Final Four Teams Grouped in East Region

NCAA official game ball
NCAA official game ball | Image by Al Sermeno Photography/Shutterstock

Some may have noticed an interesting anomaly when the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament field was revealed on Sunday night.

Three of the four teams that reached last season’s Final Four in Houston (UConn, Florida Atlantic, and San Diego State) are in the same region, while the fourth team, Miami, did not make the tournament.

This will be the fourth time at least three teams from the previous year’s Final Four open the following NCAA Tournament in the same region. It first happened in 2001, then in 2006, and 2012. Two of the previous Final Fours’ teams have opened in the same region an additional 12 times.

UConn is the No.1 overall seed and the No.1 seed in the East Region. The team will face Stetson in the first round on Friday afternoon. A win will set the Huskies up with the winner of Florida Atlantic and Northwestern’s game on Sunday. Florida Atlantic made a run as the No.9 seed last season but never faced UConn after being eliminated by San Diego State in the semifinal.

San Diego State, however, reached the national championship game as a No.5 seed last season, falling to UConn 76-59. The Aztecs were in and out of the top 25 all season, but if they can find a way to come up with two wins, they will set up a rematch with the Huskies in the Sweet 16 in Boston. They will open the tournament against No.12 seed UAB.

“It will be a real challenge for us to play a very good UAB team,” San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher told the media on Sunday. “The other thing I noticed about the bracket is that three of the teams from last year’s Final Four — UConn, Florida Atlantic, and San Diego State — are all in the same bracket. It’s a little ironic, but it’s fun to look at. I’m sure people have fun talking about that leading into the games.”

All three teams are scheduled to begin their quests for a return to the Final Four on Friday.

Meanwhile, Miami will not be playing in any postseason tournaments after finishing 14th in the ACC with a 15-17 overall record and a 6-13 mark in conference play.

The 2024 NCAA Men’s Final Four will be held in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday, April 6, with the championship game following on Monday, April 8.

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