Just like that, the 2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament has gone rom 68 t0 eight remaining teams. After two weeks fueled with numerous upsets, heartbreaking losses and sister jean, the madness has shrunk. Oregon State, Houston, Baylor, Arkansas, USC, Gonzaga, UCLA and Michigan are all that’s left of college basketball. Before the competition, let’s take a look at three of the final programs.
Gonzaga has been on many basketball fans radar since early in the year. With that, Gonzaga is the only undefeated team left. In order to be crowned champion, they will have go 3-0 from here on out.
If Gonzaga is able to do it, they will join elite company. The last time a Division 1-A team went lossless was in 1976 when Indiana ended with a 32-0 record. Nearly 45 years later, the Bulldogs have the potential to do just that. However, Gonzaga is not the first team to enter the madness with no losses. Four other teams have done so since 1976 with the most recent being the 2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats.
The No. 1 seeded Bulldogs will face No. 6 seeded USC tomorrow at 7:15. After defeating Creighton on Sunday, Gonzaga is fired up for the next challenge.
Michigan defeated Florida State on Sunday 76-58 t clinch a spot in the elite eight. This is their fourth trip to elite eight since 2013. After a dominant win over the Seminoles, the Wolverines may have a tougher challenge against UCLA. Head coach Juwan Howard continues to prove himself as one of the top coaches in college basketball. Some were skeptical of his ability when he was announced as the program’s leader in 2019. Those fears have been obliterated. With just three games to go, Howard has one simple word to follow–trust.
While some may not considered USC an underdog in college basketball, it is important to note that with a win on Sunday, the Trojans snapped a 20-year Elite Eight drought. Who will they face? None other than the undefeated Gonzaga. In their game Sunday, USC’s defense was present on the court against Oregon, but the threes weren’t sinking. USC’s troubles on the offensive side posed a window of opportunity for Oregon to win. Nonetheless, the Trojans emerged the winner. However, the struggles with shooting could be their demise when taking on the perfect Gonzaga.
The Madness continues tonight with the first game between No. 12 seeded Oregon State takes on No. 2 seeded Houston at 7:15 p.m.