Looking At Men's, Women's NCAA Final Four Melissa Block talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about the upcoming NCAA basketball championships. Two teams from mid-major conferences are battling for a spot in the men's final game. The women's Final Four features a quartet of powerhouse teams.
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Looking At Men's, Women's NCAA Final Four

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Looking At Men's, Women's NCAA Final Four

Looking At Men's, Women's NCAA Final Four

Looking At Men's, Women's NCAA Final Four

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/135021227/135021209" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Melissa Block talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about the upcoming NCAA basketball championships. Two teams from mid-major conferences are battling for a spot in the men's final game. The women's Final Four features a quartet of powerhouse teams.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And we're going to turn now to college basketball with the men's and women's Final Four just a few days away. I'm joined by NPR sports correspondent Mike Pesca for a preview. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA: Hello.

BLOCK: And let's start with the men. Two of the final four teams are from so- called mid-major conferences: Butler and Virginia Commonwealth University, or VCU. And Butler also got this far last year, went on to the championship game. Do you think that means it has lost its Cinderella status?

PESCA: Whereas VCU's luck has been a string of incredibly great three-point performances. They've shot something like 43 percent from the three point line in the tournament. And people look at it and they say, well, how long can that continue? And the answer is, if it continues one more game, they're going to win again. If it continues two, they'll win the championship. So, you know, we got a team on an incredible hot streak and a team that's very solid defensively, who's been eking out victories.

BLOCK: Now, the other semifinal on the men's side has Connecticut up against Kentucky. What do you think? How do they match up?

PESCA: So, probably the best player on the court is Kemba Walker of Connecticut, the other - the four next best players might belong to Kentucky. And both of these two teams play really great basketball and that also should be a good game.

BLOCK: Let's talk about the women's Final Four, Mike. Not a bracket-buster in sight. Four teams left, two number one seeds, two number two seeds. Who are they, how do they look?

PESCA: If it is a Stanford versus Connecticut final, remember, Connecticut has one loss on the season and it was to Stanford, which snapped their record winning streak.

BLOCK: Okay, NPR's sports correspondent Mike Pesca. Mike, enjoy the games.

PESCA: I will.

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