No. 1 UNC, a school with a men's basketball team composed of enrolled students, beat No. 10 Syracuse, another school with a men's basketball team composed of enrolled students, 83-66 on Saturday night in Houston, Texas to advance to the very important men's college basketball National Championship game. Each team played it fast and loose, but ultimately, Syracuse's program had to fall.
UNC breezed past Syracuse in the Final Four on Saturday night.
The basketball programs of UNC and Syracuse were both recently charged by the NCAA for "a lack of institutional control," but despite each program having its private mockery of the term "student-athlete" made public through NCAA notices in 2015, each survived a competition between their collegiate athletic peers to advance to the 2016 Final Four.
For Syracuse's multiple NCAA violations, including academic misconduct involving athlete plagiarism and fraudulent grade changes, head coach Jim Boeheim was suspended for 9 games in 2015 and docked 108 career victories, while his program was stripped of 12 scholarships over the next four years and forced to pay over $1 million back to the NCAA in addition to serving a self-imposed postseason ban last season. UNC, on the other hand, is still awaiting its punishment following a nearly decades-long systematic cheating of academic standards by over 100 athletes — including many basketball players — which involved enrollment in fake classes within the African studies department.
But, academics at an academic institution be damned, at least UNC and Syracuse's basketball teams, which are each worth over $200 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, had great March Madness runs that made its fans happy. And good for them — that's what college at colleges with multi-million dollar sports teams are all about.
UNC will play Villanova, a team that may be ruining men's college basketball, in Monday night's title matchup.