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Final Four teams set for NCAA tournament


Final Four teams set for NCAA tournament

Derrick Johnson March 28, 2011

The Final Four teams for the NCAA tournament are set to meet in Houston. The competing colleges are as follows – Connecticut, Kentucky, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

None of the Final Four were among the top-seeded teams going into the championship.

According to ESPN, "VCU and Butler are the Cinderella stories and one of them will play for the national championship, which is just amazing."

Butler was ranked 8th, VCU ranked 11th and Connecticut and Kentucky ranked at number 3 and 4, respectively.

The VCU Rams lost to teams such as South Florida, Northeastern and Old Dominion in the regular season, but have beat high-ranked conference teams such as USC, Georgetown, Kansas and Florida State in the tournament, reports the news provider.

The other underdog, Butler University, has won 13 straight games with Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack as the star players.

According to the New York Times, the Rams had odds of 12 in 10,000 to make it to the Final Four. The team has proven that a 0.12 percent chance is not insurmountable and that computer ratings are "imperfect instruments," says the news source.

The Rams were ranked 51 out of 68 teams and will play against the Butler Bulldogs on April 2 at 6 p.m. Eastern.

In the past, other teams have overcome long shots to make it to the NCAA Final Four. University of Pennsylvania Quakers, seeded 9th in 1979, overcame 420 to 1 odds, while George Mason University, ranked 11th in 2006, overcame 70 to 1 odds.

To put things into perspective, the VCU Rams had an overwhelming 820 to 1 odds, while Butler's chances amounted to 37 to 1.

The New York Times lists the Quakers as "probably the worst team ever to reach the Final Four," but in 1979 the playing field was different and their bracket was comparatively weak.