The Cavaliers held the championship trophy aloft after the presentation.
Final Four

Virginia: From one-and-done to Number One with an overtime

The Cavaliers reached college basketball's pinnacle by defeating Texas Tech in overtime, one year after a stunning NCAA tournament upset in which they lost to a No. 16 seed in the opening ...
April 9

THE FINAL FOUR

U.S. Bank Stadium  •  Minneapolis  •  April 6 & 8, 2019

Four things we're thinking about as the Final Four wraps up
howard sinker
Final Four

Four things we're thinking about as the Final Four wraps up

How did Virginia ever lose to a No. 16 seed last year? How did they react in Lubbock? Those were among the things we tried to answer as the Final Four ended its run in Minneapolis.
Fans — 72,711 in all, according to the NCAA — flocked to U.S. Bank Stadium for the Final Four semifinals on Saturday. They packed the building aga
Photos by Aaron Lavinsky • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Final Four

Hartman: Minneapolis reaps rewards for building big-time stadiums

This weekend's Final Four was another resounding success not only for U.S. Bank Stadium but for Minnesota and downtown Minneapolis.
Duke’s Tre Jones (3) celebrated on March 5 against Wake Forest. The guard from Apple Valley averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 assists per game this season
GERRY BROOME • Associated Press
Final Four

Not done after one, Tre Jones returning to Duke next year

Ty Jerome (bottom) reacted after making a three-pointer.
CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlos.gonzalez@startribune.com
Final Four

Final word on the Final Four: Virginia's clogging defense prevails

Fans reacted on Nicollet Mall at the end of Monday night's championship game in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime over Texas Tech.
Brian Peteson, Star Tribune
Fans reacted on Nicollet Mall at the end of Monday night's championship game in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime over Texas Tech.
Final Four

Final Four gives the Twin Cities one more shining moment

Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter drove past Texas Tech’s Matt Mooney (13), Jarrett Culver (23) and Tariq Owens. Hunter finished with a game-high 27 po
CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlos.gonzalez@startribune.com
Final Four

Scoggins: Hunter picks up a title, and improves NBA draft stock

Moments of truth propelled Texas Tech and Virginia into Final Four finale
The Sporting Press - Special to the Star Tribune
Final Four

Moments of truth propelled Texas Tech and Virginia into Final Four finale

Virginia's Mamadi Diakite drives against the defense of teammate Jayden Nixon during a practice session
Matt York, Associated Press
Final Four

Souhan: This Final Four match-up as sexy as a bruised elbow

Texas Tech fans cheered as their team beat Michigan State 61-51.
Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune
Texas Tech fans cheered as their team beat Michigan State 61-51.
Final Four

Reusse: Mischief-making Texas Tech fans celebrating and caravaning

Mamadi Diakite knows how to get wide, but he worried about getting deep when he and the rest of the Cavaliers went on a white-water rafting/ team-buil
CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com
Final Four

Rafting trip helped seal Virginia Cavaliers' bond

Texas Tech fans cheered as their team beat Michigan State 61-51.
Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune
Texas Tech fans cheered as their team beat Michigan State 61-51.
Final Four

'Old Town road' song has Raiders rocking

AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Final Four

Skills of foreign players for Texas Tech, Virginia translate well

Texas Tech and Michigan State fans had very different reactions at the end of Saturday night's game. Texas Tech played Michigan State in a semifinal o
Aaron Lavinsky and Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune
Texas Tech and Michigan State fans had very different reactions at the end of Saturday night's game.
Minneapolis Final Four

NCAA fans either jubilant or looking for a way out of Mpls.

Virginia guard Kyle Guy was lifted off the floor by teammates after he made three free throws to win the game for the Cavaliers.
Jerry Holt, Star Tribune
Virginia guard Kyle Guy was lifted off the floor by teammates after he made three free throws to win the game for the Cavaliers.
Final Four

Easy as 1-2-3: Guy's last-second free throws send Virginia into title game

Texas Tech guard Matt Mooney (13), who played two seasons at the University of South Dakota, was an undersized and unselfish high school player who fi
CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlos.gonzalez@startribune.com
Final Four

Souhan: Distractions? Mooney had none in a big game at big arena

Virginia guard Kyle Guy made the final of three free throws to win Saturday's semifinal over Auburn.
Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune
Final Four

Scoggins: Virginia had the right Guy for the job at the end

Playing typical Texas Tech defense, center Norense Odiase tried to steal the ball from Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman. in the first half.
Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune
Final Four

