The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

Previewing the 2022-23 Final Four

Jordan Davis

March Madness has surely lived up to its name this year, and with that only four teams remain looking to be crowned national champions.

Houston is hosting the finale of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this year, but the Final Four looks a lot different than it has in years past. This year will mark the first time in NCAA history that no team seeded higher than No. 4 will make a Final Four appearance.

This year we will see No. 5 seed San Diego State University from the South Region face off against No. 9 Seeded Florida Atlantic University from the East Region. In the other matchup, it will be No. 5 seed Miami University from the midwest trying to knock off No. 4 Seed the University of Connecticut from the West Region.

The UConn Huskies clinched a spot in the Final Four after their 28-point blowout win over Gonzaga. Their opponent, the Miami Hurricanes, secured their place after coming back from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat the Texas Longhorns in a thriller. Likewise, the Aztecs of San Diego State clinched their Final Four berth after a one-point victory over Creighton, while Florida Atlantic pulled away late against Kansas State to punch their ticket to Houston.

For a tournament that’s known for its upsets and unlikely heroes, almost no one could predict these would be the Final Four teams left standing.

Florida Atlantic comes into the Final Four with a school record 35 wins on the season. The Owls are led by Sophomore guard and Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year Johnell Davis, who scored 29 points, 12 Rebounds, five assists, and five steals in their Sweet 16 victory. The Owls look to carry this momentum to the national championship game.

Senior guard Matt Bradley leads the San Diego State Aztecs into their first-ever Final Four appearance after posting season averages of 12.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game on 40% shooting from the field. After an underwhelming Elite 8 performance, Bradley looks to bounce back against the owls.

Both teams were looked at as underdogs coming into the tournament despite their impressive records this season.

This will be the first-ever Final Four appearance for three out of the four remaining teams. Nevertheless, each team believes that they have rightfully earned the chance to be called national champions.

The only team with prior championship game experience will be the Connecticut Huskies who have won four national championships with their last coming in 2014. The Huskies came into the 2022-23 season unranked but after starting the year with an impressive 14-0 record, they would jump to as high as No. 2 in the AP Poll.

Throughout the tournament, the Huskies have been led by their dynamic duo of Junior forward Adam Sanogo and Sophomore Guard Jordan Hawkins. The pair have averaged a combined 37.2 PPG during their tournament run.

For the ACC regular season champion Miami Hurricanes, they have already avenged last season’s heartbreaking Elite 8 loss — yet the Hurricanes remained focused for more. Long time coach Jim Larrañaga led George Mason University to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed 17 years ago before coming up short. This time around Larrañaga looks to take yet another underdog to the mountaintop and leave as champions.

Miami likes to get out in transition and use their speed to get easy looks where they average 13.28 ppg off on the break this season. Coupled with knockdown three-point shooter Nigel Pack and ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong, the Hurricanes look to bring a national championship to south Florida.

The Final Four tips off Saturday, April 1st with San Diego State taking on Florida Atlantic at 6:09 p.m. ET on CBS. UConn will tip off their highly anticipated matchup with Miami at 8:49 p.m. ET on CBS.

The winners of each game will then go on to compete in the National Championship game on Monday, April 3rd.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The A&T Register Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *