The second weekend took out some of the top teams in the field, including three No. 1 seeds (North Carolina, Duke and Gonzaga), second-seeded Kentucky and Tennessee as well as No. 3 Purdue which fell in overtime.
No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 5 Auburn are in the Final Four for the first time in school history. No. 1 Virginia survived again and made history as the Cavaliers have not made it this far since 1984, and has never won a championship. The Red Raiders and Tigers are vying to become the first team to win a national title in its initial Final Four appearance since Connecticut did so more than 20 years ago.
Let’s now take a closer look at the matchups Saturday, with the Final Four field now set.
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 5 Auburn
When: Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET
Virginia: Despite giving up 75 points to Purdue in overtime in the Elite Eight, the Cavaliers are still one of the best defensive teams in the country, giving up an average of just 55.4 points per game this season — the lowest in the country. Opponents have struggled to shoot 3-pointers against Virginia, knocking down only 28.7 percent of its looks. That will be a key going up against Auburn team that loves to play fast-paced and shoot the ball from beyond the arc. On the offensive end, Virginia has a number of different weapons to score the ball with three different players leading the team in scoring this postseason. Virginia has struggled to shoot from beyond the arc though in the tournament at just 29.9 percent, but still has found ways to win games.
Auburn: Next man up. After seeing star player Chuma Okeke go down with a season-endign injury last week, the Tigers responded by dedicating the game to him in an overtime win over Kentucky on Sunday. The Tigers showed in the Elite Eight that it does not have to shoot lights out from 3-point range to win games either after shooting the lights out coming into Sunday’s game. Auburn is ranked second in the country in turnover margin. In the win over the Wildcats, Jared Harper and Bryce Brown combined for 50 points and look to have another big outing this week against Virginia.
No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Texas Tech
When: Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET
Michigan State: They beat Duke what more can you say! The Spartans rallied late to take down Duke, 68-67, in the East Regional final on Sunday to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2015. After turning the ball over 22 times in a win over Minnesota in the second round, Michigan State has recorded only seven turnovers in back-to-back games. Sparty is one of the best passing teams in America, averaging over 18 assists per game and has not lost a game this season when it has single-digit turnovers.
Texas Tech: For the first time in school history, the Red Raiders in the Final Four. Thanks to being one of the top defensive teams in teh country, Texas Tech was able to take down then-No.1 Gonzaga on Saturday. In the Sweet 16, the Red Raiders even held Michigan to just 44 points thanks to its smoothering defense. There is no doubt that Jarrett Culver is the team’s all-around best player and has shown everyone why he is expected to be a lottery pick in June. Culver currently leads the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals. The Red Raiders have also received solid production from transfers Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens. Davide Moretti is also one of the best shooters in the nation, shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc this season.