USA TODAY

After upsets, Final Four has a different look

March 31, 2019 - 6:53 pm
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The Final Four is set. And after an opening weekend that went to plan based on the seeds, things look different heading into Minneapolis.

Virginia is the only No. 1 seed to make it through to the final weekend of the season, with No. 1 overall seed Duke in the East and Gonzaga in the West losing in the regional finals. Midwest Region top seed North Carolina lost in the Sweet 16.

That leaves a No. 2 seed in Michigan State, a No. 3 seed in Texas Tech and a No. 5 seed in Auburn. The Cavaliers and surging Tigers meet in Saturday's first national semifinal, followed by the Spartans and the defensive-minded Red Raiders.

That's one team each from the Atlantic Coast, the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the Southeastern conferences.

As for the coaches, Michigan State's Tom Izzo is in the Final Four for the eighth time and first since 2015. He's joined by a trio of first-timers in Virginia's Tony Bennett, Texas Tech's Chris Beard and Auburn's Bruce Pearl.

Michigan State upset Zion Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke 68-67 in the East Region final.

The victory sends the No. 2 seed Spartans coach Tom Izzo to his eighth Final Four. Michigan State's most recent trip was in 2015, when it lost to Duke in the national semifinals.

Cassius Winston, the Big Ten Player of the Year, had 20 points and 10 assists.

Duke had escaped its previous two games, winning them by a total of three points, but couldn't pull out this one.

Williamson, the superb freshman expected to be the top pick in this year's NBA draft, had 24 points and 14 rebounds. RJ Barrett, Duke's other star freshman, scored 21 points but also had seven turnovers and missed one of two free throws with 5.2 seconds left with a chance to tie it.

Michigan State will face West Region champ Texas Tech for a berth in the national title game.

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