Road to the Final Four


A bracket from the 2016 NCAA tournament.

Michael Holst, Staff Writer

This has been a tough year for people who filled out NCAA tournament brackets. Exactly zero perfect brackets were left in CBS’s online bracket challenge after just the first round. The first round was full of many surprising upsets.

Just in the first round, the following lower seeds beat their higher seeded opponents:

  • Nine-seeded UConn beat eight-seeded Colorado
  • 13-seeded Hawaii beat four-seeded California
  • 11-seeded Wichita St. beat six-seeded Arizona
  • 12-seeded Yale beat five-seeded Baylor
  • 10-seeded VCU beat seven-seeded Oregon St.
  • Nine-seeded Providence beat eight-seeded USC
  • 14-seeded SF Austin beat three-seeded W. Virginia
  • Nine-seeded Butler beat eight-seeded Texas Tech
  • 12-seeded Little Rock beat five-seeded Purdue
  • 11-seeded Gonzaga beat six-seeded Seton Hall
  • 10-seeded Syracuse beat seven-seeded Dayton
  • 15-seeded Middle Tenn. Beat two-seeded Michigan St. (Just the eighth 15 seed to beat a two seed in tournament history)

However, interestingly enough, all four number one seeds (Kansas, N. Carolina, Virginia, and Oregon) made it to the Elite Eight and two of the number two seeds (Villanova and Oklahoma) also did. Notre Dame and Syracuse were the other two teams in the Elite Eight.

Villanova reached the Final Four after beating Kansas in the Elite Eight. Kansas fans will remember this game, and while, the final foul call on Graham was questionable, Villanova played the better game and deserved to win.

Oklahoma reached the Final Four in large part to their star player, Buddy Hield who has averaged 29.3 points per game in the tournament and is a candidate for player of the year. He was a highly recruited player and eventually chose Oklahoma over other interested colleges including Kansas.

North Carolina was a team that many people thought had lots of talent, but got off to a slow start. They seemed to have pieced it together as they won the ACC tournament and are now in the Final Four.

Syracuse is by far the most surprising team in the Final Four. Not only has a 10 seed never won the tournament, but many people were surprised that they were even in the tournament at all because their record of 19-13 was not impressive.

And now the Final Four is set to play this Saturday, April 2. Villanova will play Oklahoma and North Carolina will play Syracuse for a chance to play in the championship on April 4.