March Madness 2019 – Final Four Preview
The Elite Eight was wild. Two top seeds were taken out in shocking fashion.
The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils were sent packing their bags for a trip back to their respective homes after crushing defeats in the previous round.
No. 3 seed Purdue Boilermakers and No. 2 seed Kentucky Wildcats both lost in overtime nail biters. The Final Four should be just as action packed. Nitrogen Sports Blog discusses what you can expect from this year’s pair of Final Four matchups.
Auburn Tigers vs. Virginia Cavaliers
During the tournament, Auburn has shown that it can win games in multiple ways. The Tigers beat a talented Kentucky team even though their 3-point shooting betrayed them a bit.
Auburn also showed resilience in the Elite Eight by advancing without one of their top performers, Chuma Okeke. Head coach Bruce Pearl led an emotional Tigers team that were motivated to win for the injured star.
Perhaps Auburn’s best attribute is their ability to force turnovers. Each of their last four opponents had a hard time securing the leather in the face of the Tigers’ tight in-your-face on-ball defense.
If anyone knows that anything can happen this time of year, it’s the Cavaliers. Virginia has been on a mission ever since falling to a 16-seed last year. If Virginia can keep this game at a slow pace and smother Auburn’s shooters, the Hoos can find themselves one win away from total redemption.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Michigan State Spartans
When the Red Raiders defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Elite Eight, Texas Tech earned a trip to the Final Four for the first time in school history. The Red Raiders have played crippling defense all season. They have also shown that they can hit more than enough 3-pointers to beat anyone on any given night.
Michigan State, on the other hand, has a long track record of Final Four victories. The Spartans have the sixth most Final Four appearances in NCAA Tournament history.
Under the watch of head coach Tom Izzo, MSU has become a perennial national title contender. Early in the tournament the Spartans had to overcome their sloppy play.
After turning the ball over 22 times against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Spartans were able to right the ship. They kept the turnovers in single digits in the next rounds.
No game can be too big for this Michigan State squad. They were able to fend off a star-studded Duke team. But the Spartans need to be on point to deal with the Red Raiders’ overwhelming defense.
The 2019 NCAA Tournament Final Four is set to happen in just a few days.
The Virginia is the only No. 1 seed alive and is the favorite to win it all, but Auburn did not defeat the likes of Kentucky and the Kansas Jayhawks in the past rounds just to lay down and make things easy for the Cavaliers. The Texas Tech-Michigan State showdown is just as intriguing. As mentioned in our March Madness guide pieces, anyone can steal the NCAA Tournament title, so who will be bringing home the ultimate bragging rights to their campus?