Four teams enter Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on Saturday afternoon, but only two will advance to the national championship game.
VCU and Butler will kick off the 2011 Final Four with tip-off set for 6:09 p.m. EDT. Kentucky will take on Connecticut in the second and final game of the day at 8:49 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on CBS.
These two games highlight exactly what makes the NCAA Tournament one of the best in all of sports. For the first time in tournament history, there are no top or seconds seeds in the Final Four. Instead, a No. 11 seed (VCU) will play a No. 8 seed (Butler) and a No. 3 seed (UConn) will face a No. 4 seed (Kentucky).
No Ohio State. No Duke. No Jared Sullinger and no Nolan Smith. Once again, unpredictability has ruled the hour.
While there aren't any top seeds left, that doesn't mean there won't be excellent match-ups on Saturday and Monday. VCU and Butler will ensure that one Cinderella team will make it to the NCAA national championship game, while Kentucky and UConn will send a proven program to the title bout.
What's better than a storied program and a Cinderella meeting to decide the national champion?
In Saturday's first game, the Bulldogs open as a 2.5-point favorite and are three-point favorites according to Bodog.com. That's to be expected, as Butler has been here before while VCU has not.In the end, that may be the difference, according to The Sports Network.
It's about to strike midnight for one of these two Cinderella teams, and while VCU has a ton of momentum and the will of a nation on its side, the experience gained by Butler last year should be enough to help the Bulldogs reach their second straight national title game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Butler 76, Virginia Commonwealth 71
UConn and Kentucky offer a different story line. Two of the nation's best programs, with two very controversial head coaches, will duke it out in the evening. Kemba Walker will almost certainly lead the Huskies in scoring, and Jeremy Lamb won't be far behind. For Kentucky, look for Brandon Knight and Terrance Jones to take control.
Both the Huskies and Wildcats bring star power to the table, but one star will have to shine brighter than the other in order for their team to win. The Sports Network predicts it will be Walker.
While both teams have shown chinks in the armor over the course of the season, they are clicking on all cylinders right now. This one may come down to the very end and their may not be two more clutch players in this event than Knight and Walker. Give the slight edge here to Walker, who has been here before.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 75, Kentucky 72
Final Four, Houston
No. 11 VCU vs. No. 8 Butler, 6:09 p.m., CBS (Nantz/Kellogg/Kerr/Wolfson)
No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 3 UConn, 8:49 p.m., CBS (Nantz/Kellogg/Kerr/Wolfson)
National Championship, 9 p.m., CBS (Nantz/Kellogg/Kerr/Wolfson)