Virginia Commonwealth Rams face Butler Bulldogs in Final Four on CBS Saturday’s Final Four opener between the No. 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth Ramsand the No. 8 seed Butler Bulldogs has captured the attention of College Basketball fans across the nation – and a lot of people who’ve never even seen a basketball court. That’s what happens when you bring two Cinderella teams together and then add a shot at the national title to the mix. At the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Virginia Commonwealth and Butler square off in the first Final Four matchup at Reliant Stadium in Houston (6:09 pm ET, CBS). The winner will advance to the NCAA Championship Game on Monday, where they’ll face the winner of the other Final Four game between the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats and No. 3 Connecticut Huskies. The Rams (28-11 SU, 18-20 ATS, 12-6 CAA) have impressed many during March Madness , attracting a load of new fans and making bettors a bucket load of cash. Last Sunday, the Rams won their fifth straight when they shocked the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks 71-61 in the Elite Eight round. VCU covered as an 11-point underdog and the score went under the total of 145.5. It was just the latest big win for the Rams, who kicked things off with a win over the No. 11 seed USC Trojans in the play-in game, and went on to beat the No. 6 Georgetown Hoyas, the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers and the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles. Butler (27-9 SU, 19-14-1 ATS, 13-5 Horizon) needed overtime to beat the No. 2 seed Florida Gators 74-71 in their Elite Eight matchup. The Bulldogs covered as a 4-point underdog and the score went over the total of 134. Butler has been the hottest team in NCAA Basketball for two months now. Back on Feb. 3, Butler was 14-9 SU and 6-5 in the Horizon League and looked like it would be lucky to make the NIT Tournament. Since then, the Bulldogs have won 13 straight, a run that includes wins over the No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers in the opening round and the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet 16. Kentucky Wildcats, Connecticut Huskies square off in March Madness on CBS
This is the weekend College Basketball bettors look forward to all year: the Final Four followed by the national title game on Monday. And while one Final Four matchup features a pair of Cinderella teams, the other has two of the proudest College Basketball programs in the nation. What some might call the “power-conference” matchup has the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats against the No. 3 Connecticut Huskies in Houston (8:45 pm ET, CBS). Looking at the basketball accomplishments of the two schools is almost mind-blowing. Kentucky leads all schools in total NCAA tournament appearances with 51, and is tied with the North Carolina Tar Heels in NCAA tournament wins with 105. It has an NCAA record 42 Sweet 16 appearances, an NCAA record 33 Elite-8 appearances, and is now fourth with 14 Final Fours. It has made it to the NCAA championship game 10 times, and ranks second to UCLA in NCAA championships with seven. UConn has made the Big Dance 30 times, been to the Sweet 16 a total of 16 times and the Elite Eight 10 times. This is the Huskies’ fourth Final Four and the program has won the national title twice, the last one in 2004. With all those March Madness appearances, you’d think the teams would have crossed paths, and they have – but just once. The last time the teams met at the NCAA Tournament was a round of 32 matchup in 2006, which the Huskies won 87-83 but failed to cover as a 9-point favorite. And the teams met earlier this season, when the Huskies won 84-67 and covered as a 5-point road underdog on Nov. 24. The score went over the total of 143. Connecticut is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in the past three meetings, two of which have gone over the total. The Wildcats are a 2.5-point favorite and the over/under total is at 140. Check out expert handicapper Scott Matthews’ podcast here , or check out www.smpicks.com .