Upsets have been in plentiful supply this March, as the cinderellas have ruled supreme in this year’s premier College Basketball tournament. Not a single 1-seed made it to the Elite Eight for the first time in March Madness’ 83-year history, which has set the stage for four unlikely times battling out for the right to be crowned National Champion. Below I’ve highlighted each of the Final Four teams’ unlikely runs leading up to the tournament’s semi-finals.
University of Connecticut
The Huskies began their season as one of the hottest teams in college basketball, but very few could have predicted their impressive tournament run because of their decline in form during the second half of the season. The University of Connecticut finished their season with a decent 29-8 record and earned a 4-seed after their tight 2-point loss to Marquette in the Big East tournament.
Despite their relatively low ranking due to their record, Connecticut finished the season with the third-highest BPI ranking in the nation. The Huskies have shown their dominance, as they’ve won each of four tournament games by over 20 points, which definitely leaves them as the clear favorite among the final four teams.
University of Miami (FL)
Another team that finished their regular season with a respectable campaign was the Miami Hurricanes, who compiled an ACC-best 29-7 record, earning them a 5-seed. The Hurricanes also fell short in the conference tournament, as they fell to Duke in the ACC championship by eight points.
University of Miami have shown their dominance on the boards and their impressive athleticism at the guard position, as starting point guard Isaiah Wong has led his team to an unlikely run. The Hurricanes finished with the 26th-best BPI ranking in the nation and are set to face the Connecticut Huskies in their Final Four matchup on Sunday, April 2.
San Diego State
The San Diego State Aztecs have been one of the most surprising teams of the tournament, as the Mountain West Champions entered the season as a 5-seed. The Aztecs were not really in the contender conversation due to their less competitive conference but displayed their impressive play through their 31-6 record.
After taking down tournament favorite, 1-seed Alabama, San Diego State earned their ticket to the Final Four after edging out 6-seed Creighton by one point. Although they would usually be considered a Cinderella team, it’s tough to say so now, as they will face 9-seed Florida Atlantic University in their Final Four matchup.
Florida Atlantic University
By far, the surprise team of March, Florida Atlantic University, has a story to tell for decades to come in their 2022-2023 basketball team. Despite winning the Conference USA championship tournament and finishing with one of the best records in the nation at 35-3, there are few people in the country that can claim they predicted this team making it to the Final Four.
The 9-seed Owls won their opening matchup over the 8-seed Memphis Tigers by one point and haven’t won any of their games by more than 10 points in the tournament up to this point. But in the end, winning by one is the same as winning by a hundred, and the Owls have the entire nation at their backs heading into their matchup with San Diego State. Florida Atlantic University will take on San Diego State in the Final Four on Sunday, April 2.