Five bold predictions for Final Four: Expect more Loyola madness

Five bold predictions for Final Four: Expect more Loyola madness

Five bold predictions for Final Four: Expect more Loyola madness

"That was not an exact poll, that was a very random poll, but we do do everything we can to make sure we follow the very spirit - not just the NCAA rules, the spirit of the rules of the NCAA".

"Loyola is a lot like us", Beilein said. What he didn't see, however, was the water bottles in their hands, caps removed.

Rather than concede the mistake as, say, Yankees skipper Joe Girardi did during the Major League Baseball playoffs after a blunder against Cleveland, Hamilton was alternately shocked and outraged when asked about it.

It really is that simple, I think. The last place Buffalo Sabres rode two goals by former Boston University stand-out Jack Eichel to a 3-2 victory at Air Canada Centre last night, a win that also prevented the Leafs from recording the most regular season victories in club history.

Kansas' Malik Newman (14) is fouled on his way to the basket by Duke's Wendell Carter Jr (34) during overtime of a regional final game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.

The 2016 National Champions enjoyed their fourth consecutive double-digit victory on Sunday, defeating No. 3 seed Texas Tech 71-59.

He's also been a head coach his whole career, meaning his teams reflect directly on him. You don't really try to figure out why.

- 30. The magic number for Villanova. Well, they did. When it comes to the Tourney and how far programs typically advance, playing great orange roundball late in the season is vital.

The Wolverines discovered early on that they wouldn't be able to run away from the Seminoles with the same ease they used in the Sweet Sixteen to dispatch Texas A&M, scoring 99 points on almost 62 percent shooting. And if they continue playing the way they do, they just might win their first national title since 2008. "But that's where I started watching him, and you saw the same consistency, quality of character, quality of players he recruits, class of his team on the court, off the court".

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FORESHADOWING?: If you're into good omens, note that Kansas won its last title in San Antonio by beating North Carolina and Memphis under Self a decade ago. They are the essence of small-ball.

In the end, though, any bet against the Wildcats will prove to be the wrong one.

Michigan's brand of rough and gritty basketball has been their identity and while their defense is not flawless, they have the ability to out-gun any of their opponents.

Whoever you are, there have been some remarkable feel-good moments for each of the four remaining teams - from a flying nun to a police-embraced street party - that may kick up your enthusiasm level and help you break a smile, even for the most hesitant of sports fans.

"The good thing is", Wright said, "our guys have a good understanding and respect for everybody in tournament". "We were afraid we might run out of time". The later rounds are usually when the best talent rises to the top and the nation's best team takes shape.

"That's why I give Texas Tech credit, they did a great job", Wright said. The victor will play whoever wins the matchup between Villanova and Kansas.

"We played the two best teams in the Big 12 and now we're getting THE best team in the Big 12", Wright said.

While the left side of the NCAA Tournament bracket was full of stunning upsets and unpredictable finishes, the right side played out exactly as the bracketeers imagined - with the top seeds prevailing in the East and Midwest Regions, respectively, to set up a 1 vs. 1 Final Four matchup Saturday in San Antonio.

It might be that Villanova will have to win again with defense and rebounding, fooling the experts who always insist the Wildcats rise and fall exclusively on their outside shooting. Just to be able to do that with my brothers out there is, again, a blessing.

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