The Final Four has many traditions and another one of them took place before the two semifinal games on Saturday in Minneapolis.
Each of the four schools playing had a student-athlete representative take part in the singing of the national anthem. Student-athletes from Virginia, Auburn and Michigan State sang while one from Texas Tech played the guitar.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 6, 2019
As with seemingly everything in the world these days, the anthem drew mixed reviews as some loved the idea of the blending of voices to produce the song.
Best ever!! outstanding ❤️❤️❤️
— Kazz (@mentzer_julie) April 6, 2019
— Lee Kirkpatrick (@kirkpatricklee) April 6, 2019
But others hated the idea of the NCAA tinkering with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and treating it more like a song than a national anthem.
More like disgrace the National Anthem by changing it into a folk song stunt. Save the interpretations for pop songs and One Shining Moment, not our National Anthem. #AnthemDisgrace
— Scott C Gustafson (@scgustafson) April 6, 2019
I’m sorry, but this is terrible. Not the singing itself, that’s fine, but whoever wrote this rendition butchered it by trying to turn the song from triple meter to common meter (or something else, it’s so bad it’s hard to tell). It just doesn’t work musically and sounds so wrong.
— Ryan Coomes (@chryco4) April 6, 2019
One of the singers, volleyball player Morgan Kull of Auburn, explained how this all came about where she got chosen to sing at the Final Four.
“I was on Toomer’s Corner 🧻 the 🌳 & I got a text message saying, ‘Hey, you’re headed to the #FinalFour to sing the National Anthem.”
“Such a fun opportunity”
— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) April 6, 2019
“My assistant coach reached out to me and she was like, ‘Hey, send in a video. If we make it to the Final Four you can sing the National Anthem.’ So I recorded a video, sent it in and I was on Toomer’s Corner rolling the trees and I got a text message saying, ‘Hey, you’re headed to the Final Four to sing the National Anthem.'”
Just like the national anthem drawing mixed opinions, the same can be said about the most pivotal play that took place on Saturday.
At the end of the Virginia-Auburn game there was a controversial foul call with 0.6 seconds left that benefited Virginia and kept Auburn from their first NCAA Championship Game.
Here’s the play that resulted in a foul on Kyle Guy pic.twitter.com/cdUygQThHV
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) April 7, 2019
That play was seemingly the only thing on Saturday that garnered more reactions than the singing of the anthem. Virginia will now play Texas Tech in Monday’s National Championship Game.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.