What Soccer Teams Are Most Like This Year’s NCAA Final Four Teams?

With the NCAA Final Four this weekend, we decided to see what soccer teams are similar to the hoops teams playing in Houston.

The NCAA Tournament will reach it’s climax this coming Saturday and Monday as the four teams who made progressed so far (North Carolina, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Villanova) square off to see who is this year’s king of hoops. Even if your bracket has been or is completely ruined, chances are you might be tuning in to see who will prevail, as this year’s field promises to bring some compelling drama.

However, what if we were to theoretically compare these remaining teams to some soccer teams? That’s where we come in. Let’s take a look at some similarities between these schools and their soccer counterparts at this time.

UNC : Barcelona

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Both the Catalan Giants and the Tar Heels are loaded from top to bottom as far as their rosters go. While Barcelona has arguably soccer’s best frontline, North Carolina has college hoops’ most dominant front court, with five of their players who rotate into their front court standing 6-foot-8-inches or taller.

The two also have rich histories, as Carolina has won over 2,000 games since it’s inception, has been to the most Final Fours (19) and has won five national titles. They both boast Player of the Year candidates (Brice Johnson for UNC, Lionel Messi for Barcelona) and have been on ridiculous winning streaks, as Barcelona is still riding a 39-game unbeaten run, while UNC has won its last nine games by an average margin of 14 points.

 

Syracuse : Arsenal

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Boy, this is tough to write. The Orange and Gunners both used to be the standard at their respective sports, but have fallen from grace and are now former shells of what they used to be. I also find it funny that Syracuse’s last national title (2003) was one year before Arsenal’s last Premier League title (2004). Both have long-tenured coaches who have somewhat overstayed their welcome, as Jim Boeheim is coming up on his 40th season as head coach of the Orange. He, however, has announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Maybe Wenger can take a hint from him…

Oklahoma : Leicester City

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Not traditionally a mecha of hoops, the Sooners have been riding the coat tails of sharpshooter and all-around badass Buddy Hield. Sound familiar? Hield and Jamie Vardy have both taken their teams to extraordinary heights and are now both a couple of wins away from taking an underdog program to the promise land. Both teams have been able to grind out the results necessary to make it this far. Whether they can finish the deal remains to be seen.

Villanova : Tottenham

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It’s funny that somehow Spurs and the Wildcats fall under the same realm of similarity, as they and Syracuse used to be Big East rivals when the Orange were still in the conference before it somewhat dissolved. Maybe it wasn’t on the same scale as the North London Derby, but you get the idea. Anyways, if you’re looking for the pinnacle of mediocrity, here it is. Villanova is a strong basketball program who seems to fall a bit short when it counts most. Both were dominant forces in the 80s, with ‘Nova winning it’s only title in 1985. Since then, it’s been a tough road for both. Maybe Ryan Arcidiacono (Harry Kane) can help lead them back to past glory.