Former big band leader Lawrence Welk could have summed up the match-ups in this years NCAA Final Four. Its a one and a two, and a one and a two.
On the left side of the brackets, its a rematch of last seasons championship game. The No. 1 seed from the Southern division and the defending champion, Florida Gators will once again come face-to-face with the No. 2 seed from the Western division, the UCLA Bruins.
On the right side of the bracket, the No. 1 seed from the Midwest division, the Ohio State Buckeyes will represent the Big 10 conference as they meet up with the second seed from the Eastern division, the Georgetown Hoyas. Both Ohio State and Georgetown had close calls as they advanced to the Final Four.
The Buckeyes narrowly escaped with a 1-point win over the Tennessee Volunteers in their third-round game, 85-84. Last Sunday, March 25, the Hoyas were down by 10 points with 7 minutes left in their game against North Carolina. The Hoyas tied the score at 81 at the end of regulation. In the 5-minute overtime period, they outscored the Tar Heels 15-3 to make it look more lopsided than it really was.
The Gators, who are trying to prove they can be crowned kings of the court for the second year in a row, knocked out former Rockford native Ernie Kents Oregon Ducks 85-77 on their way to this seasons Final Four. The Bruins defeated the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks 68-55 in the West Regional Championship.
This year, the official end of March Madness spills over into the month of April. The championship game will be played Monday, April 2, inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The game will be televised locally on CBS.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
from the March 28-April 3, 2007, issue