And just like that, the 68-team NCAA tournament has narrowed down to the Final Four. The final weekend of March Madness has arrived, and because of this, I will be ranking the remaining teams standing.
4. North Carolina
As if it was stolen right off a movie script, North Carolina is facing off against Duke for the first time in tournament history, and it comes in the Final Four. The Tarheels have a chance to spoil the career of their most hated rival after the team already defeated Coach K in his last home game.
Despite defeating some of college basketball’s best teams on their path to the semifinals, North Carolina was not always considered a title threat this season, hence their eight-seed designation. The team had many humbling losses throughout the year, including a double-digit defeat against Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament and a thirty-point loss to Miami back in January.
The team has gotten it together when it has mattered most, leaning on the play of Caleb Love, Armando Bacot, and Brady Manek. It will be challenging for UNC to defeat the Blue Devils once again, but anything is possible in March, especially in that rivalry.
Back to their third Final Four this decade, Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats have played borderline mistake-free basketball up to this point. While the team does not feature any top recruits or NBA prospects, they have found ways to beat every team in their path.
Their tournament run is filled with convincing victories, with its most impressive coming in the elite eight. Their opponent, the Houston Cougars, were incredibly hot coming into the game, winning the AAC, and taking down one seed Arizona. Villanova still managed to lead the game wire to wire, finishing with a 50-44 win. Star player Collin Gillespie was held to only six points, but the supporting cast managed to pick up the slack.
Jay Wright continues to show why he is arguably the best coach in the country, and with him, nobody can count this team out.
The Kansas Jayhawks humbled me this weekend. After the original first two tournament rounds were completed, I wrote an article listing my rankings of the one seeds remaining in March Madness. I ranked Kansas last behind Gonzaga and Arizona, claiming the Big 12 champs were the only one of the three on upset alert in the sweet sixteen or elite eight. Boy was I wrong.
After holding off a late Providence comeback, Kansas blew the breaks off the Miami Hurricanes, 70-56. Remy Martin and Ochai Agbaji led a 47-15 second half throttling to get the team to their 17th Final four appearance.
This team is more than capable of winning the NCAA tournament. However, there is one other historic program I have ahead.
At a certain point, one must root for this Duke Blue Devil team. The players on this roster have elevated their games in this high-pressure tournament, knowing they are playing for their legend of a coach.
The draft stock of Paolo Banchero is rising due to his spectacular tournament play, but he is far from the only contributor on this team. Fellow freshman A.J. Griffin asserted himself into top ten consideration in the 2022 NBA draft as he continues to be a fantastic scorer on all levels.
Along with the two-star first-year players, teammates such as Jeremy Roach, Mark Williams, and Wendell Moore have all had their moments during this Final Four run as well.
Their biggest test came against Texas Tech, which would end in a victory thanks to Jeremy Roach’s late-game heroics. Duke would go on to beat Arkansas 78-69 in a game that never felt too competitive.
The Blue Devils have the most to play for and the most talent on their roster, all of which are playing at a high level. I am all in on the storybook ending for Mike Krzyzewski.
Join our Discord to leave a question or comment regarding this article. We have sports fans talking betting all day — every day! JOIN THE DISCORD NOW AND QUALIFY FOR PRIZES & BETTING SWAG!