After a long college basketball season, we are down to four teams left. In a tournament where it almost felt as we were lacking upsets the four teams maybe with the exception of Virginia are shocking. The Elite 8 was filled with upsets and all but one number one seeds were capable of reaching the Final Four. Gonzaga, The University of North Carolina and Duke were the three one seeds who got sent home packing this weekend. The stage is set Virginia, Texas Tech, Michigan State and Auburn are going to the final four.
Before the season started and basically throughout this entire season Duke was crowned the college basketball NCAA Tournament champions. Unfortunately for Blue Devil fans they have shockingly failed to reach the final four. They were one of the best freshman teams we have seen in college basketball since the Michigan Wolverines “Fab Five”. Ironically enough the other team from Michigan, the Michigan State Spartans eliminated Duke in a bar burner. This Michigan State team is an upper classmen heavy team which historically teams of this nature do very well in the tournament.
Like Michigan State Auburn also finds themselves in the final four with an upper classmen heavy team. They have a combined 13 juniors and seniors on this team. The Tigers took down the reigning National Champions from last season UNC. They dominated the entire game winning by 17 points. They were left as the lowest seed left in the Elite 8 and once again, they showed that they belong. Two days after taking down a number one they took down number Kentucky. Junior Jared Harper lit it up against Kentucky leading the team with 26 points. Senior guard Bryce Brown was right behind him putting up points with having 24 in this win. This was the greatest weekend in the history of Auburn’s basketball program. This will be their first trip ever to a final four and I personally don’t see any reason why they will be stopping here. Taking down UNC than bouncing back two days later and beating John Calipari’s Wildcats is no easy feat. This Auburn Tigers team really has it all to be National Champions this season. Auburn’s next test will come against another number one seed when they face off against the Virginia Cavilers next Saturday.
Along with Auburn the Texas Tech Red Raiders have also reached their first ever final four as a school. The Red Raiders have been steaming rolling through teams all tournament up until Saturday’s tough matchup against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Texas Tech has been led all tournament by project NBA lottery pick Jarret Culver. He led the Raiders over Gonzaga with 19 points. It was a great moment for this program, and you could just see it in the way Texas Tech celebrated when the clock hit zero. Head coach Chris Beard said after the game that he feels that his team has been disrespected all season. Now that they’re in the final four they should be getting the respect they deserve. Unfortunately, I will not be the one to give it to them. After seeing Tom Izzo game plan late in the game to make Zion Williamson a non-factor in the last possession of the game I got Michigan State winning this one. I believe it will be a close one and Tom Izzo will game plan late to make sure Culver gets denied of the ball, making someone else on Texas Tech beat them.
Lastly the top seed probably most complete team is the Virginia Cavilers. They have grown a lot this year after last year’s first round historically bad loss. With that being said with all the close game wins this team has pulled off I think their luck is about to run out. After forcing overtime and defeating the Perdue Boilermakers I just can’t see them winning this whole thing. They’ve had probably the easiest path to the final four and Auburn is going to outmatch them. As I said earlier this Auburn team seems more than a Cinderella five seed, they have what it takes to win it all.