(CNN)Here’s two reasons to marvel at the men’s Final Four on Saturday night:

Somehow, the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t derail the season, despite lots of postponed or canceled games over five months.Second, for all the strange circumstances — limited attendance, no bands, teams playing in just one state and sequestered in four hotels — this tourney has great basketball stories to tell. Despite crazy upsets, much of the cream rose. The NCAA men’s basketball national semifinals will include arguably the game’s top two teams in Gonzaga and Baylor, and a third top contender in Houston.Gonzaga (30-0), ranked No. 1 all year, will try to become the first undefeated Division I men’s champion since Indiana in 1976.Read MoreAnd we have the obligatory upstart story in UCLA, a strange thing to utter about a title-rich program. But this 11-seed is only the second team to reach the Final Four after starting in the First Four play-in round, which expanded the men’s field from 64 teams to 68 in 2011.Now, a night after the women’s Final Four gave us a nail-biting win for Stanford and Arizona’s stunning upset of UConn, here’s what to look for during the men’s Final Four at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday. Gonzaga players celebrate after winning the West Regional and clinching a spot in the Final Four. The Bulldogs, the top-seeded team in the tournament, blew out USC 85-66 on Tuesday.Gonzaga players celebrate after winning the West Regional and clinching a spot in the Final Four. The Bulldogs, the top-seeded team in the tournament, blew out USC 85-66 on Tuesday. Photos: March Madness 2021Gonzaga players celebrate after winning the West Regional and clinching a spot in the Final Four. The Bulldogs, the top-seeded team in the tournament, blew out USC 85-66 on Tuesday.Hide Caption 1 of 82Gonzaga's Drew Timme flexes during the first half of the USC game. He finished with 23 points.Gonzaga's Drew Timme flexes during the first half of the USC game. He finished with 23 points. Photos: March Madness 2021Gonzaga’s Drew Timme flexes during the first half of the USC game. He finished with 23 points.Hide Caption 2 of 82Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi steals the ball from USC's Drew Peterson.Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi steals the ball from USC's Drew Peterson. Photos: March Madness 2021Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi steals the ball from USC’s Drew Peterson.Hide Caption 3 of 82Referee Bert Smith lies on the court after <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/30/us/ncaa-gonzaga-usc-official-spt/index.html" target="_blank">collapsing during the first half</a> of the Gonzaga-USC game. As he left the court on a gurney, he was sitting upright and appeared to be talking to a man walking beside him.Referee Bert Smith lies on the court after <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/30/us/ncaa-gonzaga-usc-official-spt/index.html" target="_blank">collapsing during the first half</a> of the Gonzaga-USC game. As he left the court on a gurney, he was sitting upright and appeared to be talking to a man walking beside him. Photos: March Madness 2021Referee Bert Smith lies on the court after collapsing during the first half of the Gonzaga-USC game. As he left the court on a gurney, he was sitting upright and appeared to be talking to a man walking beside him.Hide Caption 4 of 82From left, UCLA's Johnny Juzang, Tyger Campbell and Jaylen Clark celebrate on Tuesday after the Bruins defeated Michigan 51-49 to make the Final Four. UCLA, an 11-seed, started in the First Four and then rattled off five straight tournament wins.From left, UCLA's Johnny Juzang, Tyger Campbell and Jaylen Clark celebrate on Tuesday after the Bruins defeated Michigan 51-49 to make the Final Four. UCLA, an 11-seed, started in the First Four and then rattled off five straight tournament wins. Photos: March Madness 2021From left, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang, Tyger Campbell and Jaylen Clark celebrate on Tuesday after the Bruins defeated Michigan 51-49 to make the Final Four. UCLA, an 11-seed, started in the First Four and then rattled off five straight tournament wins.Hide Caption 5 of 82Michigan's Franz Wagner, right, reacts in front of UCLA's Jules Bernard after missing a shot at the end of the game on Tuesday.Michigan's Franz Wagner, right, reacts in front of UCLA's Jules Bernard after missing a shot at the end of the game on Tuesday. Photos: March Madness 2021Michigan’s Franz Wagner, right, reacts in front of UCLA’s Jules Bernard after missing a shot at the end of the game on Tuesday.Hide Caption 6 of 82UCLA head coach Mick Cronin celebrates with his team after the Michigan win.UCLA head coach Mick Cronin celebrates with his team after the Michigan win. Photos: March Madness 2021UCLA head coach Mick Cronin celebrates with his team after the Michigan win.Hide Caption 7 of 82UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell rises for a shot on Tuesday.UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell rises for a shot on Tuesday. Photos: March Madness 2021UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell rises for a shot on Tuesday.Hide Caption 8 of 82Baylor's Mark Vital enjoys the postgame confetti after the Bears defeated Arkansas on Monday to advance to the Final Four. It's Baylor's first trip to the Final Four since 1950.Baylor's Mark Vital enjoys the postgame confetti after the Bears defeated Arkansas on Monday to advance to the Final Four. It's Baylor's first trip to the Final Four since 1950. Photos: March Madness 2021Baylor’s Mark Vital enjoys the postgame confetti after the Bears defeated Arkansas on Monday to advance to the Final Four. It’s Baylor’s first trip to the Final Four since 1950.Hide Caption 9 of 82Baylor forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, center, goes for a rebound against Arkansas' JD Notae, left, and Jalen Tate.Baylor forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, center, goes for a rebound against Arkansas' JD Notae, left, and Jalen Tate. Photos: March Madness 2021Baylor forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, center, goes for a rebound against Arkansas’ JD Notae, left, and Jalen Tate.Hide Caption 10 of 82Baylor's Davion Mitchell is swarmed by Arkansas defenders on Monday.Baylor's Davion Mitchell is swarmed by Arkansas defenders on Monday. Photos: March Madness 2021Baylor’s Davion Mitchell is swarmed by Arkansas defenders on Monday.Hide Caption 11 