There’s no doubt about it – we’re into the thick of things. With defeats of Xavier and Kansas, Gonzaga and Oregon became the first two teams to book their trips to Phoenix for the Final Four. It’s the First Final Four in school history for Mark Few and the Zags’ and the first since 1939 for Dana Altman’s Ducks. While the Big Dance was trimmed from eight teams to six on Saturday, the Top Level Sports Bracket Challenge was reduced from 10 possible winners to just five.
Xavier’s loss ended the hopes of both Brooke and Jim, while Oregon’s upset of #1 seed Kansas took me down, along with Tom and Michael’s Spicy Picks. The 128 possible scenarios are now just 32. Here’s a look at those who survived the first half of the Elite Eight.
Pop and “My Dazzling Bracket” both lead the way with 10 possible winning scenarios. Pop’s paths to victory are the most diverse, as he can win with four different champions. Pop is guaranteed the title if Kentucky wins, as is My Dazzling Bracket with Oregon and Didyk with North Carolina. The Tar Heels’ game against Kentucky will be a huge one, as Pop needs Kentucky to win in order to stay eligible while Rose and Trish need North Carolina to keep their hopes alive. By the end of Sunday, we’ll only have three or four brackets in contention.
I’ll provide my final update tomorrow with all the Final Four scenarios, but as of now, here are the possibilities.