Men’s NCAA Tournament Final Four schedule set: UConn to battle Alabama in late slot – The Athletic

By Mark Puleo34m ago

With NC State taking yet another step in its glass Cinderella slipper Sunday night, the 2024 men’s NCAA Tournament is officially whittled down to four teams. The Final Four will take place on Saturday, April 6.

NC State will face Purdue in the first game of the day, with tipoff scheduled for 6:09 p.m. ET. While the No. 11-seeded Wolfpack have become a national darling throughout their tournament run, the No. 1-seed Boilermakers have lived up to their top-seeded billing with multiple tough wins over elite opponents.

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The matchup won’t just be between a Cinderella and a powerhouse, but stylistic opposites as well. Bruising NC State big man DJ Burns Jr. will battle with skyscraping Purdue center Zach Edey, and the Wolfpack’s sparkplug guard DJ Horne will oppose the Boilermakers’ maestro Braden Smith in the contest of the champions of the South and Midwest quadrants.

Later in the night, UConn and Alabama will tip off at 8:49 p.m. ET. The Huskies came into the tournament as the bracket’s top overall seed and have walloped every opponent in their way en route to their second consecutive Final Four, most recently punctuating a blowout over Illinois in the Elite Eight with a 30-0 run. The Crimson Tide have ridden their potent offense all season and have scored 89 points in back-to-back games to get their Final Four date, including wins over No. 1-seeded North Carolina and No. 6 Clemson on Saturday night.

While UConn is attempting to become the first team since the 2007 Gators to win consecutive NCAA Tournaments, Alabama has never been here before. The Crimson Tide reached their second Elite Eight in school history and will play in their first Final Four this season.

Purdue last reached the Final Four in 1980 and NC State last reached this point in 1983.

Both Final Four games will be played in Glendale, Ariz., and broadcasted on TBS.

The winners of each Final Four game will face each other in the National Championship Game, schedule for Monday, April 8, at 9:20 p.m.

Required reading

  • Purdue powers past Tennessee to advance to first Final Four since 1980; Zach Edey scores 40 points
  • NC State topples Duke, continues March run to advance to first Final Four since 1983

(Photo: Jamie Sabau / NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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Mark Puleo is a News Staff Editor at The Athletic. Before joining The Athletic, Mark covered breaking weather news as a digital journalist and front page digital editor with AccuWeather. He is a graduate of Penn State University and its John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. Follow Mark on Twitter @ByMarkPuleo

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