Elite 8 Sets TV Record, Final Four Set

Travis Trice
The Associated Press
Auburn, AL

The Breitbart Sports bracket was in the 99th percentile coming into Sunday, but will drop slightly after Michigan State and Duke won to make the Final Four.

Louisville’s win slipped away when Mangok Mathiang’s shot rolled off the rim with two seconds to play. Gonzaga faded in the final five minutes after Przemek Karnowski drew a double team and passed to All-American Kyle Wiltjer only to have him miss a game-tying open lay-up.

The build up to the Final Four could take ratings to even higher levels after almost 20 million watched Notre Dame vs. Kentucky this weekend—the highest rating ever for a TBS show or for any college basketball game on cable.

Michigan State will now play Duke at 6:09 p.m. Saturday, to be followed by Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Final Four is scheduled for Indianapolis, though Charles Barkley suggested it be moved because of their new law protecting religious liberty. The championship between the winners of those two games will take place on Monday, April 6 at 9:18 p.m.

The trend in Final Fours continued, as three of four teams had three top 100 players at www.valueaddbasketball.com, keeping the 75% ratio since 2003, as 39 of 52 Final Four teams have met the criteria outlined in this piece. Izzo is the only coach to have taken four teams to the Final Four who did not meet that criteria.

Going into Sunday’s game the East Region was guaranteed of not producing a 1-seed for the Final Four, with 4-seed Louisville and 7-seed Michigan State.  Louisville led by eight at halftime, and then hit only 19 percent of their shots in the second half. Still, trailing only 65-64 in the final seconds when Terry Rozier drove and missed a bank shot. Mathiang grabbed the rebound and was fouled as they put up the potential game-winning shot, but it dribbled along the left side of the rim three times before falling off.

He did manage to hit one of two free throws despite being only a 41 percent free throw shooter, but Michigan State pulled away for a 76-70 win in overtime.

We thought Duke’s Jahlil Okafor would have trouble with Gonzaga’s bigs, and he did but surprisingly on the offensive side—being held to single digits for the second game in a row. When he needed double team help on Gonzaga’s big man with a 53-51 lead,  Karnowski dished perfectly to Gonzaga’s All-American Wiltjer for an open layup to tie the game—except Wiltjer missed the layup.

Wilter had been 6 for 10 with 16 points and five rebounds until then, but finished 0-3 in the final five minutes with his first turnover of the game and Duke went on a 13-1 run for a 66-52 win.

The win for Duke gave President Obama his first win against a Breitbart Sports pick since the second day of the bracket—as he finished 3-10 head-to-head.

Breitbart Sports was in the 99th percentile with 87 points coming into Sunday, placing 53,007th of the millions of brackets submitted to CBS Sports. CBS Sports does not seem to list exactly how many brackets they receive, but almost 12 million turned them into the other big source—ESPN. If CBS Sports had that many, Breitbart Sports would still be in the 97 percentile after Gonzaga’s loss, but at the other extreme if CBS Sports received only a third as many as ESPN then Breitbart Sports would still be ahead of 90% of brackets.