SiriusXM College Sports Nation rolls into North Texas for Final Four coverage beginning Thursday. All week long, tune to channel 91 and the SiriusXM App for the latest news, opinions and analysis.
One of the biggest surprises of the tournament has been Kentucky, who knocked off Kansas State, No. 1 seed Wichita State and in-state rival Louisville to reach the Final Four.
Sophomore forward Alex Poythress joined Chris Childers and Tom Brennan on the Scoreboard Show after defeating Louisville and talked about the tough road in the tournament.
“It shows that we fight through it,” Poythress said. “We persevere through it. You can’t really [put this into words]. We finally came together as a team.”
As a No. 7 seed coming out of the East region, UConn is the other underdog story of the tournament. Kevin Ollie has led the team to the Final Four in his first tournament appearance as a head coach. But for UConn forward DeAndre Daniels, the victory to advance to North Texas was all about teammate Shabazz Napier.
“He just stepped up in the second half,” Daniels told SiriusXM College Spots Nation after knocking off Iowa State. “He was more aggressive and knocking down his shots and finding open teammates. I saw it in his eyes, he just wanted to win this game so badly he would have done anything.”
One year following a postseason tournament ban due to low academic performance, UConn and Daniels have survived and advanced through the tournament and through their adversity.
“We knew we were going to get here [after the NCAA sanctions],” Daniels said. “We kept planting out seeds and now we’re finally here … it’s a dream come true”
In one of the more exciting endings of the tournament, Wisconsin knocked off No. 1 seed Arizona 64-63. Arizona held the last shot with 2.6 seconds, and it was Wisconsin’s defense that came up big.
Forward Nigel Hayes joined SiriusXM College Sports Nation and discussed the win.
“I felt like our team took on the mantra and idea that we have to be tough defensively and that showed,” Hayes told Chris Childers and Tom Brennan. “All year we felt like we had the talent and ability to do what we’re doing.”
SiriusXM will carry every game of this year’s tournament. For channel listings, head to siriusxm.com/ncaa. For expert analysis of the brackets, look no further than SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 91, and follow them on Twitter, @SiriusXMCollege.