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North Carolina, Villanova meet for national championship

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North Carolina and Villanova meet on Monday night in Houston to decide college basketball’s champion for the 2015-2016 season. Although this is the first time the two will square off in the championship game, there’s some Final Four history between them. The Tar Heels’ most recent title came in 2009 when they beat the Michigan State Spartans 89-72 in Detroit. To reach the title game, North Carolina first had to get by the Wildcats 83-69. Monday’s game will mark the…

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Villanova sets Final Four record in blowout of Oklahoma

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The Villanova Wildcats will be playing for the national championship on Monday night after their historic 95-51 destruction of Oklahoma on Saturday evening. Villanova’s 44-point margin of victory at NRG Stadium in Houston was the largest margin of victory in Final Four history. This game was a far cry from the December 7 matchup between these two teams. In a game played at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Oklahoma swamped Villanova 78-55. Saturday’s meeting represents an astonishing 67-point turnaround. “This was just…

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50 years later, another Lattin poised to make history

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When Oklahoma takes the floor in Saturday’s Final Four against the Villanova Wildcats, most of the talk will be about Sooner superstar Buddy Hield. Not that Hield hasn’t earned the attention. The unanimous All-American from Freeport, Grand Bahamas averages 25.4 points and converts better than 50 percent of his shots from the field. He is also the team’s second-leading rebounder. Oklahoma has a key player that will not travel far to the site of the Final Four, NRG Stadium in…

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Final 4 foes Orange, ‘Heels share a room in NCAA doghouse

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Syracuse and North Carolina will square off in Saturday’s second game of the NCAA men’s Final Four. Both coaches, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and North Carolina’s Roy Williams, have enjoyed the high of winning it all. They have also endured the low of having their basketball programs under investigation by the NCAA. Fortunately for the fans, the legal aspect of NCAA rule compliance will take a back seat on Saturday. Instead, the focus will be complying with on-court rules such as…

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Final Four coaches learned under some of the greats

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The Final Four often brings at least one young head coach to the big stage for the first time. Some recent examples include Brad Stevens, who brought Butler to a surprising appearance in the title game in 2010 at the age of 33. Shaka Smart, also 33, led Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) to the Final Four in 2011. In 2000, Billy Donovan, then only 34, took the Florida Gators to the championship game. This year, all four coaches are seasoned veterans.…

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Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger put Gator basketball on the map

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Lon Kruger and the NCAA Tournament are synonymous. No other coach in Division I history has taken more programs to the NCAA Tournament than the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. Only Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith has equaled Kruger’s record of leading five different schools into the tournament. On Saturday, Kruger will lead his Sooners into the national semi-finals against the Villanova Wildcats. It will be Oklahoma’s first appearance since 2002 and fifth overall. Kruger is making his second appearance…

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Jim Boeheim surprised his 10-seed Syracuse crashing Final Four

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Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim isn’t surprised that No. 2 seeds Oklahoma and Villanova knocked off top seeds to join No. 1 seed North Carolina in the Final Four. He is, however, a bit taken aback that the other team in the field managed to do so. “I’m probably surprised at the other guys — that we’re there,” Boeheim said of his team. “I shouldn’t say that, but I am a little surprised.” Boeheim certainly isn’t the only one surprised that…

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