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NCAA Basketball: Cheerleaders of the Final Four

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NCAA Basketball: Cheerleaders of the Final Four

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY

March ushers in the madness of the NCAA Tournament, but it is April when the drama reaches its climax. As we watch the action on the court, lets take a moment to admire the young women who help to keep the energy at its highest level.

Two coaches who have been here before, and two that are fresh to the scene contest this year’s Final Four, but all four have confidence in their ability to make it to the Championship.

Coach Rick Pitino leads the Louisville Cardinals, the NCAA’s No. 1 seed. He is traveling a well-worn path, following in his own footsteps from just a year before. The Cardinals are trying to get back to the Championship game in back-to-back seasons.

Louisville suffered a huge injury last weekend when guard Kevin Ware went down with a freak leg fracture that had on-lookers gasping in horror. The rest of the team rallied around their fallen teammate and went on to beat Duke to get into the Final Four. They now face surprising upstart, Wichita State.

Gregg Marshall is the man with the plan for the Wichita State Shockers. This is his first time to the final four and the team’s first appearance in over 40 years. The Shockers have been the underdog in every game they have played thus far, and they go into Saturday’s game as the projected loser once again. Their run has been valiant, but no one will realize how good they truly are until they win it all.

Jim Boeheim has been here before as well, leading his Syracuse Orange to three previous National Championship games. His team presents an interesting conundrum for opposing teams with the use of their zone defense. In their last game, the zone held the Marquette Golden Eagles to just 55 points, and they are looking to continue this streak versus an explosive Michigan team.

The Michigan Wolverines are coached up by the other first-timer of this group, John Beilein. With the AP and Wooden Player of the Year on the court in Trey Burke, Beilein feels he has an answer to the Syracuse zone defense. With a team full of famous names, it has been the relative unknowns who have stolen the show and lifted the Wolverines to the Final Four.

Regardless of who wins it all, it is an accomplishment to have made it this far. It is now time to honor each teams’ most ardent fans and supporters. Please feel free to comment using the section below, or reach out to us using the hash tag #RML, for Rant My Life.

Jeff Everette is a Miami Dolphins writer for Follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, “Like” his page on FaceBook, or add him to your network on Google+.

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Wichita State 1

Paul Halfacre-USA TODAY Sports

They may have been a surprise to the rest of us, but someone knew it all along.

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Louisville 1

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY

Back-to-back Final Fours for these cheerleaders

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Syracuse 1

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Can these girls cheer their Orange on to the Championship?

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Michigan 1

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

These girls cheer for some of the most famous names in NCAA Basketball.

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Wichita State 2

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Cheering their way into the history books!

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Louisville 2

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Cheering for their fallen comrade Kevin Ware.

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Syracuse 2

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

No one knows team spirit like Syracuse!

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Michigan 2

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This beautiful blonde gives her all to her team!

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Wichita State 3

Paul Halfacre-USA TODAY Sports

Doing all she can to lift her team to a victory.

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Louisville 3

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Can they cheer in the Championship yet again?

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Syracuse 3

Kelly L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

These cheerleaders are in the zone!

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Michigan 3

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sport

Ready for the bright lights of the Final Four and beyond.

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Wichita State 4

Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Taking it to the next level!

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Louisville 4

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY

Kicking their way through the competition of the Tournament!

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Syracuse 4

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cheering their way to the top!

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Michigan 4

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

These girls are ready for prime time!

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Wichita State 5

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Can they complete the run and shock the world?

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Louisville 5

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY

This young woman believes she is cheering for the team of destiny!

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Syracuse 5

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Is there anything better than all of this spirit?

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Michigan 5

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Pushing their way to the top of the mountain! Can their Wolverines win the final two games necessary to win it all?