Observer Sports March Madness Bracket: Elite Eight narrows to the final four
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Well into the Elite Eight, we are just one day away from crowning the prestigious Observer Sports Department-Voted National Champion of the college basketball world. Only a pair of 1-seeds have survived this far… would they both forge on to the Final Four?
No. 1 Kansas def. No. 2 Kentucky 81-75
Kentucky jumped out to the early lead in this one, but ultimately, the powerful Jayhawks were too much. With Devon Dotson outside and Udoka Azubuike inside, Kansas featured arguably the two best players on the court, and Kentucky couldn’t keep up. The Jayhawks surge into the lead with about seven minutes to play, and they don’t surrender the advantage, keeping the Wildcats at bay and moving into the Final Four.
No. 2 Florida State def. No. 4 Maryland 73-70
Maryland swung the Sweet 16 upset to get this far, but they did not have the firepower to take down Florida State. The Seminoles surrendered a lead that they held late, but they regained it in the final minute and made a couple of clutch free throws. Jalen Smith had another big game for Maryland, but the trio made up of Devin Vassell, Trent Forrest, and MJ Walker is too much for the Terrapins to handle. The ACC champions move on to face Kansas in the Final Four.
No. 3 Seton Hall def. No. 4 Oregon 83-79
It was a slightly surprising Elite Eight matchup in the West Region, but the duel between Myles Powell and Payton Pritchard was worthy of the stage. The Pirates lead wire to wire, pushing their advantage to as many as 14 points, but the Ducks stay right with their Big East opponent until the end. They’re within two with ten seconds left, but Powell drills a pair of free throws to ice the victory and move on to the Final Four.
No. 4 Michigan State def. No. 1 Baylor 78-68
They started the year No. 1. Then, they fell off the wagon and out of the rankings. But the Spartans are back, and they’re looking to finish the year, at least virtually, where they started. Michigan State trails early, but they nab a four-point lead at halftime, and they slowly squeeze the life out of the Bears. Cassius Winston makes a bevy of threes, and Xavier Tillman locks down the Baylor offense late to secure the victory and earn a match-up with Seton Hall.