“Hey, don’t forget about me!” Oh yeah that’s right, we have a Final Four and a National Championship coming up in college basketball. Almost forget with all the attention directed towards the controversy of Louisville exploiting the Kevin Ware injury, the Auburn scandal, Mike Rice’s firing, Mark Cuban‘s comments on drafting Brittney Griner, and the excitement of the start of the major league baseball season. Sorry college basketball, but it’s been a long busy, news filled week in the sports world and you kind of got pushed under the rug. But no worries, we didn’t forget about you and I am here to give you, readers, my Final Four preview and predictions as promised. Let’s dive in.
Saturday, April 6th
@ 6:09 PM ET CBS
The Shockers and the Cardinals will battle it out to earn their trip to the National Championship. The Shockers have “shocked” the basketball world this entire tournament as they have one by one taken down everyone in their path and doing it pretty impressively as well. They really haven’t played a true close contest, for a whole game, all tournament. They’ll look to ride their star, Senior Carl Hall, and their dominant ability to team rebound to try and take down the Cardinals, but can that be enough? I just don’t know about that. The Cardinals feature no doubt one of the best all-around players in the game in Russ Smith, and they will be riding him to keep their high scoring offense going. The emotional win over Duke, after Kevin Ware went down with one of the most gruesome injuries in the history of sports, was certainly their highlight of the tournament as they were tied at 42 apiece and then they would go on to route Duke 85-63. They have been scoring at will since all the way back to the beginning of the Big East tournament and I don’t see that trend changing any.
@ 8:49 PM ET CBS
The Orange and Wolverines will take the court after the Shock and Cards to fill that final spot for the National Championship. Syracuse comes in featuring the most dominant defense of the tournament using their dangerous 2-3 zone to shut down opponent after opponent. Everyone that has faced the Cuse has faced the wrath of this vaunted defense and the Wolverines are next up. Led by James Southerland and Michael Carter-Williams, the Cuse will be looking to get ahead and use their defense to stay ahead. These guys will help create the fast break points out of playing the tough 2-3 zone. Michigan will be trying to use stars of their own in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to create mismatches and score points early and often on Syracuse. Against Florida they were able to do that with much success and Florida was known for being a defensively strong team. Michigan sure found the holes in that defense. Nick Stauskas was huge hitting threes and he will need to be huge again and knock down threes because that’s how you create the holes inside the 2-3 zone. Even still, I just don’t know if they can manage against this beast of a defense.
Yep, a Big East Championship all over again is my prediction. What a story line it would be and Syracuse would get their chance to avenge their Big East Championship loss to the Cardinals. Either way the predictions go I just hope that this Final Four is better than the pathetic Elite 8 we had to endure last weekend. We can only cross our fingers and hope. After this rough week in the sports world, we are due for some good, clean, exciting games. Let the madness continue.