Mar 22

So Now Who Ya Got?

Posted By:Brett Haynes  Tags:

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Photo: USPresswire.com

While each team in the NCAA basketball tournament set out four days ago to be the best of sixty-five teams, the key to winning it all, really, is to just be the best of four teams (three times - and each time it gets tougher). The first round of these three mini-tournaments has now been played, and starting Thursday the middle level of the three four-team mini-tourneys will go down as sixteen championship-hungry teams will compete in Boston, Memphis, Indianapolis and Phoenix for a trip to Detroit, MI and the Final Four - the most important four-team tournament there is.......

Phoenix, Arizona - WEST Regional

1 Connecticut Huskies (29-4) vs. 5 Purdue Boilermakers (27-9)

Uconn defetaed Texas A&M 92-66, while Purdue beat Washington 76-74 to reach the sweet 16. UConn was also the 1999  and 2004 national champions and has reached the sweet 16 a remarkable twelve times under Jim Calhoun. Purdue is one of two remaining Big-10 teams along with MSU. 

3 Missouri Tigers (30-6) vs. 2 Memphis Tigers (33-3)

Missouri defeated Marquette 83-79 while Memphis defeated Gary Williams and the 2002 national champs, Maryland, 89-70. Memphis was the national runner-up a year ago, losing an absolute heartbreaker to Kansas in which they gave up a 9-point lead with 2:12 to go in the game...ouch!

Indianapolis, Indiana - MIDWEST Regional

1 Louisville Cardinals (30-5) vs. 12 Arizona Wildcats (21-13)

Louisville defetaed Sienna 79-72 while Arizona beat surprising (to some) Cleveland State, 71-57. The Big East Champs will tangle with an Arizona program that has been to four final fours, w a title in 1997 over Kentucky. The Big East had 3 number 1 seeds and they are all still alive...

3 Kansas Jayhawks (27-7) vs. 2 Michigan State Spartans (28-6)

Kansas defeated Dayton, 60-43, while Michigan State beat USC, 74-69. The defending national champions will go up against a very strong Michigan State squad in what will surely be one of the highlight games of the tournament. The venue should be split with Jayhawks and Spartans as geography works out well in this one.

Memphis, TN - SOUTH Regional

1 North Carolina Tar Heels (30-4) vs.  4 Gonzaga Zags (28-5)

UNC defeated LSU, 84-70, while Gonzaga beat Western Kentucky in a thriller, 83-81. Mr. Everything Tyler Hansbrough and the Heels will look to prove that they were worth the butt-kissing they recieved all year long from the national media. Can they win it all as they are predicted to do nearly every season? We will see. What we do know is that UNC has now passed Kentucky by one win in he all-time NCAA win race. Here is step three of six steps in the Zags quest to bring home the ultimate trophy. A tourney regular, Gonzaga has yet to reach the Final Four.

3 Syracuse Orange (28-9) vs. 2 Oklahoma Sooners (29-5)

Syracuse defeated Arizona State, 78-67, while Oklahoma beat Michigan 73-63. The 'Cuse, the 2003 national champs after appearing in the 1987 and 1996 final, will tangle with All-American Blake Griffin and the Sooners in a game that should feature a pro-Sooner crowd. OU made the Final Four in 1988 (lost to Kansas in title game) and 2002 (lost to Indiana)...

Boston, MA - EAST Regional

 1 Pittsburgh Panthers (29-5) vs.  4 Xavier Musketeers (27-7)

Pitt defeated Oklahoma State, 84-76 while Xavier beat Wisconsin 60-49. Xavier is one of those names you only know because of the NCAA basketball tournament. They made the NCAA Elite 8 in 2004 and 2008 and have graduated EVERY player in the program since 1985!! 

 3 Villanova Wildcats (28-7) vs. 2 Duke Blue Devils (30-6)

Duke defeated Texas 74-69 while the Wildcats beat UCLA 89-69 in what was basically an exhibition in Philadelphia. The ACC Champs, who won it all in 1991, 1992 and 2000 will mix things up with 'Nova of the Big East, who won it all in 1985.

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