of 82Baylor huddles before the Arkansas game.Baylor huddles before the Arkansas game. Photos: March Madness 2021Baylor huddles before the Arkansas game.Hide Caption 12 of 82The Houston Cougars celebrate after defeating Oregon State 67-61 in the Elite Eight on Monday. Houston will play in the Final Four for the first time since 1984.The Houston Cougars celebrate after defeating Oregon State 67-61 in the Elite Eight on Monday. Houston will play in the Final Four for the first time since 1984. Photos: March Madness 2021The Houston Cougars celebrate after defeating Oregon State 67-61 in the Elite Eight on Monday. Houston will play in the Final Four for the first time since 1984.Hide Caption 13 of 82Oregon State guard Ethan Thompson, center, is fouled during the first half of the game against Houston.Oregon State guard Ethan Thompson, center, is fouled during the first half of the game against Houston. Photos: March Madness 2021Oregon State guard Ethan Thompson, center, is fouled during the first half of the game against Houston.Hide Caption 14 of 82Houston's Fabian White Jr. defends Oregon State's Maurice Calloo on Monday.Houston's Fabian White Jr. defends Oregon State's Maurice Calloo on Monday. Photos: March Madness 2021Houston’s Fabian White Jr. defends Oregon State’s Maurice Calloo on Monday.Hide Caption 15 of 82Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson cuts down the net after the Oregon State win.Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson cuts down the net after the Oregon State win. Photos: March Madness 2021Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson cuts down the net after the Oregon State win.Hide Caption 16 of 82Michigan's Brandon Johns Jr. throws down a dunk during a Sweet Sixteen win against Florida State on Sunday.Michigan's Brandon Johns Jr. throws down a dunk during a Sweet Sixteen win against Florida State on Sunday. Photos: March Madness 2021Michigan’s Brandon Johns Jr. throws down a dunk during a Sweet Sixteen win against Florida State on Sunday.Hide Caption 17 of 82Florida State's Sardaar Calhoun reacts after drawing a foul on Sunday.Florida State's Sardaar Calhoun reacts after drawing a foul on Sunday. Photos: March Madness 2021Florida State’s Sardaar Calhoun reacts after drawing a foul on Sunday.Hide Caption 18 of 82Alabama's Juwan Gary dunks the ball against UCLA on Sunday.Alabama's Juwan Gary dunks the ball against UCLA on Sunday. Photos: March Madness 2021Alabama’s Juwan Gary dunks the ball against UCLA on Sunday.Hide Caption 19 of 82Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner, left, and Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs reach for a loose ball on Sunday.Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner, left, and Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs reach for a loose ball on Sunday. Photos: March Madness 2021Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner, left, and Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs reach for a loose ball on Sunday.Hide Caption 20 of 82A Michigan fan cheers on her team during the game against Florida State on Sunday.A Michigan fan cheers on her team during the game against Florida State on Sunday. Photos: March Madness 2021A Michigan fan cheers on her team during the game against Florida State on Sunday.Hide Caption 21 of 82Michigan guard Mike Smith is guarded by Florida State's Rayquan Evans on Sunday.Michigan guard Mike Smith is guarded by Florida State's Rayquan Evans on Sunday. Photos: March Madness 2021Michigan guard Mike Smith is guarded by Florida State’s Rayquan Evans on Sunday.Hide Caption 22 of 82Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman celebrates with Davonte Davis after their Sweet Sixteen victory over Oral Roberts on Saturday. Davis hit the game-winning shot in the 72-70 victory.Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman celebrates with Davonte Davis after their Sweet Sixteen victory over Oral Roberts on Saturday. Davis hit the game-winning shot in the 72-70 victory. Photos: March Madness 2021Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman celebrates with Davonte Davis after their Sweet Sixteen victory over Oral Roberts on Saturday. Davis hit the game-winning shot in the 72-70 victory.Hide Caption 23 of 82Fans wait for the Syracuse-Houston game on Saturday.Fans wait for the Syracuse-Houston game on Saturday. Photos: March Madness 2021Fans wait for the Syracuse-Houston game on Saturday.Hide Caption 24 of 82Villanova's Brandon Slater dunks the ball during a Sweet Sixteen matchup with Baylor on Saturday. Baylor advanced with a 62-51 victory.Villanova's Brandon Slater dunks the ball during a Sweet Sixteen matchup with Baylor on Saturday. Baylor advanced with a 62-51 victory. Photos: March Madness 2021Villanova’s Brandon Slater dunks the ball during a Sweet Sixteen matchup with Baylor on Saturday. Baylor advanced with a 62-51 victory.Hide Caption 25 of 82Oregon State played Loyola in the first Sweet Sixteen game of the tournament. Oregon State, a 12 seed, won 65-58 to advance to the Elite Eight.Oregon State played Loyola in the first Sweet Sixteen game of the tournament. Oregon State, a 12 seed, won 65-58 to advance to the Elite Eight. Photos: March Madness 2021Oregon State played Loyola in the first Sweet Sixteen game of the tournament. Oregon State, a 12 seed, won 65-58 to advance to the Elite Eight.Hide Caption 26 of 82Oral Roberts head coach Paul Mills argues a call during a Sweet Sixteen game against Arkansas on Saturday.Oral Roberts head coach Paul Mills argues a call during a Sweet Sixteen game against Arkansas on Saturday. Photos: March Madness 2021Oral Roberts head coach Paul Mills argues a call during a Sweet Sixteen game against Arkansas on Saturday.Hide Caption 27 of 82Fans are silhouetted during the Baylor-Villanova game, which was played at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.Fans are silhouetted during the Baylor-Villanova game, which was played at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Photos: March Madness 2021Fans are silhouetted during the Baylor-Villanova game, which was played at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.Hide Caption 28 of 82Oregon State's Warith Alatishe celebrates the Beavers' Elite Eight berth.Oregon State's Warith Alatishe celebrates the Beavers' Elite Eight berth. Photos: March Madness 2021Oregon State’s Warith Alatishe celebrates the Beavers’ Elite Eight berth.Hide Caption 29 of 82Creighton's Christian Bishop dunks the ball during a second-round win over Ohio on March 22.Creighton's Christian Bishop dunks the ball during a second-round win over Ohio on March 22. Photos: March Madness 2021Creighton’s Christian Bishop dunks the ball during a second-round win over Ohio on March 22.Hide Caption 30 of 82Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery hugs Luka Garza at the end of their loss to Oregon on March 22.Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery hugs Luka Garza at the end of their loss to Oregon on March 22. Photos: March Madness 2021Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery hugs Luka Garza at the end of their loss to Oregon on March 22.Hide Caption 31 of 82Iowa's Patrick McCaffery is defended by Oregon's LJ Figueroa on March 22.Iowa's Patrick McCaffery is defended by Oregon's LJ Figueroa on March 22. Photos: March Madness 2021Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery is defended by Oregon’s LJ Figueroa on March 22.Hide Caption 32 of 82LSU players Josh LeBlanc Sr., left, and Javonte Smart walk off the court after their second-round loss to Michigan.LSU players Josh LeBlanc Sr., left, and Javonte Smart walk off the court after their second-round loss to Michigan. Photos: March Madness 2021LSU players Josh LeBlanc Sr., left, and Javonte Smart walk off the court after their second-round loss to Michigan.Hide Caption 33 of 82Oklahoma's Alondes Williams dunks the ball during the Sooners' second-round game against Gonzaga. Gonzaga won 87-71 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.Oklahoma's Alondes Williams dunks the ball during the Sooners' second-round game against Gonzaga. Gonzaga won 87-71 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Photos: March Madness 2021Oklahoma’s Alondes Williams dunks the ball during the Sooners’ second-round game against Gonzaga. Gonzaga won 87-71 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.Hide Caption 34 of 82A fan sits in the stands during a second-round game in Indianapolis.A fan sits in the stands during a second-round game in Indianapolis. Photos: March Madness 2021A fan sits in the stands during a second-round game in Indianapolis.Hide Caption 35 of 82The Loyola Ramblers celebrate a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. Loyola, an 8-seed in the Midwest Region, had just defeated Illinois, the region's No. 1 seed.The Loyola Ramblers celebrate a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. Loyola, an 8-seed in the Midwest Region, had just defeated Illinois, the region's No. 1 seed. Photos: March Madness 2021The Loyola Ramblers celebrate a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. Loyola, an 8-seed in the Midwest Region, had just defeated Illinois, the region’s No. 1 seed.Hide Caption 36 of 82Illinois guard Andre Curbelo eyes a loose ball while falling to the ground on March 21.Illinois guard Andre Curbelo eyes a loose ball while falling to the ground on March 21. Photos: March Madness 2021Illinois guard Andre Curbelo eyes a loose ball while falling to the ground on March 21.Hide Caption 37 of 82Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Loyola's 101-year-old chaplain, cheers on her team after their big win over Illinois. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/16/us/loyola-sister-jean-march-madness-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">The basketball-loving nun</a> became famous in 2018 during the school's Cinderella run to the Final Four.Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Loyola's 101-year-old chaplain, cheers on her team after their big win over Illinois. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/16/us/loyola-sister-jean-march-madness-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">The basketball-loving nun</a> became famous in 2018 during the school's Cinderella run to the Final Four. Photos: March Madness 2021Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Loyola’s 101-year-old chaplain, cheers on her team after their big win over Illinois. The basketball-loving nun became famous in 2018 during the school’s Cinderella run to the Final Four.Hide Caption 38 of 82Tramon Mark scores the game-tying putback in the final minute of Houston's second-round matchup with Rutgers on March 21. Mark was also fouled on the play, and he made the free throw to give Houston a lead it would never reliquish.Tramon Mark scores the game-tying putback in the final minute of Houston's second-round matchup with Rutgers on March 21. Mark was also fouled on the play, and he made the free throw to give Houston a lead it would never reliquish. Photos: March Madness 2021Tramon Mark scores the game-tying putback in the final minute of Houston’s second-round matchup with Rutgers on March 21. Mark was also fouled on the play, and he made the free throw to give Houston a lead it would never reliquish.Hide Caption 39 of 82Rutgers' Myles Johnson consoles Ron Harper Jr. after the close loss to Houston.Rutgers' Myles Johnson consoles Ron Harper Jr. after the close loss to Houston. Photos: March Madness 2021Rutgers’ Myles Johnson consoles Ron Harper Jr. after the close loss to Houston.Hide Caption 40 of 82Arkansas guard Davonte Davis throws down a dunk against Texas Tech on March 21.Arkansas guard Davonte Davis throws down a dunk against Texas Tech on March 21. Photos: March Madness 2021Arkansas guard Davonte Davis throws down a dunk against Texas Tech on March 21.Hide Caption 41 of 82Tobias Cameron kisses the head of teammate Joe Pleasant after Pleasant's two clutch free throws gave Abilene Christian a 53-52 win over Texas on March 20. It was the last of several first-round upsets in this NCAA Tournament. Abilene Christian was a 14-seed. Texas was a 3-seed.Tobias Cameron kisses the head of teammate Joe Pleasant after Pleasant's two clutch free throws gave Abilene Christian a 53-52 win over Texas on March 20. It was the last of several first-round upsets in this NCAA Tournament. Abilene Christian was a 14-seed. Texas was a 3-seed. Photos: March Madness 2021Tobias Cameron kisses the head of teammate Joe Pleasant after Pleasant’s two clutch free throws gave Abilene Christian a 53-52 win over Texas on March 20. It was the last of several first-round upsets in this NCAA Tournament. Abilene Christian was a 14-seed. Texas was a 3-seed.Hide Caption 42 of 82Iowa's Luka Garza and Grand Canyon's Asbjorn Midtgaard take part in the opening tip-off of a first-round game.Iowa's Luka Garza and Grand Canyon's Asbjorn Midtgaard take part in the opening tip-off of a first-round game. Photos: March Madness 2021Iowa’s Luka Garza and Grand Canyon’s Asbjorn Midtgaard take part in the opening tip-off of a first-round game.Hide Caption 43 of 82Ohio players celebrate after their first-round win over Virginia. Ohio was a 13-seed in the West Region. Virginia, the 2019 champions, came into the tournament as a 4-seed.Ohio players celebrate after their first-round win over Virginia. Ohio was a 13-seed in the West Region. Virginia, the 2019 champions, came into the tournament as a 4-seed. Photos: March Madness 2021Ohio players celebrate after their first-round win over Virginia. Ohio was a 13-seed in the West Region. Virginia, the 2019 champions, came into the tournament as a 4-seed.Hide Caption 44 of 82Florida State's Balsa Koprivica, left, hits the boards along with UNC-Greensboro's Isaiah Miller.Florida State's Balsa Koprivica, left, hits the boards along with UNC-Greensboro's Isaiah Miller. Photos: March Madness 2021Florida State’s Balsa Koprivica, left, hits the boards along with UNC-Greensboro’s Isaiah Miller.Hide Caption 45 of 82Norfolk State's Joe Bryant Jr. reacts after a first-round loss to Gonzaga.Norfolk State's Joe Bryant Jr. reacts after a first-round loss to Gonzaga. Photos: March Madness 2021Norfolk State’s Joe Bryant Jr. reacts after a first-round loss to Gonzaga.Hide Caption 46 of 82Creighton's Mitch Ballock, right, and UC-Santa Barbara's Amadou Sow reach for a loose ball during their first-round game.Creighton's Mitch Ballock, right, and UC-Santa Barbara's Amadou Sow reach for a loose ball during their first-round game. Photos: March Madness 2021Creighton’s Mitch Ballock, right, and UC-Santa Barbara’s Amadou Sow reach for a loose ball during their first-round game.Hide Caption 47 of 82Ohio's Dwight Wilson III watches his layup fall through the net during the Virginia game.Ohio's Dwight Wilson III watches his layup fall through the net during the Virginia game. Photos: March Madness 2021Ohio’s Dwight Wilson III watches his layup fall through the net during the Virginia game.Hide Caption 48 of 82The scoreboard goes dark at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum earlier than expected on March 20. VCU and Oregon were scheduled to play a first-round game, but it was called off after VCU had some positive Covid-19 tests. Oregon advanced to the next round.The scoreboard goes dark at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum earlier than expected on March 20. VCU and Oregon were scheduled to play a first-round game, but it was called off after VCU had some positive Covid-19 tests. Oregon advanced to the next round. Photos: March Madness 2021The scoreboard goes dark at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum earlier than expected on March 20. VCU and Oregon were scheduled to play a first-round game, but it was called off after VCU had some positive Covid-19 tests. Oregon advanced to the next round.Hide Caption 49 of 82Grand Canyon fans show their support for their team prior to the Iowa game on March 20.Grand Canyon fans show their support for their team prior to the Iowa game on March 20. Photos: March Madness 2021Grand Canyon fans show their support for their team prior to the Iowa game on March 20.Hide Caption 50 of 82Virginia's Sam Hauser shoots over Ohio's Ben Roderick.Virginia's Sam Hauser shoots over Ohio's Ben Roderick. Photos: March Madness 2021Virginia’s Sam Hauser shoots over Ohio’s Ben Roderick.Hide Caption 51 of 82Eastern Washington's Michael Meadows drives to the basket during the first half against Kansas on March 20.Eastern Washington's Michael Meadows drives to the basket during the first half against Kansas on March 20. Photos: March Madness 2021Eastern Washington’s Michael Meadows drives to the basket during the first half against Kansas on March 20.Hide Caption 52 of 82LSU players cheer on their teammates during their first-round win against St. Bonaventure.LSU players cheer on their teammates during their first-round win against St. Bonaventure. Photos: March Madness 2021LSU players cheer on their teammates during their first-round win against St. Bonaventure.Hide Caption 53 of 82Michigan fans wait for the team's opening game against Texas Southern.Michigan fans wait for the team's opening game against Texas Southern. Photos: March Madness 2021Michigan fans wait for the team’s opening game against Texas Southern.Hide Caption 54 of 82Houston's Tramon Mark dribbles past Cleveland State's Tre Gomillion during their first-round game on March 19.Houston's Tramon Mark dribbles past Cleveland State's Tre Gomillion during their first-round game on March 19. Photos: March Madness 2021Houston’s Tramon Mark dribbles past Cleveland State’s Tre Gomillion during their first-round game on March 19.Hide Caption 55 of 82North Texas players celebrate after they upset Purdue on March 19. The Mean Green, a 13-seed, won 78-69 in overtime.North Texas players celebrate after they upset Purdue on March 19. The Mean Green, a 13-seed, won 78-69 in overtime. Photos: March Madness 2021North Texas players celebrate after they upset Purdue on March 19. The Mean Green, a 13-seed, won 78-69 in overtime.Hide Caption 56 of 82Television commentators Ian Eagle, left, and Grant Hill watch a game in West Lafayette, Indiana.Television commentators Ian Eagle, left, and Grant Hill watch a game in West Lafayette, Indiana. Photos: March Madness 2021Television commentators Ian Eagle, left, and Grant Hill watch a game in West Lafayette, Indiana.Hide Caption 57 of 82Arkansas' Davonte Davis rises for a layup during the Razorbacks' first-round win over Colgate.Arkansas' Davonte Davis rises for a layup during the Razorbacks' first-round win over Colgate. Photos: March Madness 2021Arkansas’ Davonte Davis rises for a layup during the Razorbacks’ first-round win over Colgate.Hide Caption 58 of 82Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle celebrates a 3-pointer with his players during their upset win over Tennessee on March 19. The 12th-seeded Beavers defeated the fifth-seeded Volunteers 70-56.Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle celebrates a 3-pointer with his players during their upset win over Tennessee on March 19. The 12th-seeded Beavers defeated the fifth-seeded Volunteers 70-56. Photos: March Madness 2021Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle celebrates a 3-pointer with his players during their upset win over Tennessee on March 19. The 12th-seeded Beavers defeated the fifth-seeded Volunteers 70-56.Hide Caption 59 of 82Baylor takes on Hartford at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.Baylor takes on Hartford at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Photos: March Madness 2021Baylor takes on Hartford at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.Hide Caption 60 of 82Utah State forward Justin Bean tries to save a ball from going out of bounds during a first-round game against Texas Tech.Utah State forward Justin Bean tries to save a ball from going out of bounds during a first-round game against Texas Tech. Photos: March Madness 2021Utah State forward Justin Bean tries to save a ball from going out of bounds during a first-round game against Texas Tech.Hide Caption 61 of 82A man wears a face shield and mask at the North Texas-Purdue game.A man wears a face shield and mask at the North Texas-Purdue game. Photos: March Madness 2021A man wears a face shield and mask at the North Texas-Purdue game.Hide Caption 62 of 82Players from Oral Roberts celebrate after their upset win over Ohio State on March 19. The Golden Eagles won 75-72 in overtime. It's only the ninth time in tournament history that a 15-seed has defeated a 2-seed.Players from Oral Roberts celebrate after their upset win over Ohio State on March 19. The Golden Eagles won 75-72 in overtime. It's only the ninth time in tournament history that a 15-seed has defeated a 2-seed. Photos: March Madness 2021Players from Oral Roberts celebrate after their upset win over Ohio State on March 19. The Golden Eagles won 75-72 in overtime. It’s only the ninth time in tournament history that a 15-seed has defeated a 2-seed.Hide Caption 63 of 82Ohio State's Zed Key, left, and Duane Washington Jr. react after the loss to Oral Roberts.Ohio State's Zed Key, left, and Duane Washington Jr. react after the loss to Oral Roberts. Photos: March Madness 2021Ohio State’s Zed Key, left, and Duane Washington Jr. react after the loss to Oral Roberts.Hide Caption 64 of 82Florida's Colin Castleton blocks Virginia Tech's Tyrece Radford during their first-round game. Florida won 75-70 in overtime.Florida's Colin Castleton blocks Virginia Tech's Tyrece Radford during their first-round game. Florida won 75-70 in overtime. Photos: March Madness 2021Florida’s Colin Castleton blocks Virginia Tech’s Tyrece Radford during their first-round game. Florida won 75-70 in overtime.Hide Caption 65 of 82North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts after his team turned the ball over against Wisconsin on March 19. Wisconsin won 85-62. It is the first time that Williams has lost in the first round as a head coach. He had been 29-0.North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts after his team turned the ball over against Wisconsin on March 19. Wisconsin won 85-62. It is the first time that Williams has lost in the first round as a head coach. He had been 29-0. Photos: March Madness 2021North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts after his team turned the ball over against Wisconsin on March 19. Wisconsin won 85-62. It is the first time that Williams has lost in the first round as a head coach. He had been 29-0.Hide Caption 66 of 82A staff member sprays disinfectant on a handrail at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.A staff member sprays disinfectant on a handrail at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Photos: March Madness 2021A staff member sprays disinfectant on a handrail at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.Hide Caption 67 of 82Texas Tech's Clarence Nadolny reacts during his team's first-round win against Utah State. Texas Tech was the tournament runner-up in 2019.Texas Tech's Clarence Nadolny reacts during his team's first-round win against Utah State. Texas Tech was the tournament runner-up in 2019. Photos: March Madness 2021Texas Tech’s Clarence Nadolny reacts during his team’s first-round win against Utah State. Texas Tech was the tournament runner-up in 2019.Hide Caption 68 of 82Oral Roberts star Max Abmas, the leading scorer in the country, shoots a floater in the first half against Ohio State. He finished with 29 points in his team's upset victory.Oral Roberts star Max Abmas, the leading scorer in the country, shoots a floater in the first half against Ohio State. He finished with 29 points in his team's upset victory. Photos: March Madness 2021Oral Roberts star Max Abmas, the leading scorer in the country, shoots a floater in the first half against Ohio State. He finished with 29 points in his team’s upset victory.Hide Caption 69 of 82Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman barks out defensive instructions on March 19.Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman barks out defensive instructions on March 19. Photos: March Madness 2021Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman barks out defensive instructions on March 19.Hide Caption 70 of 82Mezie Offurum, a forward for Mount St. Mary's, reacts after a dunk in the tournament's opening game on March 18. The game was played at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.Mezie Offurum, a forward for Mount St. Mary's, reacts after a dunk in the tournament's opening game on March 18. The game was played at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. Photos: March Madness 2021Mezie Offurum, a forward for Mount St. Mary’s, reacts after a dunk in the tournament’s opening game on March 18. The game was played at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.Hide Caption 71 of 82Drake's Darnell Brodie, left, and Wichita State's Tyson Etienne battle for a loose ball during their "First Four" play-in game. Drake won 53-52 for its first NCAA Tournament win in 50 years.Drake's Darnell Brodie, left, and Wichita State's Tyson Etienne battle for a loose ball during their "First Four" play-in game. Drake won 53-52 for its first NCAA Tournament win in 50 years. Photos: March Madness 2021Drake’s Darnell Brodie, left, and Wichita State’s Tyson Etienne battle for a loose ball during their “First Four” play-in game. Drake won 53-52 for its first NCAA Tournament win in 50 years.Hide Caption 72 of 82Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has a heated conversation with Gabe Brown during their game against UCLA on March 18. UCLA won 86-80 in overtime.Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has a heated conversation with Gabe Brown during their game against UCLA on March 18. UCLA won 86-80 in overtime. Photos: March Madness 2021Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has a heated conversation with Gabe Brown during their game against UCLA on March 18. UCLA won 86-80 in overtime.Hide Caption 73 of 82Appalachian State fans are spread out while cheering on the Mountaineers against Norfolk State.Appalachian State fans are spread out while cheering on the Mountaineers against Norfolk State. Photos: March Madness 2021Appalachian State fans are spread out while cheering on the Mountaineers against Norfolk State.Hide Caption 74 of 82Norfolk State guard Jalen Hawkins gets off a shot against Appalachian State.Norfolk State guard Jalen Hawkins gets off a shot against Appalachian State. Photos: March Madness 2021Norfolk State guard Jalen Hawkins gets off a shot against Appalachian State.Hide Caption 75 of 82An arena worker sprays down a team bench area between games in Bloomington. The players were spread out in areas normally meant for fans.An arena worker sprays down a team bench area between games in Bloomington. The players were spread out in areas normally meant for fans. Photos: March Madness 2021An arena worker sprays down a team bench area between games in Bloomington. The players were spread out in areas normally meant for fans.Hide Caption 76 of 82Texas Southern celebrates after defeating Mount St. Mary's 60-52 in the first game of the tournament.Texas Southern celebrates after defeating Mount St. Mary's 60-52 in the first game of the tournament. Photos: March Madness 2021Texas Southern celebrates after defeating Mount St. Mary’s 60-52 in the first game of the tournament.Hide Caption 77 of 82UCLA's Cody Riley shoots the ball over Michigan State's Mady Sissoko.UCLA's Cody Riley shoots the ball over Michigan State's Mady Sissoko. Photos: March Madness 2021UCLA’s Cody Riley shoots the ball over Michigan State’s Mady Sissoko.Hide Caption 78 of 82Wichita State's Morris Udeze walks over to teammate Tyson Etienne after Etienne was called for a foul against Drake.Wichita State's Morris Udeze walks over to teammate Tyson Etienne after Etienne was called for a foul against Drake. Photos: March Madness 2021Wichita State’s Morris Udeze walks over to teammate Tyson Etienne after Etienne was called for a foul against Drake.Hide Caption 79 of 82A worker cleans the backboard and rim at halftime of the Texas Southern-Mount St. Mary's game.A worker cleans the backboard and rim at halftime of the Texas Southern-Mount St. Mary's game. Photos: March Madness 2021A worker cleans the backboard and rim at halftime of the Texas Southern-Mount St. Mary’s game.Hide Caption 80 of 82Appalachian State's Donovan Gregory dives for a loose ball.Appalachian State's Donovan Gregory dives for a loose ball. Photos: March Madness 2021Appalachian State’s Donovan Gregory dives for a loose ball.Hide Caption 81 of 82A worker holds a sign encouraging spectators to wear masks before the Michigan State-UCLA game.A worker holds a sign encouraging spectators to wear masks before the Michigan State-UCLA game. Photos: March Madness 2021A worker holds a sign encouraging spectators to wear masks before the Michigan State-UCLA game.Hide Caption 82 of 8201 march madness tue02 march madness tue03 march madness tue04 march madness tue05 march madness tue06 march madness tue07 march madness tue08 march madness tue05 march madness elite 8 mon RESTRICTED06 march madness elite 8 mon RESTRICTED07 march madness elite 8 mon08 march madness elite 8 mon RESTRICTED02 march madness elite 8 mon01 march madness elite 8 mon04 march madness elite 8 mon RESTRICTED03 march madness elite 8 mon01 march madness sweet 16 sun02 march madness sweet 16 sun04 march madness sweet 16 sun RESTRICTED03 march madness sweet 16 sun05 march madness sweet 16 sun06 march madness sweet 16 sun RESTRICTED06 march madness sweet 16 sat07 march madness sweet 16 sat01 march madness sweet 16 sat RESTRICTED03 march madness sweet 16 sat RESTRICTED02 march madness sweet 16 sat05 march madness sweet 16 sat04 march madness sweet 16 sat04 march madness second round mon02 march madness second round mon03 march madness second round mon07 march madness second round mon01 march madness second round mon11 march madness second round mon RESTRICTED05b march madness second round sun RESTRICTED10 march madness second round sun RESTRICTED02 march madness second round sun07 march madness second round sun08 march madness second round sun06 march madness second round sun14b march madness 2021 first round sat05 march madness 2021 first round sat11 march madness 2021 first round sat06 march madness 2021 first round sat15 march madness 2021 first round sat07 march madness 2021 first round sat12 march madness 2021 first round sat13 march madness 2021 first round sat08 march madness 2021 first round sat10 march madness 2021 first round sat03 march madness 2021 first round sat01 march madness 2021 first round sat02 march madness 2021 first round sat04 march madness 2021 first round sat20 march madness 2021 first round friday19 march madness 2021 first round friday06 march madness 2021 first round friday15 march madness 2021 first round friday02 march madness 2021 first round friday13 march madness 2021 first round friday16 march madness 2021 first round friday12 march madness 2021 first round friday09 march madness 2021 first round friday07b march madness 2021 first round friday14 march madness 2021 first round friday05 march madness 2021 first round friday11 march madness 2021 first round friday10 march madness 2021 first round friday03 march madness 2021 first round friday01 ncaa tournament 2021 first four02 ncaa tournament 2021 first four11 ncaa tournament 2021 first four06 ncaa tournament 2021 first four10 ncaa tournament 2021 first four03 ncaa tournament 2021 first four04 ncaa tournament 2021 first four12 ncaa tournament 2021 first four07 ncaa tournament 2021 first four09 ncaa tournament 2021 first four08 ncaa tournament 2021 first four13 ncaa tournament 2021 first four1-seed Baylor vs. 2-seed Houston, 5:14 p.m. ETTHE TOP LINESTwo Texas schools. Two stingy defenses. Two programs that might think they had a shot at making noise in last year’s canceled tournament.This is the first Final Four for Baylor (26-2) since 1950. For Houston (28-3), it’s the first since the Phi Slama Jama teams of 1982-1984. Neither has won the tournament. And here’s a family twist: Houston assistant Alvin Brooks will coach against his son, Baylor assistant Alvin Brooks III.BAYLOR’S STORYBaylor rode its turnover-forcing defense to a No. 2 ranking in the AP and coaches polls for much of the year. And this Final Four is coach Scott Drew’s crowning achievement so far in 18 years in Waco.But Covid-19 sure made things difficult.Baylor's tourney

