The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Familiar Four ends unsurprisingly with two number-one seeds

With this year’s Final Four made up entirely of one and two seeds, the tournament could have been more predictable only if UNC and Kansas, the tournament’s other number one seeds, had not been eliminated the round before. The championship game pitted the number one seed in the entire tournament, Florida, against Ohio State, the team that ended the regular season ranked first in the national polls.

The seeders proved the pollsters’ superiors as the Gators won 84-75, beating the Buckeyes for the second time in the season, the first coming on Dec. 23 (86-60).

Their championship victory made them the first repeat champions since Duke accomplished the same feat in 1991 and 1992. They also became the first starting five to win two championships.

Senior Lee Humphrey and juniors Joaquin Noah, Corey Brewer, Al Horford, and Taurean Green, outlasted the closest thing our generation has had to the Fab Five recruiting class in freshmen Greg Oden, Michael Conley, Jr. and the Buckeyes.

Oden led the Buckeyes with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Al Horford put up 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Gators.

Other notable accomplishments in the game include Humphrey becoming the top 3-point shooter in NCAA tournament history with 43 3-pointers made in 14 games. The previous record was Bobby Hurley’s 42 threes in 20 games.

Humphrey got the chance to set the record when Florida reached the championship game by beating Central Connecticut, Xavier, Tennessee, Memphis and UCLA. The Final Four game against the Bruins was a rematch of the previous year’s title game, which Ohio State won 73-57.

This year’s Bruins vs. Buckeyes match-up was only slightly more competitive than last year’s, with Ohio State following Brewer’s 19 points and Horford’s 17 rebounds to a 76-66 victory.

On the other side of the bracket, Ohio State’s Final Four victory over Georgetown was slightly closer, 67-60, but the much anticipated game-within-a-game between big men Oden and the Hoya’s 7’2″ Roy Hibbert flopped. Oden started the match-up with two fouls in the first three minutes, sending him to the bench for the majority of the first half.

Despite the freshman phenom’s absence, Ohio State led comfortably the whole way.

“I just sat back and watched my teammates take over,” said Oden, who did not shoot in the first half and ended up with nine rebounds, to ESPN.

Hibbert finished the game with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Oden’s teammate and fellow freshman Michael Conley, Jr. finished with a team high 15 points.

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