty-five, Gonzaga by three, and Virginia by six. Impressive work to say the least. Now let’s see how they fare against the virtually dominant North Carolina Tarheels. Meanwhile, the Villanova v Oklahoma game is fit to be a title match in and of itself. No matter who makes it to the finale, it’s bound to be a game.