Half of the Final Four participants will be determined Saturday.
The ACC will have its day Sunday in the East and Midwest Regions, but Saturday's action could give the world what it really wants: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Kansas Jayhawks III.
Saturday's action tipped off in Anaheim, California, with the top-seeded Oregon Ducks—fresh off their win over the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday—taking on Buddy Hield and the Sooners, who were looking for their first trip to the Final Four since 2002.
Oregon, meanwhile, has not been close to a national championship since 1939—the Ducks' only trip to the national title game in program history.
Awaiting the winner of that game will be the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks or second-seeded Villanova Wildcats. Villanova is coming off one of the most impressive offensive performances in tournament history, while the Jayhawks are looking for their first Final Four appearance since 2012.
Make sure to check back throughout the night to see how the two games unfold:
|Saturday, March 26||Result|
|West: No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 2 Oklahoma||Oklahoma, 80-68|
|South: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Villanova||Villanova, 64-59|
|April 2: Final Four||Time|
|No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 2 Oklahoma||TBA|
For the full updated bracket, see here.
No. 2 Oklahoma 80, No. 1 Oregon 68
Sooners senior Buddy Hield scored a game-high 37 points and made eight threes to send Oklahoma to its first Final Four in 14 years.
After earning their first No. 1 seed in program history, the Ducks became the first top-seeded team to lose in this year's tournament.
Hield joined some elite company with his play while leading the Sooners to the Final Four for the first time since the head coach Kelvin Sampson era, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Buddy Hield is the first 25 PPG scorer to reach the Final Four since 1990 pic.twitter.com/dTHBlgmnLN— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 27, 2016
It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Sooners, who will be looking for their first national championship in program history. Hield hit his first three three-pointers and showed off his complete offensive repertoire. That included step-back jumpers, drives to the basket and putback dunks.
Hield's play rendered CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein speechless:
Buddy Hield. No other words are needed.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 27, 2016
Elgin Cook's 24 points led Oregon, but no other Ducks player had a solid shooting night. Ducks stars Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks combined to shoot 6-of-16 for 18 points on a night when Oklahoma's defense was as stellar as its offense.
Oklahoma made 12 of 24 three-point attempts while holding Oregon to 4-of-21 from long range.
It will be head coach Lon Kruger's first Final Four appearance in 22 years and this time around, he'll have someone like Hield to help carry him to a national title.
No. 2 Villanova 64, No. 1 Kansas 59
Villanova head coach Jay Wright has become the first coach in program history to lead the Wildcats to two Final Fours after pulling off a shocking five-point win over Kansas.
Four players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, as they advance to their first Final Four in seven years. ESPN's Josina Anderson was shocked at the outcome after the tournament's top overall seed took the loss:
Wow, wow, wow, Nova.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 27, 2016
Kansas guard Devonte' Graham led the Jayhawks with 17 points, while Wayne Selden Jr. and Frank Mason III both had 16 points. All-American big man Perry Ellis was held to four points on 1-of-5 shooting.
If there were any discussion of Villanova needing any validation of how good of a team it is, that was put to rest Saturday, per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports:
They have been for real for a long time now: Villanova’s 95 wins the past three seasons are the most in college basketball.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 27, 2016
And despite Kansas coming in as the favorite to win the championship, ESPN's Mike Greenberg certainly believes Villanova deserved to win this game:
This isn't '85. That was a miracle run. This is one of the best teams in the country. Not a fluke at all. #Villanova— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) March 27, 2016
However, the topic of discussion for the next 24 hours may not be Villanova winning the game. With 34 seconds remaining, Graham was diving for a loose ball and collided with Villanova guard Josh Hart. The referees called the foul on Graham, his fifth, and that began a stretch of eight straight free throws for Villanova to ice the game.
Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star was able to grab a statement from the officials on that controversial play:
Officials statement on play that led to Devonte Graham's 5th foul pic.twitter.com/TTdIfIGi9f— Blair Kerkhoff (@BlairKerkhoff) March 27, 2016
Whether or not it was a foul, what matters is Villanova will be the one taking on Oklahoma in the Final Four. It's going to be a great matchup of two high-scoring teams with a spot in the national title game on the line.