Unthinkable foursome heading to Houston

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Even in the unpredictable, anything-goes world of March Madness, this is a Final Four nobody saw coming.

Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth _ the improbable, the implausible, the unthinkable and the downright unimaginable.

In one game in Houston next Saturday, No. 4 seed Kentucky will play No. 3 Connecticut _ not a completely absurd thought as a Final Four matchup, though hardly a trendy pick given their up-and-down regular seasons.

In the other game, it will be No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth against No. 8 Butler _ the team that was panned when its name was called on Selection Sunday against the defending national runner-up from a 4,500-student campus whose amazing success story had supposedly run its course.

“It never gets old,” Bulldogs senior Matt Howard said.

Nor does the NCAA tournament, the three-week office pool that places the so-called experts on even footing with those who fill out brackets because they like a team’s colors or its mascot.

Anything goes. Anyone can win.

And never has that been more true than this year.

Four teams with a combined 37 losses and a combined winning percentage of .755, second lowest since 1985.

Four teams whose combined seeding equals 26, breaking the record of 22 in 2000.

Not a single No. 1 seed for only the third time since seeding began in 1979 and, according to STATS LLC., the first time that no 1 or 2 seed will be there.

ESPN, which sponsors one of the country’s biggest bracket tournaments, said that out of 5.9 million entries, only two had this foursome making its way to Houston. President Barack Obama? He went 0 for 4. He had plenty of company.

Kentucky is the new favorite in Vegas, at 8-5. VCU is listed at 7-1 _ the longshot in the field, but still quite a bit better than 2500-1, which is where the Rams were listed at the start of the season.

“I think what it does as much as anything, it just puts a spin on the NCAA tournament,” said Kansas coach Bill Self after his top-seeded team lost 71-61 to VCU. “It’s wild. … Because seeds are so overrated. It’s about matchups. And their players could play for us any day.”

VCU (28-11) got up early on Kansas on Sunday and never looked back, another upset winner in a tournament that’s all about underdogs.

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