Texas Tech proved even tougher than Spartans expected

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl
Carlos Gonzalez, TNS - TNS
Final Four

Reusse: In an instant, Auburn goes from victory to defeat

Michigan State guard Matt McQuaid put up a shot between Texas Tech’s Kyler Edwards and DeShawn Corprew (3) during the first half on Saturday.
CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlos.gonzalez@startribune.com
Final Four

Five thoughts on the Final Four national semifinals

Hello, friends: CBS announcer Jim Nantz spoke with analyst Grant Hill on Saturday. “There is a certain enthusiasm and great community support sy
CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com
Final Four

Hartman: For do-it-all broadcaster Nantz, Final Four retains aura

It's a funky Final Four but these teams are easy to like
ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE SPORTING PRESS
Final Four

It's a funky Final Four but these teams are easy to like

Culver stays home to play at Texas Tech, but he's too good to stay for long
Illustration by The Sporting Press, Special to the Star Tribune
Final Four

Culver stays home to play at Texas Tech, but he's too good to stay for long

Winston provides calm for Spartans to weather any storm
Illustration by The Sporting Press, Special to the Star Tribune
Final Four

Winston provides calm for Spartans to weather any storm

Virginia's Guy back to old self, returning from a dark place
Illustration by The Sporting Press, Special to the Star Tribune
Final Four

Virginia's Guy back to old self, returning from a dark place

Harper, Brown are formidable 1-2 punch in Auburn's backcourt
Illustration by The Sporting Press, Special to the Star Tribune
Final Four

Harper, Brown are formidable 1-2 punch in Auburn's backcourt

Virginia guard Ty Jerome, a junior, has played in 103 games for the Cavaliers over three seasons. He is averaging 13.3 points and 4.0 assists per game
JERRY HOLT • jerry.holt@startribune.com
Final Four

Scoggins: Experienced players trumped one-and-doners — this time

Dick Vitale poses with Villanova fans before the 2016 Final Four in Houston.
Eric Gay, Associated Press
Final Four

Hartman: For ESPN's Vitale, nothing tops the Final Four

Fans took in the scene from high in the U.S. Bank Stadium seats Friday, when practice was open to the public, free of charge and surrounded by festivi
Aaron Lavinsky • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Final Four

What's a business trip for Final Four players is a fun vacation for fans

Auburn forward Myles Parker holds a media microphone during media availability in the team locker room.
Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune
Final Four

Walk-ons get more than a few moments in Final Four spotlight

Nice to meet you: This Final Four is all about new blood, not blue bloods
ILLUSTRATION BY THE SPORTING PRESS, SPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE
Final Four

Nice to meet you: This Final Four is all about new blood, not blue bloods

Coach Tom Izzo, Nick Ward and Sparty, MSU's mascot.
Illustration by The Sporting Press, Special to the Star Tribune
Final Four

Izzo's toughness puts the Sparty in Spartans

Auburn guard J’Von McCormick joked with teammates Malik Dunbar and Austin Wiley during media availability in the team locker room on Thursday
AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Final Four

Scoggins: Football steps aside for Auburn hoops

Izzo said he hears those who say his legacy cries for another national championship. “I’d say they’re right,” he said. “… I have my own go
AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Final Four

Izzo wants to breathe rare air with second title at Michigan State

Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight diagrams a play with his players in the first first half of a college basketball game against New Mexico at The Pit in A
Jake Schoellkopf • Associated Press
Final Four

Hartman: Beard's coaching legacy at Texas Tech started under Knight

Michigan State guard Jack Hoiberg, a preferred walk-on and the son of Fred Hoiberg, spoke with the media in the locker room Thursday.
AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Final Four

Father, son make for a Hoiberg homecoming in Minneapolis

While Michigan State players participated in interviews in their locker room, two video games awaited.
AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Final Four

Video games in locker room let players relax on Final Four weekend

Setup work on Nicollet Mall ahead of the NCAA Final Four was gearing up Thursday in downtown Minneapolis.
Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune
Set up on Nicollet Mall for the Final Four weekend were ongoing in Min...
Local

Downtown gets ready to adjust for Final Four crowds, changes

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl yells from the sidelines during the region semifinal game vs. North Carolina
Orlin Wagner, Associated Press
Final Four

