Purdue is just two wins far from its first Final Four given that 1980.
To get to Minneapolis, the Boilermakers will first undergo Tennessee on Thursday. If they win that game, they’ll face either Virginia or Oregon on Saturday inside the Elite Eight.
Those three teams have taken one-of-a-kind paths to get to the Sweet 16 in Louisville, but all three are gambling well. Like Purdue, they have got confronted with their share of March heartbreak. These are the group’s status in the way of a Boilermakers’ Final Four run.
The second-seeded Volunteers (31-5) were one of the excellent groups inside the USA for the duration of the typical season, ascending to the No. 1 ranking for four weeks in January and February while they were inside the midst of a 19-recreation winning streak.
Tennessee, which ended the regular season ranked No. 6 inside us of a, has had trouble advancing past the Sweet 16, just like Purdue. The Volunteers are making their 7th all-time trip to this spherical but have by no means gained. Last year, they were a No. Three seed in the event but lost to March darling Loyola Chicago in the 2d round.
Coach Rick Barnes stated that defeat hung over the Vols as they fought through close victories inside the first two rounds this season.
“That’s what they wanted to do was to get back (to the tournament) and spot if they might cross similarly,” Barnes stated. “So that’s been on their thoughts. They desired to do that. I thought that they carried a little greater stress due to that.”
The Volunteers slipped beyond Colgate seventy seven-70 inside the first spherical after which constructed up a 25-point lead in opposition to No. 10 seed Iowa earlier than seeing it melt away. They regrouped and won in additional time to earn the right to face Purdue.
The Cavaliers (31-3) had been excellent normal-season teams inside u . S. A. During instructs Tony Bennett’s tenure, prevailing 30 games and earning a No. 1 seed four instances in 10 years.
Success within the match has been a great deal greater elusive for Virginia, which hasn’t been to the Final Four since 1984. The Cavaliers in 2018 infamously have become the primary men’s No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No — sixteen seed after they had been toppled through the UMBC Retrievers.
They recovered to earn a No. 1 seed once more this season, dropping only one sport against teams now not named Duke. The Cavaliers are led using 2016 Indiana Mr. Basketball Kyle Guy and are influenced to exorcise the demons of beyond March failures.
“We’re nowhere close to relaxed, nowhere near satisfied,” junior guard Ty Jerome said after the Cavaliers’ sixty three-fifty one second-round win over Oklahoma. “We’re not even near our give-up goal.”
The twelfth-seeded Ducks are the only remaining Cinderella in the tournament discipline after a favorite-heavy first weekend. Oregon, which made the Final Four in 2017, is the single closing seed beneath No. 5 and is sporting the banner for a Pac-12 conference that changed into maligned all season.
Oregon (25-12) got here via prevailing the Pac-12 Tournament and then upsetting Wisconsin 72-fifty four inside the first round, making the Badgers the handiest Big Ten team to lose in the Round of 64. In the second spherical, the Ducks, without difficulty, dispatched No. 13 seed UC Irvine, which had disappointed Kansas State.
“We don’t need to visit the Sweet 16 and lay an egg simply,” junior shield Payton Pritchard said. “We’ll cross in and combat. We’re satisfied with making Sweet sixteen. However, we need extra. We do not play basketball to make two rounds. We play to win it all.”