First round: Beat 16-seed Hartford, 79-55

Second round: Beat 9-seed Wisconsin, 76-63

Sweet 16: Beat 5-seed Villanova, 62-51

Elite Eight: Beat 3-seed Arkansas, 81-72

Drew missed the season’s first two games after testing positive, though the Bears still rolled to a 17-0 start. Then Baylor missed six games in three weeks in February for unspecified Covid-19 issues in the program.The Bears came back rusty, eventually losing to Kansas on the road and getting knocked out of the Big 12 tournament by Oklahoma State.That loss “was a blessing,” Drew told reporters this week, because Baylor lost its defensive touch and had time to recapture it in practice. So far during the NCAA tournament, the Bears have forced 67 turnovers while committing just 27.Junior guard Jared Butler, one of five finalists for the Wooden Award for the nation’s outstanding player, leads Baylor in scoring. Junior guard Davion Mitchell, a 3-point threat himself, is a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist — a “nightmare to bring the ball up against,” Drew said.After Baylor’s Elite Eight win Monday, a reporter asked senior guard MaCio Teague about how some tournament teams tried to slow the Bears down, while others tried to speed them up, and both efforts failed.”I feel that shows we have real hoopers on our team,” Teague said. “We can play any style of basketball, and…we can overcome it all.”Baylor's Davion Mitchell, who scored 12 against Arkansas Monday, is a "nightmare to bring the ball up against," his coach said.Baylor's Davion Mitchell, who scored 12 against Arkansas Monday, is a "nightmare to bring the ball up against," his coach said.Baylor’s Davion Mitchell, who scored 12 against Arkansas Monday, is a “nightmare to bring the ball up against,” his coach said.HOUSTON’S STORYHouston is an American Athletic Conference tournament champion on an 11-game win streak. And one of its stars doesn’t want to hear anything about defeating lesser teams to reach the Final Four.Yes, Houston is the first team to get to the national semifinals by beating four double-digit seeds in the same tournament.Houston's tourney

