Then there were two.
After whittling down the field of 68 during the last month of “March Madness,” North Carolina plays Villanova for the NCAA men’s national championship Monday.
Barely filled out a bracket? Here’s some quick info about both teams to help you around the water cooler.
The Villanova ‘Wildcats’ have appeared in 36 NCAA tournaments going to the Final Four five times (1939, 1971, 1985, 2009 and 2016). They won the National Championship in 1985.
The North Carolina Tar Heels were ranked No. 1 at the start of the season and they made it to the final game, and are slightly ranked over Villanova. North Carolina has won five National Championships (1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009). As a coach Roy Williams has won three.
How did they get here?
Villanova has been on a shooting tear.
The Wildcats beat UNC Asheville, Iowa, Miami, Kansas and Oklahoma to get to the final game. The team outscored Oklahoma 95-51, surpassing the biggest point differential in a semi-final game since Cincinnati beat Oregon State in 1962 and Michigan State beat Penn in 1979, according to Fox News.
The Tar Heels were preseason favorites and a No. 1 seed in the tournament. They beat Florida Gulf Coast, Providence, Indiana, Notre Dame and Syracuse to get to the National Championship.
The winner already is...
While the student athletes are not paid for the games, the coaches are.
Villanova coach Jay Wright makes $2.8 million and Roy Williams earns $1.91 million, according to Market Watch.
However, that’s a pittance compared to the $9.2 billion estimated to have been spent gambling on the games, according to Fortune.