Shoutouts to Loyola-Chicago and Michigan, as both squads locked their Final Four berths into place on Saturday evening. Yes, that’s right, the regular season and tournament champions of the Missouri Valley Conference have joined the tournament champions out of the Big Ten in the Final Four. Welcome to 2018.
Loyola’s win over Kansas State was a bit of a no-doubter, as the Ramblers led by 12 at the half, as many as 23 with 9:40 to play, and it only dipped as low as 11 with 63 seconds left. The Wolverines had a bit of a different deal. Michigan led by as many as 10 at one point, but that was an aberration, as it was a one or two possession game for most of the second half. That game had a very weird ending, though, as FSU pulled it within two, fouled to force Michigan to shoot (and make) two free throws to make it a four point game.... and then the Seminoles didn’t foul after missing a three with 10 seconds left. So weird.
The highlight of the day for Marquette/Big East fans is, of course, Villanova trying to make it to their second Final Four in three years. The Big East is sitting on 12 NCAA tournament shares from this event following the Wildcats’ win in the Sweet 16 round, and I wouldn’t say no to another share (or two!) to spread around the league for the next five years.
All times Central.
1:20pm - #1 Villanova vs #3 Texas Tech, CBS
4:05pm - #1 Kansas vs #2 Duke, CBS