The first team to book its spot in the 2019 Final Four set a fitting tone for the field. With its 75-69 win over Gonzaga, Texas Tech became one of two teams headed to Minneapolis that has never been to the Final Four.
Two legendary coaches in Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski will meet each other with a Final Four berth on the line Sunday.
The Michigan State Spartans (31-6) and the Duke Blue Devils (32-5) will face off in Washington, D.C. on Sunday to determine the winner of the East Region and which team moves on to the Final Four in Minneapolis. On Friday night, No. 2 seed Michigan State handled No. 3 LSU 80-63. Hours later, No. 1 overall seed Duke escaped with a 75-73 win over ACC rival and No. 4 Virginia Tech.
Four teams enter the nation's capital fresh off a pair of NCAA Tournament wins. They haven't all been pretty, they haven't all been blowouts. But they've been wins, and in a time appropriately dubbed as "madness," wins are simply the most important commodity to collect.
For much of last season, Kansas appeared to have one of the more underwhelming teams of the Bill Self era. The Jayhawks lost an unfathomable three games at Allen Fieldhouse and were blown out on the road by NIT teams Baylor and Oklahoma State. For just the second time in nine years, not a single KU player was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
The Big Ten has taken its lumps during football season, but all that changes on the hardwood.
Much of that is due to the coaches on the bench, a deep group of some of the nation’s best coaches that’s only getting better.
Tom Izzo, John Beilein, Bo Ryan and Thad Matta make up a solid top four of coaches who have made a combined 10 Final Fours at their current stops, and Beilein and Ryan are leading their programs to new (or rather, renewed) heights.