By JABARI WILBON
By now, everyone has seen the year’s Final Four in the March Madness tournament: Michigan, Villanova, Kansas and Loyola-Chicago. For many brackets, the first three were not a surprise at all. Michigan has been hot for the past month, beating Michigan State and Purdue to win the Big 10 Tournament. Kansas and Villanova have been consistent powerhouses and consistent No. 1 seeds during the past five years.
Loyola-Chicago on the other hand is the Cinderella of the year, being the No. 11 seed and still making it to the Final Four, beating several good teams to get there, including University of Miami with a buzzer-beater in the first round.
Coverage of the tournament as a whole has been heavy and consistent for the past two weeks. Stories have been put out by each school’s own newspaper about their chances and their performance in the tournament.
Coverage has been heavy on TV as well, especially in the last week leading up to the tournament. ESPN has been talking about the final four a lot, especially “First Take” the sports talk show with analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman. The two have talked all week about who they think will advance to the championship and who will come out on top.
The two have also talked about if Cinderella teams like Loyola-Chicago are helping or hurting the tournament. Stephen A. Smith made it well-known that he did not want Loyola-Chicago to be in the final because he wanted the best to be in the championship. He is fine with Cinderella teams because they are good stories, but when it comes down to the final, he would prefer a match-up between big schools.
USA Today put out an article at the beginning of the week previewing the game between Villanova and Kansas. The article talks about what each team needs to do in order to win the game. It also talks about each team’s path to the Final Four and how it will affect their play in this game.
An article was put out on ESPN.com this morning on how each Final Four team can be beat. It goes one by one for each school and gives details about their weakness and how their opponent can exploit that.
An article came out about three hours ago talking about how Loyola-Chicago was staying in the same hotel as Russell Westbrook in San Antonio, where the Final Four is this year. NBA star Russell Westbrook told the team to go win it since they already made it this far.
Overall, the coverage for the Final Four has been great and the reporting for the Final Four as a whole as well as each specific team has been great for reporters across the countries. The Final Four starts on Saturday and we will see who advances to the national championship game.