UConn head coach Dan Hurley, middle, celebrates towards his players...

UConn head coach Dan Hurley, middle, celebrates towards his players in the second half of an Elite 8 college basketball game against Gonzaga in the West Region final of the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker) Credit: David Becker

The NCAA Tournament is one thing in sports that never fails to deliver.

Every year, over 21 days and 67 elimination games, we get the story lines we love: clash of the titans, Cinderella runs, the feats of little-known players, the triumphs and tears.

We got all that this year, too, but with something very different as the Final Four was set this weekend.

In a tournament that annually promises “anything can happen,” we are still saying that with only three games to go.

This Final Four is truly unique: resurgent UConn and three trail blazers — Miami, Florida Atlantic and San Diego State — who have never won a national championship or even reached a Final Four. The No. 4-seeded Huskies, No. 5 Hurricanes, No. 5 Aztecs and No. 9 Owls comprise the first Final Four without a No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed still standing.

And either Florida Atlantic (35-3), until now a virtual unknown, or San Diego State (31-6), which had never advanced past a Sweet 16, will be playing for a national championship on April 3 after they meet in Saturday’s 6:09 p.m. semifinal.

That also means this could be the first year that a so-called mid-major actually wins a national title.

“It’s something we’ve always talked about, and I’m sure there were people that doubted we could do it, but we never doubted for a minute,” San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher said Sunday in Louisville. “Not to say it’s easy to get there or that we would ever get there, but we’re there now, and we’re going to go and try to win the thing.”

“We’ve never had our moment, and when we made the tournament . . . we felt like this could be our moment,” FAU coach Dusty May said Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. “I think we’ve exceeded that moment, but there’s no reason why we wouldn’t just continue to ride this wave.”

UConn (29-8) isn’t exactly a Goliath, but it is the closest thing to it in this quartet. The Huskies last reached the Final Four in 2014, when they won a fourth national championship, but they’ve missed the tournament entirely four of the past eight times it was held.

Miami (29-7) is coming out of the ACC and reached the Elite Eight a year ago, so it’s not exactly a David. Still the matchup holds other intrigue.

Both coaches come from the New York area, the Hurricanes’ Jim Larranaga from the city and the Huskies’ Dan Hurley from Jersey City. Larranaga burst into the national consciousness when he guided 11th-seeded George Mason to the 2006 Final Four — a Cinderella run completed with a two-point East Regional championship game win over No. 1 seed Connecticut.

The notion that there will be a mid-major — a true one, unlike Gonzaga — playing in the championship game is a coin with two sides. On one is the almost unimaginable one in which it wins. On the other is a chance that the title game is the most lopsided in a long time.

After all, UConn may have trailed Rick Pitino’s Iona team at halftime of its first-round win, but it has demolished four opponents by an average margin of 22.5 points.

Pitino, hired this past week as St. John’s coach, said of the Huskies afterward: “They’ve got all the metrics to win a national championship. They average 17 assists. They’re plus-9 on the glass against great competition. They shoot 46% from the field. They shoot the three well. Their backup units are just as good as their starters. So they’ve got it all.”

While the Huskies have dominated, the three other teams have shown they don’t buckle in the face of adversity. Each staged a second-half comeback to punch its Final Four ticket.

SDSU came back from seven points down in the second half to beat Creighton. FAU rallied from a seven-point second-half deficit to defeat Kansas State. And Miami trailed by 13 after the break before toppling Texas.

And there’s a common thread in that. As Larranaga said Sunday in Kansas City, “We aren’t afraid or scared of any situation.”

Said May: “There’s never a moment when we get tight because we’re not afraid to fail . . . and that’s a key to winning.”

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