The matchups are set and the Final Four in Indianapolis should be something special. You have three No. 1 seeds, and a team that was better than its seed entering the tournament, No. 7 Michigan State.
The four coaches -- Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, John Calipari and Bo Ryan -- have combined for 25 previous Final Fours. Coach K is making his 12th trip to the Final Four, tying the record of the legendary Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden. Among this quartet of coaches, only Ryan has not won a national championship.
I worked the Michigan State-Duke game earlier this season, also in Indianapolis. (That regular-season meeting was at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; this one will be at Lucas Oil Stadium.) Both teams are very different right now.
In the first meeting, which Duke won 81-71, Tyus Jones was a major factor. He scored 17 points (4-of-5 field goal shooting), dished out four assists and did not commit a turnover. Jahlil Okafor had 17 points (8-of-10 from the field) and Branden Dawson had 18 points (8-of-10), and Duke shot 54 percent from the floor.
One key for Duke is the 3-point shot. Against Gonzaga, the Blue Devils hit eight trifectas compared to two for the Zags. Matt Jones, who had 11 points in the first three games of the NCAA tournament, scored 16 against Gonzaga. Jones got more playing time after Rasheed Sulaimon was dismissed from the team in late January.
Duke's defense held Gonzaga to a season-low 52 points. The Zags came into the game 10th in the nation in scoring at 79.1 PPG.
Wisconsin-Kentucky should also be a fantastic game. These teams met in the national semifinal last year, won by the Wildcats, 74-73. The leading scorers for the Cats in that game, James Young and Julius Randle, left for the NBA after last season. Frank Kaminsky was held to eight points in that contest.
Guard play will be vital in this showdown, too. Look for Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis, along with Andrew and Aaron Harrison, to have important roles here.
March Madness is the best three weeks in all of sports. This tournament has had so many great moments. There will be more in Indianapolis, baby!