Never a dull moment with Auburn basketball coach Pearl

St. Paul Downtown Airport and other reliever airports have seen a surge in requests for private jets before the Final Four.
Shari L. Gross, Star Tribune
Several small aircraft came and went at St. Paul Downtown Airport prio...
Business

Private jets, charter flights about to bring thousands to Twin Cities for Final Four

Villanova players celebrated winning the 2018 Final Four. Which team will bring home the trophy next week at U.S. Bank Stadium?
David J. Phillip, Associated Press
Villanova players celebrated winning the 2018 Final Four. Which team will bring home the trophy next week at U.S. Bank Stadium?
Final Four

Why they'll win: Making a case for each team in the Final Four

Willie B. Japser, who has worked at the North Commons Recreation Center for 29 years, was emotional after cutting the ceremonial ribbon during a dedic
Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune
Willie B. Japser, who has worked at the North Commons Recreation Cente...
Local

North Minneapolis gym gets new look, as part of NCAA Final Four legacy project

Upon their return to East Lansing from Washington after midnight Monday, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and his team were greeted by thousands of fans
Al Goldis • Associated Press
Final Four

Coaches preparing their teams for crush of fans and media

U.S. Bank Stadium operations worker Michael Stauffacher installs the official 2019 NCAA Final Four court.
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune
U.S. Bank Stadium operations worker Michael Stauffacher installs the o...
Final Four

Final Four without Zion, Duke keeps ticket resale prices in check

Duke guard Tre Jones, center, covers his face as he walks off the court with teammates Zion Williamson (1) and Cam Reddish (2) after losing to Michiga
Alex Brandon, Associated Press
Duke guard Tre Jones, center, covers his face as he walks off the cour...
Final Four

Duke's dream crushed by Spartans

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski playfully went in for a choke hold on Michigan State’s Tom Izzo before their two teams played in the 2015 Final Four. And
Darron Cummings • Associated Press
NCAA tournament

Krzyzewski, Izzo unwilling to live in the past before Elite Eight battle

Trainers assist Auburn's Chuma Okeke after he was injured during the second half vs. North Carolina. Okeke tore the ACL in his knee and will undergo s
Orlin Wagner, Associated Press
NCAA tournament

SEC rivals Kentucky, Auburn overcome adversity to reach Midwest final

SMG operations worker Michael Stauffacher helped install the official 2019 NCAA Final Four basketball court Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune
SMG operations worker Michael Stauffacher helped install the official 2019 NCAA Final Four basketball court Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Final Four

College basketball's biggest event bounces into Minneapolis next weekend

Texas Tech celebrates after a win against Gonzaga in the West Regional final
Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press
NCAA tournament

Texas Tech advances to Final Four in Minneapolis with 75-69 victory over Gonzaga

Tre Jones let out a cheer Friday, with good reason: He scored a season-high 22 points and Duke got past Virginia Tech.
Patrick Semansky, Associated Press
NCAA basketball

Jones comes through, and Blue Devils hold on

Auburn’s Chuma Okeke looked to pass over North Carolina’s Nassir Little (5) and Garrison Brooks during the the Tigers’ 97-80 victory in a Midwes
Orlin Wagner • Associated Press
NCAA basketball

After Okeke's injury, celebration muted as Auburn dismisses Tar Heels

Auburn's Bryce Brown applauds during the second half
Charlie Riedel, Associated Press
NCAA basketball

Auburn knocks off No. 1 seed North Carolina, 97-80

Duke forward RJ Barrett drives to the basket past Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr.
Alex Brandon, Associated Press
NCAA basketball

Duke survives again, beating Virginia Tech 75-73 to reach Elite Eight

When guard Geno Crandall looked for another college after North Dakota, he picked Gonzaga. Now, he’s 40 minutes away from a Final Four in Minneapoli
Brian Rothmuller • Icon Sportswire via AP Images, AP
NCAA TOURNAMENT

Souhan: Former DeLaSalle star Crandall 40 minutes from Final Four

At Minneapolis City Hall on Thursday, Mayor Jacob Frey and other officials talked about security issues related to the NCAA Final Four.
Libor Jany - Star Tribune
At Minneapolis City Hall on Thursday, Mayor Jacob Frey and other officials talked about security related to the NCAA Final Four.
Local

Minneapolis authorities promise 'family-friendly' security at Final Four

Duke's Zion Williamson dunks against North Dakota State in the first half during the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Colonial Life Arena in Colu
Kevin C. Cox, Tribune News Service
Duke's Zion Williamson dunks against North Dakota State in the first h...
Final Four

Final Four ticket scramble picks up with potential for Zion in town

More than one shining moment: How March got its Madness
Illustration by The Sporting Press
Don't Miss

More than one shining moment: How March got its Madness

Duke's Zion Williamson dunks against North Dakota State in the first half during the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Colonial Life Arena in Colu
Kevin C. Cox, Tribune News Service
Duke's Zion Williamson dunks against North Dakota State in the first h...

