Of the four businesses remaining in The Southsider Voice’s Basketball Blitz, which pairs advertisers with teams in the men’s NCAA tournament, Center Grove Real Estate Inspections has to be pleased that it was matched with Syracuse.
The Orange (23-13) are the first No. 10 seed to make it to the Final Four and just the fourth double-digit seed to accomplish the feat. It’s the lowest-seeded team to reach the semifinals since Virginia Commonwealth in 2011. Many pundits did not think Syracuse deserved a berth in the tournament after losing four of its last five regular-season game and its first game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Coach Jim Boeheim, suspended nine games earlier in the season by the NCAA, and his boys have overcome some big obstacles this year, namely No. 1 seed Virginia on Sunday to keep its tournament hopes alive.
But an even larger obstacle awaits Saturday in Houston, where the Orange will face powerhouse North Carolina (Indy Rents) in the second semifinal game around 8:50 p.m. on TBS. The Tar Heels (31-6) have looked awesome throughout the tournament, easily disposing of Indiana and Notre Dame en route to their record 19th Final Four appearance and first since 2009.
North Carolina (31-6), the only No. 1 seed remaining in the tournament, has won five national championships and looks poised to win No. 6. Coach Roy Williams has led the Heels to titles in 2004 and ’09 and was a runner-up with Kansas in 1990 and 2003.
The first game at 6:09 p.m. pits Villanova (33-5, Contractors Plus) against Oklahoma (29-7, Pet Supplies Plus), both No. 2 seeds. Villanova advanced by defeating Kansas, the overall No. 1 seed.
Although the Cornhuskers are a two-point underdog, many in the hoops world give them a better chance of knocking off North Carolina in Monday night’s championship game, should that be the matchup.
The business whose team wins the tournament will receive a half-page color ad valued at $675; the runner-up will win a quarter-page ad worth $390. The third- and fourth-place finishers will receive eighth-page ads valued at $210.