Despite having an entire season’s worth of information on which to evaluate the teams in this year’s NCAA tournament field, we here at the Worldwide Leader felt it necessary to re-rank these teams based on one, two, and three individual data points. Now that we have a fourth result, we feel we have an even better handle on who the top remaining teams in each region are. Here’s a look at the field as it stands entering the Final Four:
East Region - Michigan State (Original seed: 2; reseed: 1)
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Spartans punched their ticket to the Final Four with a thrilling 68-67 win over #1 overall seed Duke in the Elite Eight. The win erased any doubt that Tom Izzo’s squad is the best team remaining in the East Region.
South Region - Virginia (Original seed: 1; reseed: 1)
Little known fact about Tony Bennett’s squad: they lost to a 16 seed in the first round last year. That seems like a lifetime ago now that the Hoos have punched their ticket to the Final Four with a crazy 80-75 overtime win against Purdue. UVA had its doubters, but I can’t think of any team left in the South Region that deserves the top seed more than the Cavaliers.
Midwest Region - Auburn (Original seed: 5; reseed: 1)
All Bruce Pearl does is win. His Tigers squad punched their ticket to the Final Four with a bonkers 77-71 overtime win against John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats. Who thinks North Carolina is the best remaining team in the Midwest Region now?
West Region - Texas Tech (Original seed: 3; reseed: 1)
Just when you finally believe in Gonzaga as the West Region’s top team, it turns out they’re eliminated. Chris Beard’s scrappy Texas Tech squad downed the Zags and punched their ticket to their first ever Final Four. Hopefully Beard did not punch a whiteboard, however!