A Closer Look At This Year’s Final Four Schools

Final Four

Sixty-four games have been played, three number-one seeds have fallen, and only four teams remain. None of the bracket-busting teams, whose schools we featured in our previous March Madness post, made it past the second round. However, the tournament favorites didn’t fare much better: each top seed, except for North Carolina, lost in the Elite Eight, half losing to surging two-seeds.  

The remaining teams and players will get plenty of attention in the next few days, so let’s turn our attention to the schools they represent.

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Syracuse University

Private research university

Undergraduate size: 15,097

Average SAT: 1730

Average ACT: 26

Tuition: $38,970

NCAA Tournament Seed: 10

 

Though they’re no strangers to later stages of the NCAA tournament, no one expected Syracuse to make it there this year. The number 10 seed’s route to the Final Four was aided by Michigan State’s upset in the first round. However, ‘Cuse still had to beat a formidable Gonzaga team that crushed Utah and then top ACC rival and number-one seed Virginia, which they did in stunning fashion by overcoming a 16-point deficit in the second half.

All 732,117 residents of the Syracuse metro area in upstate New York will be glued to the TV as Syracuse continues their improbable tournament journey when they face North Carolina this Saturday. Syracuse University is located southeast of downtown on University Hill and houses 13 schools and colleges, including the university’s noted communications department that’s produced countless well-known journalists and broadcasters.

 

 

South Building, center, is the main administrative building at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At left is the Old Well, the visual symbol of the university.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Public

Undergraduate size: 18,415

Average SAT: 1754

Average ACT: 26

Tuition: $8,834 (In-state), $33,916 (Out-of-state)

NCAA Tournament Seed: 1

 

Syracuse’s opponent Saturday night, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is also a perennial tournament powerhouse and ACC rival. The UNC Tarheels are tied for the third-most NCAA tournament championships with five national titles. They’re hungry for one more to break the tie with neighboring rival Duke University, who caught up to the Tarheels last year.

UNC is one of the three universities that delineate North Carolina’s Research Triangle: UNC in  quintessential college town Chapel Hill, Duke University in former tobacco epicenter Durham, and North Carolina State University in the state’s capitol, Raleigh. Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, which cuts the campus’ outer edge, is UNC students’ preferred destination for fun. Lined with Greek Life housing, restaurants, shops, and bars, it’s where the Tarheel faithful will gather to watch the game.

 

 

villanova

Villanova University

Private

Undergraduate size: 6,394

Average SAT: 1944

Average ACT: 30

Tuition: $47,616

NCAA Tournament Seed: 2

 

Villanova has only won the NCAA tournament once, in 1985. Since then, this mid-sized private school outside of Philadelphia has put up many formidable teams that have consistently fallen short. To break this trend, the Wildcats will first have to best Oklahoma, a team that crushed them 78-55 back in December. Though Oklahoma is still formidable, the Wildcats have improved vastly since their last matchup with the Sooners. What happens on Saturday is anyone’s guess.

Villanova University is the oldest Catholic university in Pennsylvania, founded in 1842 and named after Saint Thomas of Villanova. In more recent times, the University has picked up a number of accolades, including a top ranking from U.S. News and World Report for Best Master’s Universities in the Northern Region, a highly touted engineering program, and a “most wired college” designation from The Princeton Review.

 

 

OU

University of Oklahoma

Public

Undergraduate size: 22,152

Average SAT: 1160

Average ACT: 26

Tuition: $7,695 (In-state), $20,469

NCAA Tournament Seed: 2

 

The Oklahoma Sooners have the closest thing to star power this year in guard “Buddy” Hield. The senior averaged 24.5 points per game with the help of a deadly accurate three-point shot (he’s sunk nearly 150 three pointers this season). He hasn’t disappointed in the tournament either, as he’s gone on to score an average of 29.5 points in the first four games of the tournament.

While Buddy is from the Bahamas, he’s called Norman, Oklahoma home for the last three years, where OU is located. This large public school is the flagship of the Oklahoma university system and offers a whopping 152 baccalaureate programs, 160 master’s programs, and 75 doctoral programs as well as houses two museums on campus. Though OU is firmly rooted in local culture and history, its student body comes from across the U.S. and world.

 

The stage is set. Will the only remaining one-seed UNC make it to the finals? Will Villanova finally get their chance to add another NCAA championship? Will Syracuse be the first 10-seed to win it all? Or will Buddy Hield lead his Sooners to Oklahoma’s first national title?

Let us know what you think will happen in the comments below.

1 thought on “A Closer Look At This Year’s Final Four Schools”

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