This article was last updated on March 27, 2023
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March Madness final four
The Final Four this year is unlike any other in recent memory, with an unprecedented combination of teams. For the first time since seeding began in 1979, none of the top three seeds have advanced to the NCAA men’s tournament’s final weekend.
The quartet of teams that will be competing for the championship in Houston next weekend includes three teams making their Final Four debuts. Florida Atlantic, San Diego State, and Miami have all defied expectations, with Florida Atlantic winning their first ever NCAA tournament game this March, San Diego State advancing beyond the Sweet 16 for the first time, and Miami making it to the Elite Eight for the first time last season.
Only UConn has previous experience in the Final Four, though the Huskies have not been a dominant force in recent years. Despite nearly 10% of Yahoo Tourney Pick’em players predicting UConn to advance out of the West region, the other Final Four teams were largely overlooked, with only a small percentage of fans predicting their success.
The seed combination for this year’s Final Four will be the second highest in the event’s history, with UConn (4), Miami (5), San Diego State (5), and Florida Atlantic (9) adding up to 23. The absence of top-seeded teams and big brands may result in lower TV ratings, but viewers looking for something different may appreciate the unique lineup this year.
CBS has chosen to make UConn-Miami Saturday’s second semifinal, pitting a strong Huskies team against a dangerous Miami squad that has defeated some tough opponents to make it this far.
The other semifinal will feature two teams from non-power conferences who have proven their worth and are not to be underestimated. Florida Atlantic has 35 wins, including impressive victories over Tennessee and Kansas State, while San Diego State has relied on their elite defense to secure upset victories over top-seeded Alabama and Creighton.
This year’s Final Four is a departure from the dominance of traditional powerhouses like Duke and Kentucky, with new blood making their mark on the tournament.
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