The field for the 2023 NCAA Men’s Tournament Final Four is set, and it is not what anyone had predicted going into the tournament. March Madness has been at its wid best in 2023, and anyone in the Houston area next weekend would be wise to get a ticket to see how the tournament ends. There are sessions on Saturday and Monday, though the All Session pass is the best value as it will allow you to see the four remaining teams play three games to determine a National Champion.
Here is a look at the Saturday contests.
San Diego State (5) vs. FAU (9)
This is just the second Final Four game of all time between two schools from non-traditional power conferences. San Diego State won a thriller – albeit an ugly thriller – over Creighton in the Elite Eight as they outlasted the Blue Jays 57-56 in a defensive fistfight. They want to play slow, they want to play physically., and they won’t want to let the athleticism of FAU be the difference in Space City.
Dusty May has led the Cinderella Owls on a magical run. Predicted to finish just fifth in COnvference USA, FAU has taken down Memphis, FDU, Tennessee, and Kansas State to reach this point. The Tennessee game was a particularly shocking win, but a team that has lost just three games all season has continually proven that winning is a habit. Their bench minutes give them a huge boost – they are one of the leaders in the country- and the package is more than the sum of its parts.
UConn (4) vs. Miami (5)
If you were taking one team against the field, now we are down to four, it would be UConn. The Huskies have made a joke out of this tournament, winning every game by at least 15 points. That includes an 88-65 win over the same Arkansas team that took out No. 1 Kansas and an astonishing 82-54 win in the Elite Eight over much fancied Gonzaga. This team was No. 2 in the AP Poll at one point before hitting a rough patch. In truth, they were seeded way too low as a four-seed with their ability, and the program’s history of March runs.
It is hard to see how Miami even beat Texas, given they were down by double digits multiple times in the second half. They have a pair of elite guards, and they have enough scorers that shutting down one player to win just isn’t an option. Maimi wants to play fast, and its ability to score means they are never out of a game, with wins over Texas (2) and Houston (1) being the two most impressive victories of anyone in this year’s Final Four.