There was much Madness in March with the Mens 2015 NCAA Basketball Tournament filling the airwaves. It all comes to a conclusion this Monday, April 6th in the championship game, but first the “Final Four” must play for a spot. Those two games go down this Saturday, April 4th.
It has been an exciting tournament so far with heartbreaking upsets and thrilling come-from-behind wins. As we handicapped the bracket for you at the start of the tournament with The 10 Things You Need to Know, here’s a quick recap of the tournament thus far and guide to the Final Four. Toss out at least one of these highlights at a cocktail party this weekend, and you’re guaranteed to impress the crowd!
Of the 11.57 million brackets submitted to ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, only 182,709 correctly guessed the Final Four.
The Final Four will play in two semi-final games. First up will be No. 1 Duke vs. No. 7 Michigan State. This will be Coach K’s (remember we told you that’s Duke coach, Mike Kryzewski’s nickname) 12th Final Four appearance as head coach of the Blue Devils. Game time is 6:09pm on Saturday, April 4th. The next game is No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 1 Wisconsin at 8:49pm. The Wildcats and the Badgers will meet in a rematch of last year’s Final Four pairing. Kentucky enters the game undefeated for the season.
The close ones.
In the Round of 64, twelve games were decided by 5 or less points. Of that, 5 were decided by just 1 point.
The biggest upset.
No. 1 seed Villanova lost to N.C. State in the Round of 32. They are the only #1 seed that won’t be making a Final Four appearance. The camera caught an emotional Villanova band member crying after the game and the media attention landed her a gig on Jimmy Fallon! See it here.
The almost biggest upset.
Notre Dame was SO CLOSE to knocking off undefeated Kentucky in the Elite 8. The game was decided in the very last seconds when a Kentucky player made two foul shots to win the game.
Off his rocker.
Georgia State coach Ron Hunter got a little too rowdy celebrating his team’s conference title that he tore his Achilles tendon and was forced to coach the first game of the tournament from a rolling chair. Then, when his son R.J. Hunter hit the game winning 3-pointer against Baylor, he literally fell off his rocker. Watch it here.
Spoke too soon.
West Virginia’s Daxter Miles Jr. had a serious case of foot-in-mouth when he told the media of Kentucky: “they’re going to be 36-1” after playing his team in the Sweet 16. Then, Kentucky blew away WVU 78-39 and Miles Jr. only kind of apologized for his ambitious comments.
AND NOW FOR THE LADIES…
The women’s tournament has seen some exciting matchups, but not too surprisingly, all top-seeded teams will play in the Final Four on April 5th in Tampa and will conclude with the National Championship game on April 7th.
No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 1 South Carolina. This year marks Notre Dame’s 5th straight Final Four appearance and South Carolina’s first. They will face off at 6:30 pm on Sunday, April 5th.
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 1 Connecticut. Maryland once again ended Tennessee’s Final Four hopes and looks to defeat the Huskies, who are the defending champs, at 8:30pm on Sunday, April 5th.
You don’t see upsets too often in the Women’s Tournament, but when you do, they are pretty thrilling. No. 7 Dayton upset No. 2 Kentucky to make it the Sweet 16 when Amber Deane made a 3-pointer with less than 25 seconds left in the game.
What a turnout!
So far the tournament has seen a boost in attendance, much to the NCAA’s delight. They hoped to do this by having top teams host the first and second rounds and scheduling more weekend games.
Even the President showed up.
No. 8 Princeton, who was the heavily favored underdogs after going undefeated in the regular season, felt short to No. 1 Maryland in the Round of 32. But hey, at least the President of the United States showed up to cheer on the Tigers… and his niece who plays on the team.Reporting by Kristen Leen