NCAA Men’s Final Four guarantees surprises


Emily Smith, Staff Writer

Why should you watch the men’s March Madness?

This year is especially unique for the men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament because of the shocking fact that no No. 1 seeds reached the Final Four for the first time since 1970.

For No. 5 seeds Miami and San Diego State, along with No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic, it will be their first Final Four. The No. 4 seeded UConn Huskies are looking to win their fifth title. No one expected this foursome a few weeks ago when Alabama, Kansas, Houston and Purdue all seemed solid No. 1 picks on Selection Sunday. Need I say more on why you should watch?

Let’s break down these teams starting with one of the three first-time Final Four participants. San Diego State beat Creighton by a single point in the Elite Eight with elite defense from Matt Bradley, Lamont Butler and Darrion Trammell. The Bluejays had led at 33-28 at halftime, but they could not make a single 3-pointer in the second half. While the Aztecs lack the offensive firepower of some of the other teams, can they win solely off of superior defense? We will see. 

Next up: Florida Atlantic. The team defeated Kansas State by just three points to reach the Final Four. With 22.8 seconds left on the clock, FAU’s Cam Carter made a 3 from the wing, giving Florida a one point lead. They then made clutch free throws down the stretch and held onto win. For a team that had never won an NCAA Tournament game in its history, the Owls have become a fan favorite and are just one game away from playing for the national championship.  

Coming in hot next is Miami (FL). They upset Texas by seven points. Miami went for a physical approach, and capitalized each time they got to the line by hitting 28 of their 32 free throws. Texas attempted only 15 free throws and made only 11. One of the turning points of the game was when the score was tied 79-79, Norchad Omier had seemingly fouled out attempting to get an offensive rebound. The foul ended up being given to Texas’ Brock Cunningham, giving Miami the lead and overall win with the resulting free throws. They didn’t land in the Final Four on just a questionable call though. They dominated No. 1-seeded Houston in the Sweet 16 and Indiana in the round of 32. They are not intimidated by any opponents. 

Last but definitely not least is UConn. The Huskies totally dominated Gonzaga, 82-54, in the Elite Eight. Players Alex Karaban and Adam Sanogo have been key. Karaban scored 12 points and Sanogo scored 10 points and had 10 rebounds, giving the team the boost it needed. UConn led at halftime by 39-32 after Karaban hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer. One of the main keys was getting Gonzaga star Drew Timme in foul trouble. With Timme on the bench, UConn took total control to put themselves in position to battle for another title. 

The pressure is real this year with all of this new excitement. There is no better time to watch than right now to see which of these teams will make history on the court. Tune in to see it happen. As San Diego State guard Matt Bradley told reporters, “It’s March Madness, emphasis on the madness.”