Duke's Zion Show proves too much for North Dakota State

Brad Hardin, took a selfie in front of a 3-D sculpture of the Final Four bracket on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. The crowd downtown will be large
ELIZABETH FLORES - Star Tribune
Brad Hardin, took a selfie in front of a 3-D sculpture of the Final Four bracket on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. The crowd downtown will be larger next month for the games and surrounding events.
Local

Downtown Mpls. road closures begin Monday ahead of Final Four in April

Minnesota's Amir Coffey (5) celebrates a three-point basket during the first half against Louisville. It was one of 11 by the Gophers, who ranked near
Nati Harnik, Associated Press
Minnesota's Amir Coffey (5) celebrates a three-point basket during the...
Sports

Gophers show new moves in Louisville win; Michigan St. next

Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman grabs a rebound over Bradley guard Ja'Shon Henry
Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press

Winston, Michigan State hold off Bradley 76-65

North Dakota State's Tyson Ward drives against North Carolina Central's Zacarry Douglas during the second half Wednesday.
John Minchillo, Associated Press
College basketball

Scoggins: NDSU earns first-class ticket to take on Zion and Duke

The roof section of darkening curtains at U.S. Bank Stadium earlier in March. Those curtains — which can be taken down, stored and reused — are 98
Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune
The roof section fo darkening curtains at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneap...
Local

U.S. Bank Stadium is taking on a new look for the NCAA Final Four

The Gophers were one of 68 teams selected for the NCAA tournament Sunday. Play begins this week and reaches its epic conclusion next month at U.S. Ban
Neil Jamieson, Special to the Star Tribune
The Gophers were one of 68 teams selected for the NCAA tournament Sunday. Play begins this week and reaches its epic conclusion next month at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Road to Minneapolis

Destination Des Moines: Gophers, Pitino draw Louisville

One day after a loss in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the Gophers basketball team got a shot of new life with an invitation to the NCAA tournamen
Photos by CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com
Sports

Souhan: Final Four an impossible dream for Gophers? You never know

Duke's Tre Jones followed his brother, Tyus, and chose Duke after a successful career at Apple Valley.
Gerry Broome, Associated Press
College basketball

Hartman: Apple Valley basketball talent can't pass up Duke

Joe Lunardi wears many hats in his life, but to college basketball fans he’s Joey Brackets, projector of the NCAA tournament field.
Photos by Kriston Jae Bethel • Special to the Star Tribune
College Basketball

Meet Joe Lunardi, Mr. Bracketology and tracker of Final Four teams

The ceiling section of darkening curtains is 55 percent complete at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in preparation for the NCAA Final Four in early A
Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune
The ceiling section of darkening curtains is 55 percent complete at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in preparation for the NCAA Final Four in early April.
Local

$4.6 million curtains going up to block sun at U.S. Bank Stadium

Neither of these guys — Kentucky forward Reid Travis (22) and Kansas forward Dedric Lawson — started their college careers with those teams. Travi
James Crisp • Associated Press
College basketball

Many top NCAA teams benefit from transferring players

The newly reborn Armory in downtown Minneapolis.
Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune
The newly-reborn armory in downtown Minneapolis as workers readied the...
Local

Ferris wheel on Nicollet Mall is part of Final Four festivities

Penn State players and fans celebrate their 75-69 upset win over Michigan on Tuesday.
John Beale, Associated Press
College Basketball

Dramatic finishes are increasing as March Madness approaches

A rendering of how basketball could look in U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the men's basketball Final Four 2019.
Star Tribune file
A rendering of how basketball would look at U.S. Bank Stadium, site of the 2019 Final Four.
NCAA Final Four

Final Four will cost stadium millions more than Super Bowl

The newly reborn Armory in downtown Minneapolis, shown getting ready for Super Bowl shows, will host the free three-day music festival for the NCAA Ma
Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune
The newly-reborn armory in downtown Minneapolis as workers readied the...
Local

Final Four music festival heads to Minneapolis Armory; four-day party set for Nicollet Mall