Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two thrillers, two thumpings set up an intriguing eight

We're left with college basketball's three winningest programs, three schools that have won a title or two, last year's loveable underdog and the new Cinderella. That means Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas. That means Connecticut, Florida and Arizona. That's Butler and VCU.

The coaches involved – John Calipari, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Jim Calhoun, Billy Donovan, Sean Miller, Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart – have a combined 17 Final Fours and seven titles. All but Smart have been this far before.

That's something for everyone.

The potential is there to top the 2005 weekend that had three overtime games and another decided by six points.

Consider the matchups:

Kentucky – coming off perhaps the game of the tournament in beating top overall seed Ohio State on a last-second shot – faces North Carolina. The Heels are the 2-seed, yet played like a 1 in an 81-63 thrashing of Marquette. The two have combined for 12 NCAA tournament titles and 31 Final Fours. It'll be a rematch of the Heels' 75-73 win earlier this season at Chapel Hill and matches UK's Calipari vs. UNC's Williams.

Yeah, that's the must-see event on Sunday night.


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