Gonzaga, Baylor, Houston and UCLA make up the Final Four for the Men’s NCAA Tournament.
A lackluster Sweet 16 set us up for some unusual matchups in the Elite Eight, a round highlighted by the presence of three Pac-12 programs and some top seeds. The cream rose to the top over the past two nights, setting the stage for some very juicy Final Four matchups.
The right side of the bracket was set first on Monday night as Houston and Baylor won their matchups to set up an all-Texas Final Four showdown. The Bears had to fight off a rugged Arkansas team to reach the Final Four for the first time since 1950 while Houston withstood a massive surge from Oregon State to return to the tournament’s final weekend for the first time since the Phi Slama Jama team made it for the final time in 1984.
Gonzaga’s quest for perfection is still alive
The big story of the Final Four, however, remains the fact that Gonzaga is still undefeated and trying to become the first team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to complete a perfect season. The Bulldogs easily handled Evan Mobley and USC to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2017, when they lost to North Carolina in the National Championship Game.
Gonzaga will square off with UCLA, which shocked Michigan to become just the second team ever to go from the First Four to the Final Four. The Bruins haven’t played an aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball, often relying on a slow game to limit possessions, but it has been highly effective to help UCLA knock off Alabama and Michigan to earn a shot at the Bulldogs.
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