As March Madness turns the page and lends itself to April, just six teams and five games now remain before one team lifts the National Championship trophy as the top team in college basketball.
Whether fans are rooting for the top overall seed in the Florida Gators or one of the other historically great programs that navigated their way through the field, there is plenty of intrigue and draw for the entire schedule during college basketball's final weekend of the season.
- Download the Printable Bracket
- Follow the Latest Bracket Updates Live
- Play the Free Bracket Challenge
It's just another Final Four for the likes of Billy Donovan, who is now in his fourth of his tenure with the Gators. As for Bo Ryan of Wisconsin, he is finally in the Final Four for the first time during his illustrious career.
TBS will broadcast the Final Four, but fans can also view a special dedicated broadcast for each team on either TNT or truTV. According to CBS Sports (via WUSA9.com):
The Final Four on Saturday, April 5 will be televised on TBS for the first time along with 'teamcasts' or team-specific telecasts airing on TNT and truTV. The National Championship Game on Monday, April 7 will air on CBS for the 33rd consecutive year.
With the final weekend of college hoops on the horizon, here's a look at the full schedule along with storylines to watch throughout the Final Four.
|Date||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|April 5||No. 1 Florida vs. No. 7 UConn||6:09 p.m.||TBS, TNT, truTV||NCAA.com|
|April 5||No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Kentucky||8:49 p.m.||TBS, TNT, truTV||NCAA.com|
|April 7||TBA vs. TBA||9:10 p.m.||CBS||NCAA.com|
Top Storylines for Final Four
Can Bo Ryan Win Another National Championship?
OK, so this may be Ryan's first Final Four visit at the Division I level, but the 66-year-old head coach already has National Championships on his track record.
Though they all came at the Division III level with Wisconsin-Platteville, Ryan knows how to get the job done when the field is narrowed down late in the season, as Michael DeCourcy of Sporting News points out:
Bo Ryan has four -- FOUR -- national championship rings. Where do people get this first Final Four nonsense?— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) March 30, 2014
During his 13 seasons with the Badgers, Ryan has had several great teams but never experienced the success late in the season that his team has enjoyed during this tournament.
Much of that success is thanks to Frank Kaminsky. The former role player has now become a standout for the Badgers and has averaged 22 points over the last three games with a field-goal percentage of .587 during that stretch.
Kaminsky has definitely put himself in the conversation with the season he's had. Barely played his first 2 years, now a legit NBA prospect.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) March 30, 2014
Arizona coach Sean Miller, who was knocked out by Kaminsky and Wisconsin, spoke about the importance of the junior, per George Schroeder of USA Today:
Sean Miller: “Frank Kaminsky is the reason they’re going to the Final Four.”— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) March 30, 2014
With Ryan at the helm and Kaminsky on the court, the Badgers look the part of a national championship contender. And with previous experience at the end of the regular season, albeit a lower level, Ryan has a great chance of bringing back the second title in program history.
Gators Looking to Finish with 32 Straight
During his time in Gainesville, Donovan has become comfortable with running the gauntlet of the NCAA tournament. With two national championships under his belt, this might be Donovan's best coaching job ever.
Can Florida win another National Championship?
The 2005-06 and 2006-07 Gators teams brought back the title for the school, but they did so with three future NBA players that went in the top 10 of the 2007 NBA draft in Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer. Needless to say, those teams had the talent to do just about anything on the court.
This year's team isn't as individually talented as either of those teams, but Donovan has turned the 2014 Gators into the best program in the country. After making three straight Elite Eights, the Gators have been a symbol of consistency, yet they haven't been able to break through to the Final Four.
This class of seniors, we’ve been on the other end for three seasons in a row. I’m so thankful we did this the right way. This team was invested and committed to each other.
It’s such a blessing. It’s just unbelievable we’re here. I can’t put it into words. North Texas [Dallas, site of Final Four], here we come.
As for the star of this season's senior class, no player has been more consistently great than SEC Player of the Year Scottie Wilbekin. Young's size and heart have shined in the paint, but Wilbekin's been the greatest player in the tournament with the ball in his hands.
Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports notes how great the senior point guard has been for Florida throughout the NCAA tournament:
Scottie Wilbekin's now gone more than 2 full #Florida games w/o committing a turnover. Not since the 9 min mark of 1st half of Pitt game— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) March 29, 2014
With the greatness that Donovan has already brought to the Florida program during his tenure with the school, he doesn't need to do anything else to put a stamp on his legacy. But with this year's team and the potential for winning 32 straight games to claim the trophy, it might just be the greatest job he's ever done down in Gainesville.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter.