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March Madness 2024 One for the History Books

As March reaches its end and we get into April, there is still plenty of March Madness excitement remaining.

There will be one final weekend of games where both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament champion will be crowned by Monday night.

March Madness 2024 One for the History Books
Wilson basketball with the March Madness logo | Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Both the men’s and women’s brackets have some of their usual suspects in the Final Four. With undefeated South Carolina team looking like its coming for the crown on the women’s side and UConn bulldozing opponents on the way to the men’s Final Four, there’s plenty of history in both brackets to make for an exciting final weekend.

The aforementioned undefeated Gamecocks (36-0) are just part of the history. According to NCAAB news, should they win the whole thing, the Gamecocks would become the 10th team to finish as unbeaten national champions.

South Carolina was well on its way to winning it all last season following an undefeated run in the regular season before losing to Iowa in the Final Four. Now, after head coach Dawn Staley completely reloaded her starting five, she has brought the team back to the Final Four on the heels of another 32-0 regular-season record.

This time, though, the Gamecocks won’t run into Iowa until the championship, should both schools make it. Instead, South Carolina is going up against No. 3 seed North Carolina State, which reached its second Final Four in school history and first in 26 years.

Though that in and of itself is of significance, the Wolfpack, together with UConn, have done something never done before in the tournament – putting both the men’s and women’s teams of two schools in the Final Four.

The No. 3-seeded Huskies downed No. 1 USC and freshman phenom JuJu Watkins to do so on the women’s side, while UConn’s men have forged a simpler path on their way to the Final Four. The overall No. 1 seed, the UConn men have won every tournament game by double digits to reach the Final Four.

The No. 3 Wolfpack, meanwhile, also won three of their four games by at least 10 points, including both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in Texas and Stanford in the women’s bracket.

Meanwhile, in the men’s bracket, NC State is making an underdog run as an 11 seed, beating No. 4 seed Duke to reach the national semifinals against Purdue.

Though this is the first time two schools have sent both of their teams to the Final Four, it is not the first time UConn has accomplished this feat. The Huskies have sent both their men’s and women’s teams to the Final Four four times previously and this season marks a record record fifth time.

UConn will also be hoping to accomplish something few teams have done before on the men’s side: win consecutive national championships. After winning the 2023 NCAA Tournament, college basketball odds have the Huskies favored to win it again this season. UConn would be the eighth team to accomplish the task and the first since Florida in 2006-07.

However, the Huskies may have a little more competition as teams have gotten whittled down, as fellow No. 1 seed Purdue has been on a mission in the madness as well. Following one of the biggest upsets in tournament history a season ago, when the Boilermakers fell to 16th-seed Fairleigh Dickinson, they have reached the Final Four for the first time since 1980 and third time ever.

NCAA basketball odds gave the Boilermakers the second-best chances of winning it all, but they’ll first have to take down the Wolfpack to get there.

With so much excitement and history already being made and still more to come, one can’t forget to mention the records Iowa and LSU set for the women’s game as well before we’re done here.

With all eyes on the national championship rematch between LSU and Iowa, not to mention an all-time scorer in Caitlin Clark and a top competitor in Angel Reese as well, their Elite 8 game pulled in a record 12.3 million viewers.

Now, Clark and another top talent in Paige Bueckers will go head-to-head in the Final Four in what should draw even more eyes between a pair of sharpshooters.

There’s still plenty of games to be played, in both brackets, so don’t forget to head to the sportsbook to make some last-minute bets before the Final Four kicks off this weekend.

 

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