The Final Four field is set, and there is no shortage of storylines in Dallas. You like old guys? Then you’ll love Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators — an experienced bunch plagued by second-weekend heartache the previous three seasons. And John Calipari is back with another rag-tag group of one-and-doners. Bo Ryan’s Badgers found some firepower — and the coach has found the Final Four for the first time in 13 seasons in Madison. And prodigal son Kevin Ollie has the UConn Huskies back to prominence. As for how it will play out next weekend? Click ahead. — Sam Gardner
FLORIDA (36-2, 18-0 SEC)
The No. 1-overall seed Gators enter the Final Four winners of 30 straight, and it’s somewhat poetic that their national semifinal pits them against a Connecticut team that was the last to deal them a loss — on a Shabazz Napier buzzer-beater way back on Dec. 2. In the four months since Florida last tasted defeat, the nation’s top team has truly blossomed, with senior stars Scottie Wilbekin (No. 5) and Patric Young (far right) the most instrumental in that progress. ... READ MORE HERE.
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY SportsNelson Chenault
CONNECTICUT (30-8, 12-6 AAC)
Call 7-seed UConn a Cinderella if you want, but when the Huskies beat Florida back in December, they were the No. 12 team in the country, and eventually climbed into the Top 10 before a 5-4 slide from mid-December through mid-January dropped Connecticut from the national radar. An embarrassing 81-48 loss to Louisville in the regular-season finale ruined any remaining cred the Huskies had, but the tournament has seen something of a return to form for Kevin Ollie’s bunch — sparked by the play of Shabazz Napier (pictured) — and they couldn’t have gotten hot at a better time. ... READ MORE HERE.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsBrad Penner
WISCONSIN (30-7, 12-6 Big Ten)
Big Ten football often gets a bad rap for being boring, and for a long time, that same school of thought applied to Wisconsin basketball and its application of coach Bo Ryan’s “swing offense,” which is at once mundane and deliberate, while still being effective enough to justify its implementation. But this year, the emergence of versatile junior 7-footer Frank Kaminsky (pictured screaming) has breathed some life into a Wisconsin ‘O’ in desperate need of some rejuvenation — and in doing so, Kaminsky has helped to make the Badgers a legitimate threat to win the NCAA championship. ... READ MORE HERE.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY SportRobert Hanashiro
KENTUCKY (28-10, 12-6 SEC)
Kentucky’s latest crop of super-freshmen came into 2013 as the supposed No. 1 team in the country. But until recently, the Wildcats — led by sure-fire lottery pick Julius Randle (far right) — did very little to live up to those expectations. It’s still unclear whether John Calipari’s team has jelled quite the way he’d like — not that it matters; they’ll all be replaced by fresh meat in a few months, anyway — but the Wildcats have been smoking-hot of late, which is all that really matters this time of year. And at the Final Four, we’ll get to see if the nation’s most talented team will also emerge as its best for the second time in three seasons. ... READ MORE HERE.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Billy Donovan and Florida lost just two games this season — I know, it was so long ago I can hardly remember them, either — and it just so happens that both of those teams are joining them in this year’s Final Four (Wisconsin handed Florida its first loss in the second game of the season). Generally, a team doesn’t need any additional reason to be motivated with a national championship at stake, but the prospect of avenging your only two defeats in an otherwise-perfect season seems like as good a reason as any to get up for what lies ahead. ... READ MORE HERE.