Finally, after weeks of whittling down the field, we have the final 4. Loyola-Chicago, Michigan, Kansas, and Villanova make up the field in San Antonio. However, let’s take a look back at the games that took place this weekend, the elite 8.
Loyola-Chicago vs. Kansas State
This squad from Loyola Chicago is real. The Ramblers have captured the hearts of America and aren’t done yet. They were a popular cinderella team coming into the tournament, but nobody predicted this. The Ramblers get it done in so many ways, with a balanced offensive attack. A different player has led the team in scoring in each game of the tourney, truly showing their versatility. This may be a double edged sword however, if a game gets out of hand or comes down to the wire, do the Ramblers have a go-to guy down the stretch?
Michigan vs. Florida State
An incredibly sloppy game from start to finish, Michigan played perhaps its worst game since the regular season, yet somehow edged the Noles. The Wolverines were certainly bothered by the length and size of Florida State in the middle, and overcame a non-showing from Moritz Wagner. Championship teams find a way to win games even when they don’t necessarily deserve it, and the Wolverines did just that. They cannot always rely on that happening however, and they will need to play their best game to advance to the national championship.
Texas Tech vs. Villanova
Another game where both teams struggled offensively, Villanova hit just enough shots to get rid of Texas Tech. The Wildcats dominated on the boards, giving themselves countless second chance opportunities, and that was the difference in the game. Jalen Brunson did a nice job on Keenan Evans and will have another task in front of him in the form of Devonte’ Graham. If the Wildcats can grab offensive rebounds like they did today, they may be in line for the second national title under Jay Wright.
Duke vs. Kansas
Undoubtedly the best game of the weekend, a thriller that went to OT. Malik Newman completely took over the game and was the difference for the Jayhawks. If Kansas shoots the 3 the way they did in the second half, they will be an incredibly tough out. For Duke, many marvelous college careers come to an end, including Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen. Villanova will have to throw different defenders at Udoka Azubuike and force him into foul trouble to make the Jayhawks one dimensional. If Kansas plays the inside out game how it wants to, this one could be over quickly.