The competing Final Four universities have key plays beyond the tournament.
Michigan State University, Auburn University, Texas Tech University and University of Virginia spend more than $1.5 billion on research.
From cancer-curing treatments to new flu vaccines and wind-turbine innovations to bomb-detection technologies, these Final Four schools are on the frontier of development.
Research from these institutions drives $18.4 billion in total economic impact to Michigan, Virginia, Alabama and Texas.
A Michigan State University professor of chemistry developed cisplatin therapy, one of the world’s most widely used and effective anti-cancer treatments. The therapy and treatments continue to fuel new discoveries 40 years after its development. The home of the Spartans is also the nation’s top graduate program in nuclear physics and is building a $730 million facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The facility will explore the nature of the universe and turn that knowledge into new applications for society.
University of Virginia’s School of Medicine discovered a direct connection between the brain and immune system through vessels no one knew existed. This research is used to study treatments for diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s. The Cavaliers also have a program that is building wind turbine prototypes that are bigger than the largest and most-advanced wind turbines currently in existence or in testing. The largest prototype would produce 50 megawatts of peak power using rotor blades the length of two football fields.
Researchers from Auburn University developed a potential cure for a rare genetic disease that affects humans and cats. The treatment has improved and extended the lives of cats and is heading to clinical trials for humans later this year. The home of the Tigers has a patent for Vapor Wake technology which helps dogs detect explosives on a human body and track the target more effectively.
Texas Tech University researchers received a grant to develop a universal flu vaccine. The Red Raiders are also known for the Enhanced Fujita Scale which is the standard for rating tornado intensity as well as revising and improving the way meteorologists and scientists track tornado patterns.
With the innovations in medicine and technological advancements from all four universities, whichever team wins the game on Monday, all of the universities are already national champions.