If you no longer have any dogs in the NCAA tournament race, if your bracket is beyond busted or if you are just flat-out confused about who to root for, I have a hint for you.
Root for the entertainment factor.
Root for the games that are going to get you off your couch in excitement. Root for the games that are going to create moments that make you say "OH MY GOD" to an empty room like you're a crazy person. Root for the games that will transform into instant classics. Root for the games that will create the best game of basketball.
And last of all, root for Florida Gulf Coast. Always root for Florida Gulf Coast.
If that's not good enough, here's a look at the dream matchups awaiting us in each region's final.
Note: A complete bracket can be found at the bottom of this page.
Midwest: Louisville vs. Duke
As Butler vs. Marquette—and to a lesser extent, UNLV vs. California—has taught us, rematches tend to be just as good as the originals.
So if you're interested in seeing something similar to Duke's 76-71 thrilling win over Louisville back in November, this is an Elite 8 matchup you should probably start wishing for.
Oh, and this time around, the Cardinals would have crucial interior presence with Gorgui Dieng in the lineup. At full strength, both of these teams can make a case for best in America, as this is simply a Final Four-esque matchup come too early.
South: Michigan vs. Florida Gulf Coast
On one side of the court, Trey Burke would be magically shifting his way through the lane, either kicking it out to deadly three-point shooters Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway Jr. or dumping it off to rim-attackers Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III.
On the other side of the court, Dunk City would be gearing up for liftoff. Look for Brett Comer to leave one of his patented no-look alley-oops for Chase Fieler, Eric McKnight or any of a number of above-the-rim specialists, while Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson light it up from the outside.
Also, there would be a new set of special rules for this unique, scintillating matchup. If a team doesn't get a shot off in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock, it's an automatic turnover. And first to 200 wins.
West: La Salle vs. Ohio State
I'm a sucker for matchups on the perimeter, and this one would feature quite easily one of the most electrifying of the tournament.
Ramon Galloway, who averaged 17.4 points per game during the regular season and is up to 21.3 in the tourney, is a dynamic scorer. The 6'3" senior can light it up from the outside, but he also has the athleticism and quickness to get to the rack and finish with authority.
And how do you stop an unstoppable force?
With an Aaron Craft, of course. Watching Galloway, one of the most dangerous offensive players remaining in the tournament, battle it out with Aaron Craft, one of the two best perimeter defenders in America, for 40 thrilling minutes would just be splendid.
Heck, we can just take the other eight players off the court and watch these two play one-on-one for two halves. That'd be OK, too.
East: Indiana vs. Miami
If Duke vs. Louisville is a matchup fitting for the Final 4, then Indiana and Miami would fill out the other side of that bracket. There was a long stretch during the season when many believed these were the two best teams in the nation.
But not only are they easily the two best teams in the East, they match up extremely well with each other.
Miami has the advantage at point guard, but Indiana has Victor Oladipo, who can take advantages like that right out of games. The Hoosiers shoot the ball better, but that doesn't make the Hurricanes any less dangerous from beyond the arc. And on the inside, both teams have strong, athletic big men capable of stretching the floor.
Color me enthralled by this potential meeting.
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