HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN
Few if any bettors accurately predicted that Gonzaga, Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky would all fall over the weekend, but it happened and March Madness just got a litter Madder. Two teams out of the Final Four will be making their first appearance in the coveted quartet showdown. Auburn and Texas Tech fought their way in when Las Vegas odds makers counted them out at every turn.
After squeaking by New Mexico State by one point in the first round of the Big Dance, the Auburn Tigers took on and beat a number 4 seeded Kansas team by 14 points, then they beat number one seeded North Carolina by 17 points in what surely was one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
Auburn finished its bid besting SEC rival and number two seeded Kentucky in a thrilling over time victory which the Tigers scored 77 points to the Wildcats 71 to move on to the Final Four in Minneapolis on Saturday April the sixth where they will face number one seeded, and tournament favorite, Virginia.
The Virginia Cavaliers are the only number one seeded team left in the NCAA tournament for 2019 and will take on the upstart Auburn Tigers as 5.5 point favorites.
The Cougars from Texas Tech University battled their way to the Final Four by defeating first Northern Kentucky and then Buffalo by wide margins to no one’s surprise. But then, to everyone’s surprise, the Cougars took down second seeded Michigan, holding the Wolverines to just 44 points and establishing themselves as one of the top defensive units in the tourney.
Even with that, Texas Tech went into their games with mighty Gonzaga on Saturday evening as 4 point underdogs. The Cougars outscored the ’Zags 40-32 in the second half and walked away with the biggest upset of the tournament 75-69, and their first ever trip to the Final Four.
Texas Tech opened the NCAA Tournament as a 40 to 1 long shot, but, after 4 stunning victories, the Cougars will enter the Final Four weekend at only 4 to 1 and be facing an inspired Michigan State team now listed at 7 to 4 odds to win the tournament for 2019.
The Spartans of Michigan State under Head Coach Tom Izzo breezed through Bradley, Minnesota and a beleaguered LSU squad before their epic battle with the number one seeded Duke Blue Devils, which they entered at 2.5 point dogs.
In what many consider their best game of the year, Michigan State defeated Coach K’s Blue Devils by a single point 68-67 knocking them out of the competition for 2019. The Spartans will now face the swarming defense of Texas Tech as only 3 point favorites in the late game on Saturday.
What we ended up with is an unexpected, but still very interesting Final Four for 2019. Enjoy!