March 25, 2018 By: Josh Robinson
The 2018 NCAA March Madness this year has been an event full of upsets and close calls. As we enter the Final Four, teams will fight in order to earn their spot in the National Championship. There are some teams that weren’t supposed to make it this far. Now that everybody’s brackets have been busted, it’s just time for us to enjoy the rest of the tournament. Things are about to get very intense coming up this week.
Loyola Continues to Shock the World
Loyola continues to hold on for their life in this tournament. For a private college, from the windy city of Chicago, this team has built the fire and determination to make a name for themselves. They were trailing behind Nevada by 12, but they were able to bounce back with a 28-24 league at halftime. Loyola drove and attacked the basket every time they had the ball during the second half. Junior guard, Marques
Townes, closed the game with a three-pointer to narrow the game to a one point lead, 69-68.
The Nevada Wolfpack tried to answer back, but there was no time left. Townes also led the Ramblers with five assists and 18 points.
That’s not all to this Cinderella story, Loyola completely shut down Kansas state in the Elite Eight to a 78-62 victory. After one point wins, the Ramblers had a game that they could easily sweep away with.
During the first half, Loyola led a double digit lead, 36-24 at halftime. Kansas State wasn’t used to being down by that much, for they’re the ones who would dominate other teams. The Ramblers shot 57 percent from the field, going 9 for 18 from three-point range. Kansas only shot 35 percent. During the second half, the underdog team just kept their foot on the gas, leading by double digits in order to close the game away. Xavier Sneed may have led the Wildcats to victory, with 22 points against Kentucky on Thursday, but he couldn’t do anything against the Ramblers but only scored 16 points.When the game clock hit zero, Loyola made its way to the Final Four. Now, they will prepare for Michigan and will try to see if they can pull another upset.
Will Villanova Continue to Move on?
Villanova, with no doubt has a high chance of winning the whole tournament. They are the number one seed after all. But the question is can they finally end Texas Tech’s streak? Villanova had blown out all of their opponents by double digits in every round. They had completely embarrassed West Virginia in the Sweet 16, 90-78. This powerhouse team has dominated on both sides of the ball throughout this whole tournament, scoring a tournament high of 258 points in three games.They also have an outstanding starting lineup that will make an impact for this game.
But Texas Tech’s defense will put this dominating team to the test. The Raiders’ defense is ranked in the top 15 in the nation. If the Red Raiders are able to stop Villanova’s three-point offense, then they might have a good chance on upsetting the number one team in the nation. They will have to keep up with the Villanova offense in order to keep it close.
Duke vs Kansas
This should be a great match between these two teams. It could easily become anybody’s game. Duke is a young, team that’s been struggling a lot this season. They play a zone defense that has been nearly effective this whole tournament. They also performed well on offense and were able to hold on to clinch a win agains Syracuse.
Kansas is the best offense that Duke will face throughout this tournament. If the Blue Devils are able to play with confidence against Kansas’ talented offense, then they should put up a fair fight. They will also have to stop Kansas center, Udoka Azubuike.
Kansas has two talented guards, Devonte Graham and Malik Newman. They are a major key to this team. If these two have a perfect game against Duke’s defense, then they should have a good chance of winning and advancing to the Final Four. Kansas must also play defense in order to stay alive.
Will Michigan End This Cinderella Story?
Well, Michigan relies on their defense, when all else fails. They held a close score against Florida State throughout the whole game. Because of their defense, they were able to defeat them, 58-54; now they have clinched a spot in the Final Four. This is the Wolverines’ first Final Four appearance since 2013. If they continue to play good defense, then they will be able to crush Loyola’s dreams of making it to the championship. They also must be disciplined and must have a strong offense as well.
“From our Haus to yours!”