March Madness

Eight Storylines We're Looking Forward to in the Men's and Women's Final Fours

Four teams are left standing in the men's and women's brackets

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It’s the final countdown. 

Four men’s teams are headed to Houston while four women’s teams are headed to Dallas to battle it out for a chance to compete in the national championship games.

Whether it’s iconic performances by players or breaking program droughts to reach the Final Four, there are numerous storylines to look out for to close out March Madness.

So, here we take a look at some of the biggest moments leading up to the Final Four showdowns:

Caitlin Clark leads Iowa to end 30-year Final Four drought

Iowa (30-6) and team guard Caitlin Clark are in the Final Four for the first time since 1993. In a monumental performance, the junior recorded 41 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to lift the Hawkeyes over No. 5 Louisville 97-83. The triple-double was Clark's 11th in her collegiate career and the 19th in NCAA Tournament History.

No. 2 Iowa faces No. 1 South Carolina for a spot in the championship game on Friday, March 31, at 9 p.m. ET.

Kim Mulkey extends greatness to LSU

LSU (32-2) is in the Final Four for the first time in 15 years after beating No. 9 Miami (Fl.) 54-42. The Tigers achieved the feat under head coach Kim Mulkey who won three NCAA titles at Baylor before heading to LSU in 2021. 

No. 3 LSU will face No. 1 Virginia Tech on Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m. ET.

South Carolina seeks undefeated season history

South Carolina (36-0) is two games away from holding the 10th undefeated season in the history of the women's game after defeating No. 2 Maryland 86-75 on Monday. The Gamecocks, who won the 2022 NCAA Tournament, are also in its third straight Final Four with the win. 

No. 1 South Carolina is set to face No. 2 Iowa in the Final Four on Friday, March 31, at 9 p.m. ET.

Virginia Tech books first Final Four appearance

Virginia Tech (31-4) hit the record books, claiming its first Final Four appearance in school history with a win over No. 3 Ohio State 84-74. The Hokies now mark the seventh team in the past 10 NCAA Tournaments to reach the Final Four for the first time.

No. 1 Virginia Tech, who have not dropped a game in more than two months, will face No. 3 LSU for a spot in the championship game on Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m. ET.

As for the men’s NCAA Tournament …

The Final Four newcomers

Welcome to the Final Four stage, Florida Atlantic, San Diego State and Miami!

The three programs will be making their first appearances in the Final Four, marking the first time three first-timers emerged in the same year since 1970.

As a result, No. 4 UConn has become an overwhelming favorite to be crowned champions.

It might be the most surprising Final Four teams in men's NCAA Tournament history. Here are the teams headed to the Final Four in Houston and how they got there.

Goodbye No. 1 seeds

Since seeding began in the NCAA Tournament in 1979, this is the first year that a top-3 seed has missed out on the Final Four. 

With No. 9 Florida Atlantic, No. 5 San Diego State, No. 5 Miami and No. 4 UConn left in the tournament, the combined seed total of all four teams is 23, the second-highest total in tournament history.

Jordan Miller leads Miami to first Final Four

Miami forward Jordan Miller was unstoppable in the Hurricane's 88-81 win over No. 2 Texas in the Elite Eight on Sunday. The fifth-year senior, who transferred from George Mason two seasons ago, shot 7-for-7 from the field and went 13-for-13 from the foul line. 

Ironically, exactly 17 years ago today, then-George Mason coach Jim Larrañaga led the Patriots to the Final Four. Larrañaga, of course, went on to coach the Hurricanes and has been with the team since 2011. 

Busted brackets

There were more than 20 million brackets submitted before March Madness and yet only 37 brackets forecasted the Final Four to reflect No. 9 Florida Atlantic, No. 5 San Diego State, No. 5 Miami and No. 4 UConn.

Overall, all perfect brackets were busted when No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson upset No. 1 Purdue in the first round to become the second No. 16 seed to take down the men’s tournament’s top seed.

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