COLUMBIA — Two mid-major basketball programs are making deep runs in this year's NCAA tournament, as both Butler and Virginia Commonwealth universities, from the Horizon League and the Colonial Athletic Association, respectively, have reached the championship's penultimate round.
They join UConn and Kentucky — from the Big East and Southeastern conferences — in the Final Four, set to take place Saturday in Houston. Butler and VCU will meet in one national semifinal, with UConn and Kentucky meeting in the other. The winners will then play for the NCAA national championship Monday.
Butler, seeded No. 8 in the Southeast region, has made an improbable run for the Final Four for the second consecutive year by defeating Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Florida.
Meanwhile, many critics said when the bracket was released that VCU didn't belong in the field, even after it earned one of the last four at-large bids. But since defeating USC in the play-in game, VCU has toppled Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas.
Butler or VCU? Whose run in the NCAA Tournament has most surprised you?