March Madness: Final Four
Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
April 2, 2014
Only four teams remain in the quest for a national championship. The tournament started with 68 teams, including the play-in games. Many teams failed to live up to their expectations while others exceeded. The Final Four is made up of the University of Florida Gators, University of Connecticut Huskies, University of Wisconsin Badgers and University of Kentucky Wildcats.
On Apr. 5, the Gators will face off against the Huskies, while the Badgers fight the Wildcats. Florida is the only number one seed to make it to the Final Four- UCONN being a seven, Wisconsin a two seed and Kentucky an eight seed.
Florida was able to knock off this year’s Cinderella team, Dayton, 62-52. The Gators won each game through the tournament by at least nine points, showing their preparedness and desire to win. Their opponent, UCONN, took one of the hardest routes in the tournament to get to where they are. The Huskies took down a good second seeded Villanova University team, and then beat the third seeded Iowa State University. They then had to play the fourth seeded Michigan State University Spartans, the same Spartans that defeated number one seed University of Virginia Cavaliers.
Playing four close games may take its toll on the Huskies, while the Gators could feel fresh and ready to make the trip back to the title game.
Wisconsin had to go through the number one seed in the West, University of Arizona, to get to the Final Four. They escaped that game winning by one point. Their reward is to play a Kentucky team that came out of the hardest bracket in the tournament. By emerging from the Midwest bracket, Kentucky shows that they will settle for nothing less than a title. Fatigue may play a factor though, as the Wildcats have won four difficult games so far.
With these four teams remaining, a couple questions beg to be asked. Firstly, how is your bracket looking? Quite honestly, mine is in shambles. My only Final Four team remaining is Florida, whom I did not pick to win the title. Ergo, I lose. For those of you who managed to get all four teams: lucky guesses. Secondly, who will win the championship? Four great teams will leave it all on the hardwood and do whatever they can to bring home the trophy.
My pick: Florida. They’re riding high and playing good basketball right now. They have the talent, heart and the “it factor” that it takes to win. Hopefully this will turn my luck around and give me something positive to take away from this year’s tournament.
Within the week, we will have a new national champion in Division I basketball. A new team will cut down the nets and hang a banner. After a season with so many surprises, how can you not watch its ending?