If the Final Four coaches were to play a game of two-on-two this weekend in Glendale, it wouldn’t be great basketball. Semifinal opponents Gonzaga and South Carolina are coached by guys who did not play in college, Mark Few and Frank Martin. North Carolina’s Roy Williams played just one year on UNC’s JV squad, while Oregon coach Dana Altman played at a junior college in Nebraska and Division II Eastern New Mexico. “I didn’t have many highlights as a player,” Altman said Monday on a conference call. “I was awful. I would have sure hated to coach me, that’s for sure.”
He came off the bench in Monday’s national championship and scored a career-high 20 points to help Villanova win the title. Phil Booth, a sophomore guard, is a Rising Star to keep an eye on next season.
Thank you, basketball gods. We expected a competitive championship, but the semifinal results reminded us that nothing is guaranteed. But Villanova and North Carolina delivered perhaps the best NCAA Tournament championship game of all time. From the big plays to the unsung heroes, I’ve got a full recap of the title game at CBS Local.
While Carolina has proven it can win without shooting well from the outside, it sure would help against a very formidable Villanova opponent tonight. Joel Berry is an outside threat and a willing distributor. Keep an eye on him tonight; he’s my Rising Star.
Who would have thought that the biggest scoring margin of the NCAA Tournament would occur in the Final Four? That’s exactly what happened when Villanova beat Oklahoma by 44. It was a record-setting performance, and the Wildcats will face North Carolina in tonight’s title game. For a recap of Saturday’s games and a mini championship review, check out my latest for CBS Local.
Every March, I dream of a perfect bracket. I know that nailing every game in the NCAA Tournament is impossible; I’m talking about correctly picking 15 of the Sweet 16 teams or the entire Final Four. Most years, by the end of the Tourney’s first weekend, I’m hoping I at least get the champion right and finish with a better bracket than my brothers (neither will happen this year).
It would be almost impossible for the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament to be lame, but this year’s Tourney got off to a historically crazy start. Recap what you missed — or relive what you saw live — in my latest Five Things column for CBS Local.