RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
It finally happened for the first time in history: All four number-one seeds reached the Final Four of the men's NCAA basketball tournament. North Carolina will play Kansas, and Memphis will take on UCLA next Saturday night in San Antonio. And then the winners meet a week from tonight for the national championship.
Commentator John Feinstein joins us now. Good morning, John.
JOHN FEINSTEIN: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: We'll get in a moment to the four teams that are still playing, but let's talk about one team that won't be playing - and just barely - Davidson.
FEINSTEIN: What an amazing story. You know, I didn't think we'd ever have another story like George Mason two years ago, when they came out of nowhere as an 11-seed in a midmajor to make the Final Four. But Davidson came within one missed three-point shot of equaling that yesterday against Kansas.
Kansas is a great basketball team, Renee. They have probably four future NBA players in their line-up, and Davidson gave them everything they could have wanted for 40 minutes. Stephen Curry, the kid who emerged as such a superstar in this tournament, almost brought his team through, and he had plenty of help from his teammates throughout. It was just a great game to watch and a great story to follow.
MONTAGNE: How good is Stephen Curry?
FEINSTEIN: I think Stephen Curry - everybody says, well, he's not big enough to play in the pros, well, these are the same people who said he wasn't good enough to be a big-time college player. That's why he's at tiny little Davidson with 1,700 students, because all the big-time programs turned him away.
I think - I hope he'll stay in college for two more years for selfish reasons, because he's so much fun to watch. But I think when the time comes, he'll be a very good player at the next level.
MONTAGNE: And other than the match-up between Davidson and Kansas, there actually weren't a lot of suspenseful games over the weekend.
FEINSTEIN: No. You know, American Movie Classics was running a "Godfather" marathon, and they probably had a lot of viewers during some of those games. There were double-digit routs in all three of the other region finals. The games on Thursday and Friday night put you to sleep, and, of course, they do go on beyond midnight thanks to the brilliant scheduling of the NCAA and CBS.
So really it was left, in many ways, for Davidson, with its rout of Wisconsin and then, as I said, the game against Kansas, to save what was otherwise a very dull basketball weekend.
MONTAGNE: Well, does that mean - or kind of looking ahead, the four best teams playing, should they make for a great Final Four?
FEINSTEIN: In theory, it should. Every team in this group is a superpower. And looking back, 20/20 hindsight, we should've seen this coming because the number-two seeds and number-three seeds just weren't nearly as strong in the regular season as these four number-one seeds.
UCLA, North Carolina, Kansas, three of the most-storied programs in history. Memphis is 37 and one, one win away from the all-time record for wins in a season. So these are four true power teams, and those match-ups on Saturday night, we hope, should produce some great basketball.
MONTAGNE: Though, John, I wonder which is more exciting overall, a tournament with a commuter college like George Mason or some other big underdog in the Final Four, or one with four power teams like the one we're going to get?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I think the storylines are better when we have a George Mason, a Davidson - that's so much fun - people that most basketball fans knew nothing about emerging as stars. I'm hoping, though, Renee, that because these teams are so good, that it will lead to a great climax. Having said that, the first two weeks are always more fun when you have the Cinderella stories.
MONTAGNE: John, thanks very much.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Renee.
MONTAGNE: The comments of John Feinstein. He's the author of "The Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery."
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