By: Anthony Paoli, Staff Writer
On Saturday, Virginia and Auburn will play for a spot in Monday’s national championship game, followed by Michigan State and Texas Tech looking to grab a spot in the national championship game themselves. With Virginia being the only top seed to reach the Final Four, most of the other teams have had to take their game to the highest level by winning an upset matchup.
For Auburn, they had two huge upsets in both the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight. The most impressive of the two came in the Sweet Sixteen when they were matched up with UNC. While many experts had UNC making it to the national championship, Auburn decided they had something to say about that. The Tigers knocked off the favored Tar Heels by a score of 97-80, a game they completely dominated. As impressive as this win was, they will have to show what they are made of against another top seed in Virginia.
Texas Tech has been equally as impressive as Auburn, if not more. The Red Raiders dominated early on in the tournament, winning every single one of their matchups by 15 or more, except for their Elite Eight matchup with Gonzaga in which they squeaked out with a 75-69 win. Texas Tech will have another very tough match-up as they have to take down Michigan State in order to get to the championship game.
Michigan State has suddenly become a favorite to win the national championship now that many of the top competitors have been knocked out by so called “weaker” teams. Michigan State itself was an underdog in its Elite Eight matchup against tournament favorites, Duke. In what was surely one of the most intense games of the tournament, the Spartans finished the game on top, winning 68-67. Behind head coach Tom Izzo, Michigan State is starting to prove they should’ve been in the conversation for a national championship from the start.