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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

The 21 most interesting Final Four fields

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The second week of the NCAA tournament begins Thursday night. By the time it's over on Sunday, the field for the 2012 Final Four will be set. The Dagger closely examined the bracket and, using a wide array of highly scientific criteria, came up with a list of 21 potential Final Four fields.

Repeat party-crasher Final Four (most recent trip): Kentucky (2011), Michigan State (2010), North Carolina (2009), Ohio State (2007)

Waiting room Final Four (longest droughts): Ohio (never), Baylor (1948), Marquette (2003), Cincinnati (1992)

Northwest Territory Final Four: Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio

Senator alma maters Final Four: Kentucky (Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.), Michigan State, (Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.), Ohio State (Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio), Kansas (Jerry Moran, R-Kan.)

Come to think of it, you have no idea what their mascot means Final Four: Indiana Hoosiers, Marquette Golden Eagles, Ohio State Buckeyes, North Carolina Tar Heels

Matt Painter's nightmare Final Four (each team beat Purdue this season): Indiana, Xavier, Ohio State, Kansas

Coaching royalty Final Four: Kentucky (Adolph Rupp), Marquette (Al McGuire), Syracuse (Jim Boeheim), Kansas (James Naismith) (the Midwest is sort of stacked in that regard -- Dean Smith, Roy Williams, Frank McGuire, Jim Valvano and Phog Allen didn't make the cut)

Brad Pitt Final Four (efficiency darlings): Ohio State (1), Kentucky (2), Michigan State (3), Kansas (4)

Philip Seymour Hoffman Final Four (efficiency duds): Ohio (62), Xavier (50), Cincinnati (24), Louisville (19)

Awkward on-screen abbreviation Final Four: XAV, MARQ, CINCY, NCSU

Bald brotherhood Final Four: Xavier (Chris Mack), Marquette (Buzz Williams), Ohio State (Thad Matta), Kansas (Bill Self)

Soviet Final Four (all reds): Indiana, Louisville, Wisconsin, NC State

All-Ohio Final Four: Ohio State, Ohio, Xavier, Louisville (only 100 miles from state line)

Brawlers Final Four: Louisville (Muhammad Ali's hometown), NC State (site of Jack Johnson's death), Xavier, Cincinnati

Ends-in-a-vowel Final Four: Indiana, Florida, Syracuse, North Carolina

CBS dream Final Four: Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina, Florida (but only if Tim Tebow is in attendance)

Ryan Greene's Final Four: Baylor, Marquette, Ohio State, Kansas

Graham Watson-Ringo's Final Four: Kentucky, Marquette, Syracuse, NC State

Chris Chase's Final Four: Kentucky, Marquette, Ohio State, Kansas

Jeff Eisenberg's Final Four: Kentucky, Marquette, Ohio State, Kansas

Based on these predictions, the actual Final Four: Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, North Carolina

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