Issue # 12.4.4 “Two 1-Time Champs and Two #1s Battle It Out” (3/30)


1st ever matchup: LAFC v LA Galaxy

2018 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ San Antonio, Texas
First Semifinal Second Semifinal
Atlanta, GA

Hosted by Georgia Tech (ACC)
Phillips Arena
Los Angeles, CA

Hosted by Pepperdine U. (WCC)
Staples Center
Boston, MA

Hosted by Boston College (ACC)
TD Garden
Omaha, NE

Hosted by Creighton U. (Big East)
CenturyLink Center
Loyola U. Chicago Ramblers U. of Michigan Wolverines Villanova U. Wildcats Kansas U. Jayhawks
Loyola University Chicago Ramblers (32-5) University of Michigan Wolverines (32-7) Villanova University Wildcats (34-4) Kansas University Jayhawks (31-7)
Missouri Valley Conference – Champs
Chicago, Illinois

2nd Final Four (’63
1-time champion
def #6 Miami (Fla) 64-62
#3 Tennessee 63-62
#7 Nevada 69-68
#9 Kansas St. 78-62

Big Ten Conference – Champs
Ann Arbor, Michigan

8th Final Four (’64, ’65, ’76, ’89, ’92, ’93, ’13)
1-time champion
def #14 Montana 61-47
#6 Houston 64-63
#7 Texas A&M 99-72
#9 Florida St 58-54
Big East Conference – Champs
Villanova, Pennsylvania

6th Final Four (’39, ’71, ’85, ’09, ‘16
2-time champions
def #16b Radford 87-61
#9 Alabama 81-58
#5 West Virginia 90-78
#3 Texas Tech 71-59
Big 12 Conference – Champs
Lawrence, Kansas

15th Final Four (’40, ‘52, ’53, ’57, ’71, ’74, ’86, ’88, ’91, ’93, 02, ’03, ’08, ’12)
3-time champions
def #16 Penn 76-60
#8 Seton Hall 83-79
#5 Clemson 80-76
#2 Duke 85-81 (OT)

Five can win pool and 18 are still alive in race to finish

LEGOLAND IN CARLSBAD, CA (smt)- On the road to San Antonio, all four teams managed to get the automatic bid as their conference tournament champion.  Coincidentally, Loyola-Chicago and Michigan both won their tournaments a week before Selection Sunday and face each other in the first semifinal.  The Big Ten, in an effort to get their tournament at Madison Square Garden, held their tourney a week earlier than usual.  That’s because Madison Square Garden hosts the Big East tournament, which was won by Villanova.  Both Villanova and Kansas won the day before Selection Sunday, earned #1 seeds, and will face each other in the second semifinal.  This left only the SEC with their championship on Selection Sunday (oh yeah, the Pac 12 final was also on Saturday though it’s debatable if they are still one of the Big Five conferences after their poor showing) as more one-bid leagues have the championship on Selection Sunday.

Both Loyola-Chicago and Michigan faced their expected seeded teams in the first weekend but then faced #7 and #9 seeds in the second weekend.  Both have also won just one championship and are in the midwest United States.  Both Villanova and Kansas have faced their expected seeded teams within one rank (2/3, 4/5, 8/9) and will face each other, the best possible matchup.  Villanova has won all four games in double-digits while Kansas has won their last three games by four points, needing overtime vs. Duke.

As we look forward to crowning our 22nd different champion in 24 years, 18 entries are still hoping to finish in the top 6.  The difference between 1st and 6th is $545.  No one picked Loyola-Chicago but 11 did have Michigan going to the Final.  71 have picked Villanova to make the Final while just 12 have picked Kansas.  As #1 seeds, Villanova and Virginia were 1-2 in our pool with Kansas 8th and Xavier tied for 11th (just 7) to make the Final.  The $40 bonus is being fought by five entries, but really 3 since two will finish in the top 6 and be ineligible for the Bonus1.  But if those three fail, then a good number of entries will have a chance to win Bonus2, the total points in tiebreaker.  But first, Kansas needs to win to force the possibility of a Bonus2.

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   Tids & Bits – In the proper 64, the SEC finished 8-8, the Big East is 7-5, the Big 12 is 12-6 , the ACC finished 11-9, the Big Ten is 8-3, the Missouri Valley is 4-0, and the Mountain West and WCC each finished 2-1 and 2-2, respectively… the first two rounds saw a record 716 made 3-pointers… Villanova has hit 40% of their 3-pointers with 47..1% of their shots from beyond the arc — not sure if that’s a good thing for the college game… Villanova hit 44 of 92 in the first three games, just 4 of 24 against Texas Tech… twenty of the 60 games have been won by the lower seed… Michigan is just a 5.5 point favorite while Villanova is a 5 point favorite with the push being to take Michigan to cover the 5.5 points and to take Kansas and the five points… odds to win tournament: Villanova 1:1.15 (started 4:1), Michigan 2.3:1, Kansas 3:1, Loyola-Chicago 10:1 (they started 60:1)…  Villanova set a four-year record with their 134th win vs Texas Tech…

The following takes place between 9 am Wednesday and 9 am Saturday.  Events occur in real time.

I watched UConn women’s team choke last year in one of the greatest upsets, didn’t think they’d do it again … 

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