First round: Beat 15-seed Cleveland State, 87-56

Second round: Beat 10-seed Rutgers, 63-60

Sweet 16: Beat 11-seed Syracuse, 62-46

Elite Eight: Beat 12-seed Oregon State, 67-61

But the Cougars have been scary all year, boasting the nation’s top field goal percentage defense and allowing the second fewest points per game.And those “double seeds also had to beat a single seed in order to get to this point,” fifth-year senior guard DeJon Jarreau told reporters after nearly getting a triple-double against Oregon State in the Elite Eight.Jarreau said he thought Houston could reach the Final Four two years ago, before Kentucky’s Tyler Herro crushed that dream with a late 3-pointer in the Sweet 16. “I thought last year’s (23-8) team could make a run,” too, before the coronavirus canceled the 2020 tournament, he said. “Never really was doubt” they could make it now, Jarreau said.Houston coach Kelvin Sampson is in his second Final Four, having taken Oklahoma there in 2002. Junior guard Quentin Grimes, his conference’s co-player of the year, leads the Cougars in scoring with 18 points a game.One more thing about Houston: Almost no team grabs more offensive rebounds. The Cougars regularly read where the ball will come off the rim, beating defenders to it even when they try to box them out, CBS analyst Wally Szczerbiak said during his network’s coverage Monday. Houston's DeJon Jarreau grabs one of his eight rebounds against Oregon State on Monday.Houston's DeJon Jarreau grabs one of his eight rebounds against Oregon State on Monday.Houston’s DeJon Jarreau grabs one of his eight rebounds against Oregon State on Monday.1-seed Gonzaga vs. 11-seed UCLA, 8:34 p.m. ETTHE TOP LINESThe tournament’s clear favorite, Gonzaga, faces one of the bluest of blue-chip programs that’s back on the upswing and turning heads.Gonzaga has one previous Final Four, losing to North Carolina in the final in 2017. UCLA (22-9) has a record 11 championships, but this is its first Final Four since 2008.UCLA’S STORYThe Bruins are here by the skin of their teeth. Fourth in the Pac-12, they were barely selected to the tournament, losing their last four games before Selection Sunday, albeit to conference foes that also made the tourney.Once in, they became something special, fending off two teams in overtime and dispatching No 1. seed Michigan by two in the Elite Eight.UCLA's tourney

First Four: Beat 11-seed Michigan State, 86-80 (OT)

First round: Beat 6-seed BYU, 73-62

Second round: Beat 14-seed Abilene Christian, 67-47

Sweet 16: Beat 2-seed Alabama, 88-78 (OT)

Elite Eight: Beat 1-seed Michigan, 51-49

Funny thing is, coach Mick Cronin thought his team would be powerful ahead of the year — for good reason. They were stacked and just picked up sharpshooting Kentucky transfer guard Johnny Juzang.But a five-star recruit defected to the G-League; last year’s top scorer tore his ACL on New Year’s Eve; and one of their top big men left in February for personal reasons.”When we had those three guys, quietly I told my dad, ‘I’ve got a chance to have my best team ever,’ after Johnny committed to us,” Cronin told reporters Tuesday night. “But without those three guys, (I would have thought) hell, no.”Let’s see what he thinks if he wins two more games.Cronin emphasizes defense, and the height-challenged Bruins lean on sophomore top scorer Juzang, sophomore guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. and junior guard Jules Bernard for buckets. Last game, no UCLA bench player scored, and Juzang — creating his own shots and cutting off-ball to get open for more — had 28 of his team’s 51 points.UCLA's Johnny Juzang, left, celebrates with Tyger Campbell, center, and Jaylen Clark after defeating Michigan in the Elite Eight round Tuesday. UCLA's Johnny Juzang, left, celebrates with Tyger Campbell, center, and Jaylen Clark after defeating Michigan in the Elite Eight round Tuesday. UCLA’s Johnny Juzang, left, celebrates with Tyger Campbell, center, and Jaylen Clark after defeating Michigan in the Elite Eight round Tuesday. GONZAGA’S STORYGonzaga has not just beaten every team it faced — it has dominated.The Bulldogs have taken 29 of its 30 victories by at least 10 points. The only time it didn’t: an 87-82 win against then No. 11 West Virginia in December. Gonzaga's tourney

First round: Beat 16-seed Norfolk St., 98-55

Second round: Beat-8 seed Oklahoma, 87-71

Sweet 16: Beat 5-seed Creighton, 83-65

Elite Eight: Beat 6-seed USC 85-66

They have three of the 10 Wooden All-American Team members. That includes one of the five finalists for the 2021 Wooden Award for outstanding player, senior forward Corey Kispert, averaging 18.9 points a game.The other two are freshman guard Jalen Suggs — Gonzaga’s highest-rated recruit ever, who likely is a future NBA lottery pick — and the mustachioed sophomore forward Drew Timme, currently edging Kispert as leading scorer with 19 points a game.Timme can be a nuisance in the paint, as he showed while scoring 23 against the University of Southern California in the Elite Eight. He’ll pivot, duck and squirm his way to the basket against one man. Against a double-team, he’ll put his fine passing skills to use.”He’s faced many, many, many big lineups and shot blockers and such. He always figures out a way to get his shot,” coach Mark Few, seeking his first title in his second Final Four since taking over in 1999, said after Tuesday’s game.Gonzaga has the best field goal percentage and puts up the most points per game in the nation. But its defense isn’t shabby, either. It frustrated USC, ripping or knocking the ball away from Trojans’ hands several times in the first half. Offense and defense have combined for something unbeatable so far.”They never play down to the level of their competition,” Charles Barkley said during TBS tournament coverage Tuesday night. “They drive the same speed all the time.””And the thing about it — they don’t drive like 100 mph,” Barkley said. “They just say, ‘We’re going to play at 65 mph, and y’all going to have to reach our level.'”

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