11-seed NC State and 4-seed Alabama Join 1-seeds UConn and Purdue in Final Four

April 1, 2024 by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

The Final Four is set and only two of the teams seeded 3 or better have survived as 4-seed Alabama and 11-seed NC State join 1-seeds UConn and Purdue.

On Monday, UConn (-190) continued to be the national championship betting favorite at FanDuel.com, followed by Purdue (+200). Alabama (+1600) and NC State (+1800) are longshots, but the odds aren't that gracious. Especially for the 11-seed Wolfpack.

The defending national champion Huskies will face the Tide while the Boilermakers draw the cinderella Wolfpack. UConn opened as an 11-point favorite and quickly moved to 11.5, while Alabama has maintained its opening spread of 9-1/2 points.

This will be Alabama's first Final Four in history after avoiding the upset bid by Clemson.

It will be NC State's first Final Four since the late Jim Valvano took his 6th-seeded team all the way to the national championship in 1983.

The Wolfpack also made it this far in 1974 and 1950 with the '74 team going 30-1 under Norm Sloan and winning the championship to end UCLA's run of 7 straight titles. In their semifinal game, the Pack defeated Bill Walton and the Bruins by overcoming a late 5-point deficit in regulation, and a 7-point deficit in the second overtime to win 80-77. They would go on to win the tournament played in Greensboro, North Carolina by knocking off Marquette 76-64. NC State again beat Marquette in this year's Sweet Sixteen before upending Duke in the Elite 8.

The 1950 NC State team lost to eventual champion CCNY in the semifinals and beat Baylor in the 3rd-place consolation game.

Purdue is making its first Final Four appearance since 1980, and just its third in history with the first coming in 1969. Despite having the most Big Ten conference titles (26), the Boilermakers have never won a national championship.

Purdue lost 92-72 to UCLA and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in the 1969 championship game, and again fell to UCLA in the semifinals in the 1980 tournament, 67-62. Louisville eventually won that championship..

UConn has 5 national titles to its credit - all since 1999. The Huskies are tied for the 4th-most national titles with Indiana and Duke. Only North Carolina (6), Kentucky (8) and UCLA (11) have more.

Last year, none of the teams seeded higher than 4th managed to advance to the Final Four. It came down to 9-seed FAU, a pair of 5-seeds in San Diego State and Miami, and UConn as a 4-seed. The Huskies prevailed in the championship game with a 76-59 win over San Diego State. Ironically, they wound up playing San Diego State in this season's Sweet 16 game with the Aztecs once again seeded 5th. UConn won that game handily 82-52 on Friday before crushing Illinois 77-52 on Sunday.

Sweet 16 Results

(1) UConn 82, (5) San Diego State 52
(3) Illinois 72, (2) Iowa State 69
(4) Alabama 89, (1) North Carolina 87
(6) Clemson 77, (2) Arizona 72
(4) Duke 54, (1) Houston 51
(11) NC State 67, (2) Marquette 58
(1) Purdue 80, (5) Gonzaga 68
(2) Tennessee 82, (3) Creighton 75

Elite 8 Results

(1) UConn 77,(3) Illinois 52
(4) Alabama 89, (6) Clemson 82
(11) NC State 76, (4) Duke 64
(1) Purdue 72, (2) Tennessee 66