'March Madness' has brought us some terrific college basketball this month, as a field of 68 schools have been now weaned down to an 'elite' eight.
The 2014 NCAA men's basketball tournament features a pair of games Saturday evening that will determine two of the 'Final Four' teams that will play one week later at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
In the South region, tournament top seed Florida continues to make the NCAA men's selection committee look good. The Gators have advanced to take on the University of Dayton, this year's tournament "Cinderella," just after 6 p.m. Eastern time Saturday on TBS.
The Flyers have simply overwhelmed their tournament opponents by virtue of their sheer numbers. Most good basketball teams consist of a starting five, with two to three key reserves coming off the bench at various points in any given contest. Dayton head coach Archie Miller has his starting five, then he comes at your team with another five plus one - eleven players have seen action on the floor during the tournament. Ten Flyers scored points in their regional semifinal win over Stanford Thursday night.
The Gators have methodically made their way through the last weeks of the season, finishing up an undefeated run in the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championship. Head coach Billy Donovan has brought Florida to its fourth consecutive 'Elite Eight' after dispatching UCLA in the other South region semifinal. Florida has a quality point guard, Scottie Wilbekin, who keeps the offense humming. And, on the inside, center Patric Young, is a strong presence.
Moving to the West region, at approximately 8:50 p.m. Eastern Saturday on TBS, top seed Arizona will play second seed Wisconsin in a regional final that must please the NCAA. The bracket worked out perfectly where the top two teams meet to decide the regional champion.
The Wildcats, under head coach Sean Miller (Archie's older brother), have been at or near the top of the college basketball rankings the last two months. Behind stellar play from Pac-12 player of the year Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon, Arizona has a chance to go to its first Final Four since falling to Duke in the 2001 NCAA national championship game.
The Badgers are battle-tested, coming out of the rugged Big Ten Conference, and defense is their calling card. Head coach Bo Ryan does have a variety of scoring options, including towering seven-foot center Frank Kaminsky and guard Ben Brust, who hit three of five three-point shots against Baylor. But Wisconsin prides itself on not allowing opponents easy looks at the basket.
Saturday night should provide some outstanding basketball as four quality teams battle for the chance to continue their quest for the 2014 NCAA tournament championship.