Intriguing Performances From March Madness: Elite 8 Edition

NCAA National Championship

No Room for Number 1

This has been one of the worst years to be a number 1 seed in college basketball. North Carolina and Gonzaga fell to lower seeds. Sunday afternoon one of the two remaining number ones was sent packing as Duke lost a gut-wrenching game to Michigan State.
Virginia is the lone number 1 left in the final four fields and their nowhere near invincible. If not for the late heroics from Kyle Guy and Mamadi Diakte the scene would be much different. With Guy going 5 for 9 from the beyond the arc in the second half and OT and Diakte hitting the shot to push the Cavaliers into extra minutes.
They’ll face a tough Auburn team looking to prove themselves and give their fallen teammate a championship on Saturday. Will they succumb to the field like the rest of the number 1s have?

One step closer for the Irish

Notre Dame smells a repeat brewing after their win over Stanford. The perennial challengers played a chess match the entire first half with each bucket getting the other closer to checkmate. Then Notre Dame set the ultimate trap midway through the third quarter going on a 13-6 run to give them the edge going into the 4th. Jackie Young and Arike Ogunbowale combined for 45 of Notre Dame’s 84 points solidifying the duo as the best backcourt in the final four.

Women’s Final Four Is Set

Kalani Brown’s Baylor team punched their ticket to the final four on Monday. They steamrolled the Iowa Hawkeyes 85-53. Baylor wasn’t able to stop the nation’s leading scorer, but no one has, she’s been unstoppable all year as she scored 23 points on the night. But it was the rest of her team that Baylor crushed limiting them to 32% from the field and just 3 of 10 from the three-point line.
Baylor won the rebounding battle on both ends nearly doubling Iowa’s rebounds in both categories. They’ll dance with the projected number one pick Sabrina Ionescu and Oregon this Friday. The battle of the immovable object and the unstoppable will battle soon enough.
On the other side of the bracket Notre Dame and UCONN will face off. UCONN walks into their 12th straight final four appearance. Their streak meets its adolescence as the fighting Irish look to protect their title. The duos of Young, Ogunbowale and Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier will be one of the most entertaining matchups of the tournament.

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