The road to the Final Four continues and the field has been narrowed to eight remaining teams after the completion of the Sweet 16 yesterday. There will be two games later today and two games tomorrow on Sunday. Let’s take a look at the upcoming action and I’ll also reveal my winners to advance on to the Final Four. Who will advance to the Final Four?
Saturday, March 30th
A Big East clash to determine the East Region champion, Syracuse will try to use their stout 2-3 zone to put a stop to the Golden Eagle’s run in this tournament. Led by Michael Carter-Williams and James Southerland, Syracuse will look to smother Marquette and use their suffocating defense to get easy fast-break points. Vander Blue and the Golden Eagles will look to remain hot on the offensive end and continue to be clutch down the stretch, late in games. They have certainly past the test in winning close games in this year’s tournament, but this team will be the best they have faced so far.
For the West Region crown, the last remaining “Cinderella story” is left. Wichita State has done its fair share of upsets in this tournament and after a flat out beat down on La Salle, they look to be clicking on all cylinders. Ohio State, led by Mr. Clutch himself, Aaron Craft, look to keep finding that rabbit in the hat and continue to win games on any means necessary. The Shockers will look to use their strength to get it done by out rebounding the Buckeyes who struggle on the glass, but I’m just not so sure that it will be enough to slow down the dangerous Ohio State attack. Plus, if it’s close late, it will obvious who is going to win, right?
Winner: Ohio State
Sunday, March 31st
These traditional football powers will battle it out for the South Region championship, proving that they are a power in basketball as well. Led by Trey Burke, Michigan will look to keep riding the hot hand of this young man after his stellar performance against Kansas. He didn’t even score until the second half but still finished with 23 points and the important game-tying 3 to send the game to overtime where Michigan would eventually win. They face a Florida team who just passed the daunting task of beating “America’s Team”, party poopers they are. Nonetheless, an impressive win after weathering the storm early, they slowly gained control and manhandled the out-gunned FGC Eagles. Florida will look to use their nasty in the paint game to wear down Michigan and slow down their offensive firepower, but that is going to be awful tough to do, I think.
2 Duke vs. 1 Louisville @ 5:05 PM ET CBS
Finally the one to wrap up the Elite 8 play, a “clash of the titans” for the Midwest Region championship. Louisville and Duke will face off in probably the most anticipated matchup of the Elite 8. Louisville rides in on the amazing play of Russ Smith, who just had 31 points against Oregon to help his Cardinals cruise and giving him a total of 81 points in this tournament, is there any stopping him at this point? Duke will try to ride its hot hand in Seth Curry, who had 29 points in their win over Michigan State in the Sweet 16. Mason Plumlee needs to stay out of foul trouble and on the court if they want to have their best chance at winning. Both teams have been looking great and been handling their opponents throughout the entire tournament. A great matchup, that will have a National Championship feel, someone has got to come out on top.
So there you have it, my picks to advance onto the Final Four that could yield me getting half of my Final Four right (Louisville and Ohio State). Do you see the trend? That would be a Big East vs. Big Ten Final Four which makes for exciting basketball and we can get an even better idea as to who has the best conference in basketball this year. I will have a recap of the Elite 8 after the games has taken place. Until then, sit back and enjoy the action, I know I will. Let the madness continue.