It seemed like nothing more than a flash, but the end is nigh as the final weekend of the 2014 NCAA tournament is here.
The action starts with the Final Four, which is must-see television for fans around the globe, given the historic programs and coaches involved—not to mention the stakes and some of the sport's brightest stars who are set to transcend to the next level.
Here's a look at where to catch the game through various avenues and a brief breakdown of each matchup.
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|4/5/14||Florida vs. UConn||6:09 p.m.||TBS||Florida|
|4/5/14||Wisconsin vs. Kentucky||8:49 p.m.||TBS||Kentucky|
Live Stream Link: March Madness Live
(7) Connecticut vs. (1) Florida
At face value, it is rather easy to blow off this contest as one that looks like a Davis vs. Goliath matchup, given the Florida Gators' 30-game winning streak. But remember, Connecticut just so happens to be the last team that upended the No. 1 team in the land.
Of course, the Gators have been a bit hot since Shabazz Napier downed the last-second shot to pull off the upset. As head coach Billy Donovan notes, the loss helped the team go on its impressive run, per Eric Prisbell of USA Today.
"It helps you understand how hard you have to fight, persevere," Donovan said of the loss. "There's things we can look at in the game, right after that game finished, of where we needed to get better and improve. We did a much, much better job I thought going forward."
There are two ways to look at the upset. One says it's a fluke, as Napier nearly turned the ball over, got a lucky break and didn't have to worry about Scottie Wilbekin. The other says Florida should have lost by more, as UConn missed shots that it typically makes.
Something has to give. Both teams are rather sloppy with the ball and turned it over more than 14 times in the first bout. Both teams can score at will from the outside, as Napier poured in 26 points and Wilbekin came through with 15.
One thing is for sure—Napier will put on a show. But will he have help?
(8) Kentucky vs. (2) Wisconsin
The other game features a battle of core philosophies. Wisconsin took the traditional route and recruited lesser-known players such as Frank Kaminsky, a 3-star recruit, per Rivals.com.
The connotation that's been built around one and done is so ridiculous to make it a bad thing, it's a negative thing. It's not used other sports, it's not used in other areas of life where people stay in school a year and leave. So the thing that we have been talking about is succeed and proceed. Succeed and proceed. You cannot proceed until you succeed. Succeed and then proceed.
This approach was easy to chastise during the regular season. Despite names like Julius Randle and the Harrison twins, the Wildcats were dropping games to the likes of Arkansas and LSU.
Not anymore. Randle has been unstoppable down low, and Aaron Harrison in particular is on fire from beyond the arc.
But Wisconsin also has some star power thanks to Kaminsky, who is not afraid to talk about his humble beginnings in the college landscape, as CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel details:
I think I love Frank Kaminsky. Isn't scared to actually say something. Like this: "I came in as an immature, skinny, weak kid to Wisconsin."— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS) April 4, 2014
Now he is an inside-out monster who can kill teams from long range or down on the post. It took a few years, but he has the offensive prowess to keep the Badgers in it against a team like the surging Wildcats.
Both teams have appeared unrelenting thus far, which makes this contest the can't-miss affair of the Final Four.