After a fun first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, college hoops fans are taking another look at who will reach the Final Four. While there are two regions we appear extremely confident in, the other two have clear splits heading into the Sweet Sixteen.
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, college basketball fans think Gonzaga, Baylor, Alabama and Loyola will reach the Final Four.
The closest vote came in the East Region, where top-seed Michigan hasn’t fully won over the country. Alabama received 36 percent of the vote, narrowly edging out Michigan’s 35%. Maybe it was the Wolverines still without Isaiah Livers and their narrow win over LSU, or maybe it was Alabama blitzing Maryland... either way there’s reason to go either way. If Livers is back, I’d probably lean Michigan.
In the West Region, the clear favorite at the start of the tournament still has almost complete fan confidence. 91 percent (too low, get outta here, Oregon and USC fans) of voters believe Gonzaga will reach the Final Four, with both Oregon and USC receiving four percent each as the next closest teams... sorry, Creighton.
The biggest surprise of the vote, and likely of the tournament if it plays out, came from the Midwest Region. With Illinois out, college basketball fans have jumped on the Loyola bandwagon, with 37 percent of fans picking the Ramblers to reach the Final Four. Loyola slightly outpaced two-seed Houston with 35 percent of the vote. Don’t sleep on Syracuse because I’m convinced Jim Boeheim is an unholy incubus sucking the life force off of others to keep his program alive and stealing Final Four bids from more worthy teams with his stupid 2-3 zone.
The South Region also is expected to be chalk, with 74 percent of fans picking Baylor to emerge. Arkansas, the next highest vote-getter, earned 12 percent. You hear that Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor, they don’t believe.
Oral Roberts received the lowest percentage of votes in the region, but they have already become the biggest surprise of the tournament. 63 percent of fans said it was more surprising to see ORU reach the Sweet Sixteen than they were to see Illinois lose in the round of 32.
To get into the second weekend, Oral Roberts started their run with a shocking win over two-seed Ohio State. 37 percent of fans believe that was the best game of the first weekend, the highest percentage of any game.
The win put not only Oral Roberts on the map, but also Abmas. The guard was picked by fans as the player who has made the biggest name for himself during the tournament so far.
Oral Roberts still has an extremely difficult path ahead if they want to reach the Final Four. But if there was a double-digit seeded team to make the national semifinals, fans believe it would be 11-seed Syracuse. Bleh.
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