The men's basketball Final Four has two extremely bizarre participants: Butler and Michigan State. In fact, they're going to play each other, guaranteeing that a 5-seed will sit at the title game dinner table for the first time since 2002 and for only the third time in history. A 5-seed has never won the whole shebang, so this could be our chance to see it.
This is also not only the first Final Four for Butler, but for its parent conference, the Horizon League. Oh, and West Virginia, scheduled to play Duke, hasn't made it this far since Gunsmoke was the No. 1 show on TV (1959).
Too bad the Frozen Four decided to be all predictable and send three No. 1s to the championship in Detroit.
Miami University dispatched of Alabama-Huntsville and Michigan (in a controversial double-OT finish). Wisconsin took down Vermont and St. Cloud State, while Boston College played their normal bad selves with victories over Alaska and Yale (although that 9-7 finish makes one wonder if a lacrosse game didn't break out).
BOO! STUPID GOOD TEAMS!
I guess there's no one left to root for other than the Rochester Institute of Technology, an auto-bid-clinching No. 4 seed (the lowest possible draw), who upset Denver and New Hampshire to reach the semifinal game. RIT is only in their fifth year of Division I hockey, and they did have themselves a nice little run in the '80s with a couple D-II championships, as well as a string of D-III Frozen Four appearances in the '90s.
They aren't the Butler of the tournament. They're a combination of Butler, Susan Boyle, Governor Bill Clinton, District 5, and any spelling bee winner who isn't home schooled.
The Final Four games in Indianapolis will commence April 3, with its championship game slated for on April 5. All games will be on CBS. The Frozen Four begins April 8 (ESPN2) and crowns their icy champion on April 10 (ESPN). Your predictions for who will win are going to be wrong.