UNITED STATES—So after 2 weeks of what many would call non-stop basketball in the NCAA Tournament, we now have our Final Four. The first week delivered plenty of stunners as we discussed last week, and this second week of matchups also delivered a few surprises along the way. Who would have ever expected Loyola Illinois to make such a deep run? They’re in the Final Four people, but I will argue each of the games they won came very close; meaning they only won by 1-2 points. They are indeed the Cinderella team of the year, but they’re going to have to dig deep to take out #3 seed Michigan this week.
It’s hard to believe the Michigan Wolverines were this close to being bounced from the tournament if it wasn’t for Jordan Poole scoring that buzzer beating shot, but the maize and blue have managed to get to the Final Four, the first time since 2013, where the team made it all the way to the National Championship Game. Everyone has Michigan as a favorite against Loyola, and I have to agree as well. I had Michigan going to the championship game, and that still holds, however, they shouldn’t take Loyola lightly. That team is very hungry and if Michigan doesn’t play its best, like they did against Texas A&M their dreams can blow up in smoke.
Villanova, a #1 seed has proven to be a beast this season and I say that for good reason. Out of all the teams remaining, they have without hiccup defeated each of their opponents by a significant margin, at least 12 points or more. They are a force to be reckoned with America. Rather they can take out Kansas to head to the Big Dance is another question. Speaking of Kansas, I was waiting, and I mean waiting to watch a game like the one between Duke and Kansas on Sunday. Now, that is what you call a basketball game. It was riveting to watch from start to finish, where two teams were thirsty for a win and laid everything and I mean everything out on the table. As a result, the game went to overtime, where Kansas edged out the win 85-81. Duke gave a valiant effort, but the Jayhawks were just too much.
So with that said we have Michigan doing battle against Loyola Illinois and Kansas going against Villanova. Now, people already have Michigan as the favorite, but my gut keeps telling me people are underestimating Loyola and they shouldn’t. They might be a #11 seed, but they’ve taken out some of the best teams in the country during the tournament so anything can happen, its March Madness people.
I hate to say this, but I’m much more eager to tune into the game between Villanova and Kansas. Why? Well its TWO #1 seeds going to battle, and that is rare to see. On top of that, I think this will truly be a testament to see just how good Villanova is. I’d argue they haven’t really taken on a worthy opponent so far in the tournament, and Kansas is NOT about to make things easy for them. This is going to be a must-see basketball game of the entire tournament.
So I know the question everyone has for me? Who is headed to the championship game? I’m putting my money on Michigan vs. Kansas. People have Villanova as an odds on favorite, but my instinct says Kansas not only has something to prove, but might be a hungry for an upset. With the NCAA 2018 Tournament delivering more surprises than I’ve seen in years, anything and I mean anything can happen America!
Written By Kelsey Thomas