Final Four
Workers install the 2024 NCAA Men's Final Four Official Court at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on March 29, 2024.

Men’s NCAA Tournament Final Four Set

The Men’s NCAA Final Four is set.

While UConn makes its return to to the big stage, the Final Four is uncharted territory for others. Alabama will play in the national semifinal for the first time in program history, while Purdue returns to the Final Four for the first time since 1980. North Carolina State continued its Cinderella run, advancing to the semifinal for the first time since 1983.

Saturday’s Slate

No. 1 Purdue and No. 11 NC State will be Saturday’s first contest with tip-off set at 6:09 p.m. Then, No. 1 UConn and No. 4 Alabama will tip-off at 8:49 p.m. for the final spot in the 2024 National Championship.

No. 1 Purdue vs. No 11 NC State

Purdue’s Zach Edey finished with 40 points and 16 rebounds in his team’s Elite Eight win over the Tennessee Volunteers, Sunday. The Midwest Region champs clinched a semifinal berth against the Volunteers despite 37 points from Dalton Knecht.

After an ACC Tournament Championship run, NC State has pulled off upset wins in three of its four games. As an 11-seed, the Wolfpack beat No. 2 Marquette in the Sweet 16 before upsetting in-state rival and 4-seed Duke in the Elite Eight. DJ Burns Jr. totaled 29 points and waved goodbye to Duke fans in the win over the Blue Devils as the Wolfpack secured their first Final Four appearance since 1983.

Burns Jr. had a message for NC State’s doubters.

No. 1 UConn vs. No. 4 Alabama

UConn will be attempting to win back-to-back national championships, which was last done by the 2006 and 2007 Florida Gators. On the flip side, Alabama is making its first final four appearance in program history.

In the Elite Eight, the Huskies topped Illinois in beat-down fashion 77-52. UConn went on an unprecedented 30-0 run in the game against the Fighting Illini, leaving Illinois no chance at a comeback.

UConn head coach Dan Hurley said he believes his team is defying all odds this season.

 

As the second-lowest seed remaining, the Crimson Tide earned a Final Four spot after upsetting No. 1 North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Then, they went on to down Clemson 89-82. Alabama is rolling, but it’ll face their toughest opponent of the season in UConn Saturday.

Alabama head coach Nate Oats credited his team’s lack of selfishness as a key factor to its success.

About Izzy McGarvey

Izzy McGarvey is a second-year journalism major at the University of Florida. She is specializing in sports and media.

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