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UAAP Final Four Preview: Ateneo vs. FEU

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By Ivan Saldajeno

A Final Four showdown between Ateneo and FEU was already anticipated a few weeks ago.

However, the eventual seeding was not how many thought would be.

A late change of tides saw the Blue Eagles taking the second seed with the twice-to-beat advantage and the Tamaraws dropping to the third seed, and now, the defending champs need to defy the odds for them to return to the finals and face the De La Salle Green Archers.

History: Both teams faced off in last year's Final Four with FEU being the higher seed. The last time Ateneo and FEU are in this kind of scenario (i.e., Ateneo is second and FEU is third) was in 2001, but it was the season before that which is somehow fascinating. The Tamaraws, also the third seeds, defied a twice-to-beat disadvantage and eliminated the Blue Eagles, eventually leading to a Green Archers-Tams finale, which the former would win.

What Now: Like I mentioned, FEU being second and Ateneo being third was already expected midway into the second round, but a huge plot twist in which Ateneo went on a roll, even handing La Salle its first loss, and FEU got crucial defeats led to the current situation.

What to Watch Out: While the primary suspects of their championship conquest last year are now in the PBA, the Tamaraws still have what it takes to repeat the 2000 upset against the Blue Eagles, but with the latter on a roll thanks to the Sandy Arespacochaga-Tab Baldwin combo, you should expect this one to be close.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno