Newman leads Kansas past Duke in OT for Final Four bid

Newman leads Kansas past Duke in OT for Final Four bid

A day after Loyola-Chicago and MI pulled off victories that would catapult them into the NCAA Tournament's Final Four, Villanova and Kansas proved to be the next pair of competitors to join them.

PrimeSport does host the official NCAA Final Four ticket exchange, and single-game tickets start as low as $295.

Grandpa might tell you UCLA or IN should still be IN the mix. They defeated quality teams in Houston, Texas A&M, and Florida State on their path, and will be looking to return to the National Championship after winning it all in 2013. Villanova (1985, 2016) has won two and Kansas has won (1952, 1988, 2008) three.

Now it's time to prepare for next Saturday's first national semifinal (Loyola vs. MI ) featuring the upstart against the surging power-conference team in an undercard to the heavyweight matchup of top seeds in the nightcap.

No less significant is that Villanova has 134 victories and counting over four years. On an ascending points scale (as scored many bracket challenges), of course, all three coaches would be in position to win our pool, while my bracket would be left somewhere just out of the water.

— 30. The magic number for Villanova.

The Wildcats (34-4) will play top-seeded Kansas, which beat No. 2 seed Duke 85-81 in overtime in the Midwest final.

The team of Bickley & Marotta will be the losers of this year's competition.

Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson among semifinalists at WGC-Dell Match Play
When he arrived Monday, he wasn't sure whether he would be able to play, though it got progressively better, and so did his game. Regardless, we have quite a group of semifinalists ready to go Sunday morning and hoping for an afternoon date in the final.

If this is the Final Four you were expecting - you're in the minority. Loyola is the fifth double digit seed to reach the national semis.

There's another number worth noting: $60 million. The Jays open their season at home on March 29.

In the later game of the day, the Villanova Wildcats may be surprising favorites against fellow No. 1 seed Kansas.

"We played a really tough basketball team that had us scouted extremely well, took away our threes, really tested our ability to play tough and ugly", Wright said. "We knew the identity of their team was the toughness and physicality, and that proved to be true".

Jalen Brunson, named Tuesday to the AP All-America team, Phil Booth, Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo carried the Wildcats in stretches in tournament wins over Radford, Alabama, West Virginia and Texas Tech.

Loyoloa-Chicago will matchup with the Michigan Wolverines from the Big 10. It's the fourth time in the past six years that a conference had two teams in the national semifinals. "Every time you get to do it is special, every time you're on that court with those group of guys, it's special". Obviously, with third-seeded MI, a team that was also ranked seventh in the final AP and Coaches poll, it wasn't a huge surprise to see them reach the Final Four. "It was what can I do for the team?". Numerous current Villanova players got a taste of the Final Four two years ago, and junior Jalen Brunson understands the need to block out distractions with a chance at another national title at stake.

The Villanova Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks aren't really a surprise - they were both top seeds heading into the tournament. "Our guys wouldn't think that way". He averaged just 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 40 percent over the final 18 regular-season games, prompting coach Bill Self to frequently push him for more. The Wildcats lost in the first weekend as a 1 or 2 in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017.