Today’s Match Up of the Day is the number 2 seeded Michigan Wolverines vs the number 8 seeded Kentucky Wildcats. This is a battle of two blue bloods… last year’s national runner-up vs the young guns. This is Michigan vs Kentucky, who will get the last spot into the Final Four?
The Michigan Wolverines have the most lethal offense in the country. They have so many great 3-point shooters and they spread out the defense so well. If you give them even an inch of separation they will knock it down. The key player for Michigan is their only senior, center Jordan Morgan. Morgan was unfairly labeled the weak link of this Wolverines team. This postseason he has been the best player for Michigan and he has been playing the tournament of his life. Morgan and his backup Jon Horford are the only true big men on this team and both of them have to contain Kentucky’s star center Julius Randle. Morgan is a great defender, last game vs Tennessee, Morgan shut down the Vols’ star Jarnell Stokes and he drew the game winning charge on Stokes. Morgan has to have a repeat performance if he wants to take his Wolverines to Dallas. Guard Nik Stauskas will score his usual 18 to 20 points, but I think the x-factor of the game for the Wolverines is guard Caris LeVert. LeVert can be the best player on the floor but also Caris and be Careless as shown in their last game when he stepped out of bounds, which gave the Volunteers a chance to win the game. Fortunately Tennessee didn’t take advantage of their opportunity. LeVert has to have a big game if Michigan wants to make their second straight Final Four.
The Kentucky Wildcats are trying to be the second ever team with all freshmen in their starting five to make the Final Four since ironically Michigan did it with the Fab Five. The x-factor for the Wildcats is guard James Young. Young is their best shooter from the perimeter and he has to make some big shots to keep the defense honest so they don’t just focus on Randle in the paint. Throughout the regular season the Wildcats played like a group of inexperienced freshmen but now they are all playing like a group of five year seniors. Kentucky is playing at a championship level and they will give the Wolverines a run for their money.
I believe that the youth of the Wildcats will finally come to bite them and Michigan’s senior Jordan Morgan is going to save the day once again for the Wolverines. At the end of the day I believe Michigan will be Marching on to Dallas to take on conference rivals Wisconsin in the Final Four. Michigan 79 Kentucky 77
Todays match up of the day is the number one seeded Florida Gators v the number eleven seeded Dayton Flyers. It’s the Powerhouse vs the Cinderella, Florida vs Dayton.
1 Florida’s Keys:
The Florida Gators are the best team in the country and they have been dominating every team they have played in the tournament. The key to a Gators Victory is their transition defense. The Bruins exposed the Gators weak transition D in their last game vs UCLA. The Flyers really know how to run a fast break so Florida’s guards have to play well on defense to contain the Flyer’s dynamic duo Jordan Sibert on Dyshawn Pierre. Patric Young has to take advantage of his size and be a bully in the paint. The Gators are heavily favored and if they lose they will always be known as the team who didn’t get to the Final Four.
The Dayton Flyers have tried on the glass slipper and found out that it fits. The Flyers are the biggest story in this tournament and they have been playing sensational basketball. They need to control the tempo and speed the game up into full court run and gun basketball. PG Jordan Sibert has to have a huge impact for the Flyers and he has to contain All-American guard Scottie Wilbekin if they want a chance to advance to the Final Four.
I believe that the Gators Elite Eight loosing streak will continue and the Dayton Flyers will hop on that magical carriage for a trip to the final four. Dayton 64 Florida 62
Other prediction for today: Arizona 76 Wisconsin 69
Todays Match Up of the Day is number seven seeded Connecticut vs number 3 seeded Iowa State. The story of this game is the match up at the point guard position. Napier vs Kane will be the match up everybody will be waiting to see.
7 Uconn’s keys:
The Connecticut Huskies have had an up and down season, but they are making up for every game by their great performance in the NCAA Tournament. Shabazz Napier is in my opinion the best point guard in the country and he one of the best team leaders in the country. The Huskies have peaked at the right time and a lot of their uprise is thanks to Napier. Napier leads his team in points, assists, and rebounds. This is just astonishing. Napier hasn’t done it all for the Huskies. Napier’s “Robin” Ryan Boatright is a dead-eye from the 3-point line and he has some of the fastest moving feet on defense. Uconn has the best backcourt duo and they are going to be a lot to handle for the Iowa State defense.
