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Waiting Is the Hardest Part: Should Final Four Be Moved Up?

The NCAA Tournament delivers nonstop action from Thursday to Sunday in the first two weeks of play. The first weekend is pure pandemonium with upsets occurring left and right, spoiling our March Madness picks. Then comes the second weekend. The level of play improves, upsets turn into Cinderella runs and we discover which teams could truly win it all.

This could be the best postseason in all of sports. Nothing compares to the first two weeks of play in the NCAA Tournament. However, following the Elite Eight matchups, we are brought to a harsh reality – basketball stops. We wait almost an entire week for the Final Four, which always takes place on Saturday. Should the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four and national championship game be moved?

Jordan Hawkins #24 of the Connecticut Huskies
Jordan Hawkins #24 of the Connecticut Huskies | Sean m. Haffey/getty images/afp

Improbable Final Four Increases Anticipation

This is a historical Final Four. Three teams – Florida Atlantic, San Diego State and Miami – are first-timers at this stage. The last time this happened was in 1970. The combined seeds in the Final Four is 23, which is the second-highest mark since the 64-team field began in 1985. This is also the first Final Four with two mid-major teams since VCU and Butler made it in 2011.

There’s also a great chance for a first-time national champion. UConn, the only team with a title, is listed in the sportsbook as the favorite (-130). NCAA basketball odds have San Diego State as the second choice (+375) with Miami (+450) and Florida Atlantic (+600) close behind.

How can we not be excited for this Final Four? This tournament always delivers improbable results. It spoils our March Madness predictions, but that’s what makes it so fun.

Waiting almost a week for the Final Four last year was difficult, too. It had four powerhouses with Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Villanova. Plus, Duke and North Carolina renewed college basketball’s top rivalry in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season.

Every NCAA Tournament has some kind of intriguing storyline for the final weekend of play. Here’s where our proposal comes in. The Final Four should be moved to Thursday while the national championship lands on Saturday.

Why Break the Formula?

The weeklong wait for the Final Four can be frustrating. However, this proposal goes beyond college basketball fans, including myself, being impatient. The NCAA Tournament schedule is simply confusing.

The first four rounds of the tournament take place from Thursday to Sunday. The First Four games are the only exception, which are played on Tuesday and Wednesday. Why is this formula altered for the final week?

The Final Four taking place on Saturday makes sense, but the national championship is on Monday night. This will always be one of my biggest gripes about college sports. College football has no choice as it has to avoid the NFL. However, what is college basketball competing with at this time of year?

Moving the national championship to the weekend could be miles better. More fans would likely participate in online gambling if the final was on the weekend since the viewership will surely be higher.

Moving the Final Four could fix our weeklong craving for more March Madness. Plus, we could finally avoid the dreaded Monday national championship game and its starting time of 9:20 p.m. ET. Fans having patience would solve this problem. However, that’s easier said than done after watching two electric weeks of hoops.

What do you think about the NCAA Tournament’s final weekend? Should the Final Four and national championship game be moved?

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