Final Four Power Rankings: How each team stacks up heading into NCAA Tournament semifinals

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4 groups have battled by means of the gauntlet that’s the NCAA Males’s Basketball Event bracket to achieve the Last 4 in March Madness

This Saturday, No. 11 NC State faces No. 1 Purdue, whereas No. 4 Alabama goes head-to-head with No. 1 UConn. The winner of every sport could have a shot on the nationwide championship. 

As every workforce converges on State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona – the positioning of the Last 4 – let’s check out the facility rankings for these faculty basketball squads.

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UConn middle Donovan Clingan reacts after dunking through the second half in opposition to Marquette within the Large East Convention match championship on March 16, 2024, in New York Metropolis. (AP Picture/Mary Altaffer)

4. NC STATE WOLFPACK

Did you might have the Wolfpack making the Last 4 in your bracket? Only a few did, however March is all about getting sizzling on the proper time, and Cinderella’s slipper is on NC State’s foot heading into the weekend.

The newest victory for the squad got here in opposition to No. 4 Duke on Sunday, a shocker that introduced their win complete to 9 consecutive video games, which dates again to their ACC match run that led to them lifting the trophy.

NC STATE SHOCKS DUKE TO REACH FINAL FOUR AS CINDERELLA RUN CONTINUES

NC State scored 55 factors within the second half in opposition to an excellent Blue Devils workforce, which fits to point out that this workforce doesn’t care about seeding, or frankly, these energy rankings. Led by DJ Burns Jr. within the paint – he was named the South Area MVP after dropping 29 factors in opposition to Duke – and DJ Horne on the prime of the important thing, the Wolfpack’s newest probability at upsetting a prime seed will come in opposition to a tricky Boilermakers squad. 

NC State defeated No. 6 Texas Tech, No. 14 Oakland and No. 2 Marquette previous to beating Duke within the Elite Eight.

DJ Burns Jr. and Ben Middlebrooks celebrate on court

DJ Burns Jr., left, and Ben Middlebrooks of North Carolina State have a good time after scoring in opposition to Duke within the Elite Eight spherical of the NCAA Event at American Airways Middle in Dallas on March 31, 2024. (Patrick Smith/Getty Photographs)

3. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

The identify to the Crimson Tide’s sport has merely been: “Our offense is healthier than yours.” In fact, that’s fairly logical since they received up to now, however Nate Oates’ workforce has dropped 89 factors in back-to-back video games, most not too long ago taking down No. 6 Clemson within the Elite Eight.

The stunner, although, was beating No. 1 UNC, 89-87, within the Candy 16.

Alabama’s high-octane offense is powered by Mark Sears, the West Area MVP, who had a team-high 23 factors within the Elite Eight, which included seven three-pointers. Nick Pringle’s skills across the rim additionally assist the Crimson Tide’s efforts each time they’re enjoying. 

Whereas this workforce isn’t as stingy as others on the defensive finish, there’s no doubting their capacity to attain. They face a UConn workforce that has crushed its opponents by double digits relationship to final yr’s nationwide championship-winning run within the match. 

Can Alabama finish that streak, and extra importantly for the Crimson Tide, can their offense outlast the Huskies ultimately?

Alabama defeated No. 13 Charleston and No. 12 Grand Canyon previous to their Candy 16 and Elite Eight victories within the match.

Mark Sears quiets the crowd

Alabama’s Mark Sears is proven after a three-point basket through the second half in opposition to Grand Canyon within the second spherical of the NCAA Event at Spokane Veterans Memorial Enviornment in Washington on March 24, 2024. (Steph Chambers/Getty Photographs)

2. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS

You need your stars to point out up in March, and that’s precisely what Purdue’s gotten from middle Zach Edey. 

The massive man dropped 40 factors on Sunday to outlast Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht and his 37 factors. In fact, he was a monster on the glass as nicely, with 16 boards to steer Purdue into the Last 4.

That is what many anticipated Purdue to perform final season as a No. 1 seed earlier than they had been shockingly upset by No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson College within the first spherical. However that’s water underneath the bridge at this level. 

PURDUE’S ZACH EDEY TAKES SWIPE AT TENNESSEE COACH AS HE RECALLS THOSE WHO OVERLOOKED HIM

Now, it’s whether or not the Boilermakers can be part of the 2019 Virginia Cavaliers squad, who fell in 2018 to a No. 16 seed and ended up successful the nationwide championship the next yr.

This primary Last 4 look since 1980 may result in a minimum of an opportunity of successful the title. Purdue has a very good matchup with NC State, as Burns is their prime man whereas Edey has a transparent measurement benefit over him down low.

Purdue defeated No. 16 Grambling State, No. 8 Utah State and No. 5 Gonzaga earlier than beating the Volunteers.

Zach Edey holds the trophy

Purdue middle Zach Edey holds the regional championship trophy after an Elite Eight victory over Tennessee within the NCAA Event in Detroit on March 31, 2024. (AP Picture/Paul Sancya)

1. UCONN HUSKIES

Till UConn is defeated, they’ll keep atop these rankings. As a result of they’re not simply successful video games, they’re dominating opponents on both finish of the ground.

Once more, UConn has not been in shut video games when the ultimate rating is tallied, defeating its opponents by double-digit factors for the reason that starting of final yr’s championship run. The newest? A 77-52 victory over Illinois, which had the sport tied at 23 apiece at one level however let up a 30-0 run to wipe away any probability at an upset.

Sure, you learn that appropriately. The Huskies dropped 30 factors, and Illinois couldn’t match them on the offensive finish. Whether or not it’s Donovan Clingan wreaking havoc within the paint or Cam Spencer baffling defenders throughout the ground, the Dan Hurley-led group is as nicely oiled as they had been final season once they ended up beating San Diego State to win the title for the primary time for the reason that 2013-2014 season.

They’ve by no means gone back-to-back in class historical past, however as essentially the most dominant workforce within the match up to now, there’s an excellent probability that it received’t stand when all is claimed and performed.

Members of the teams in the 2024 Final Four

The 2024 Last 4 is about with No. 1 UConn taking up No. 4 Alabama and No. 1 Purdue dealing with off in opposition to No. 11 NC State. (Getty Photographs)

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UConn beat No. 16 Stetson, No. 9 Northwestern and No. 5 San Diego State earlier than dealing with Illinois within the Elite Eight.

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