3 Iowa State’s keys:
The Iowa State Cyclones are back to playing classic Iowa State basketball. DeAndre Kane is a beast. He single handily won the game vs North Carolina. I admire his game so much and I think that he will be a steal in this year’s NBA draft. Kane and Melvin Ejim have to takeover this game because of the loss of stretch center Georges Niang. Niang is impossible to guard. He is a 7-footer and has a good power post game but he can also drain 3-pointers. Niang breaking his foot is an enormous loss for the for this Cyclones game and he will be missed in this game Prediction: I believe that Napier is going to have a Kemba Walker moment for the huskies and take over this game. Uconn 71 Iowa State 68.
Other Predictions: Michigan 82 Tennessee 74, Michigan State 61 Virginia 58,
Todays Match Up of the Day is the number one seeded Florida Gators vs the number four seeded UCLA Bruins. This is a classic old school powerhouse game of basketball. Two of the most storied programs will face each other for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight.
The Gators are the number one overall seeded team and arguably the best team in the country. Coach Billy Donovan really has his Gators believing. Scottie Wilbekin is Florida’s star and he is their key to victory. Wilbekin is a fantastic offensive player but where he is most needed is on the defensive side of the ball. Wilbekin is a great on-ball defender and he never lets anyone drive past him. Michael Frazier III has to have a good game shooting the three ball. When Frazier is hot there aren’t many people better shooting the three. Frazier is still very young but as he develops he reminds me of a Ray Allen or Reggie Miller, that’s how good he is at three’s. Donovan is coaching one of the best teams and he better have the Gators playing up to snuff so they don’t disappoint and reek havoc on most people’s brackets.
UCLA Bruins are coming off a fantastic performance vs Cinderella story Stephen F. Austin. The Bruins shattered the Lumberjack’s glass slipper and sent them home crushed. This time the Bruins are going to have to play the underdog role. Small Forward Jordan Adams has to be on the money tonight. Last year Adams went out in the Pac 12 tourney with a broken foot, which was a huge killer for UCLA and it was a main reason their NCAA Tourney trip was quit short. This year Adams is back and he came up big in the Pac 12 Tournament by hitting the game winning shot vs Arizona. Adams has to put on a clinic if his team even wants a chance against this great Florida team.
Prediction: UCLA has had a great run but they are very young and inexperienced and Florida is a Senior driven team. Florida 75 UCLA 73
Like last year, I will be doing a Match Up of the Day blog everyday for the rest of March Madness. Today’s match up of the day is the 2 seeded Wisconsin Badgers vs the 7 seeded Oregon Ducks.
7 Oregon keys:
The Oregon Ducks are the most prolific offensive team in America. They run a up tempo fast offense which is very similar to the play of their football team. The X-factor for the Ducks is big man Elgin Cook. Cook just came off of playing the game of his life. Cook was so ecstatic about playing in his home town of Milwaukee and I am waiting for an encore for him today in Milwaukee. Cook also has a huge challenge in containing the pride and joy of Benet Academy, Frank Kaminsky the all BIG Ten 1st team center. It will be a struggle to contain him for Cook because of Kaminsky’s range from the 3 pt. Jason Calliste also has to play well if the Ducks want to pull of the upset. He is probably the best 6th man in the country and he has a beautiful stroke from beyond the arch. He had a monster game in the regular season to help the Ducks take down Arizona and I am looking for him to have the same impact. By the way, he’s my favorite Oregon player.
2 Wisconsin keys:
The Wisconsin Badgers are one of the top defensive teams in all of college basketball but their weak link is their own offense. The Badgers struggle to score and they have the slowest offensive production. Frank the Tank is going to have to carry the load for this heavily favored Wisconsin team. Wisconsin’s defense has to step up against this high powered offense. For Wisconsin to win the game they have to slow down the tempo and not let the Ducks get any fast break opportunities.
Prediction: I believe the Oregon Ducks offense is going to be too much to handle for the Badgers. Oregon 74 Wisconsin 65