Final Four Preview

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After a season full of ups and downs, tears of joy and sadness we have finally reached the Final Four. Buddy and his Sooners will face off against the Villanova team that just keeps shutting down the doubters, and Power House North Carolina against America’s darlings, the Cinderella Syracuse Squad. No matter who wins, this Final Four will be magical.

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Game 1: 2 Oklahoma vs 2 Villanova
When I was watching Oklahoma take on my Oregon Ducks in the Elite 8, I wasn’t sure if I was watching Buddy Hield or Steph Curry. This dude was lights out. I haven’t seen a college player catch fire like that since Trey Burke and Michigan against Kansas.  It is not all Hield though, Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard also got hot. I know I sound redundant, but it really was like watching the Golden State Warriors. The question is, can they keep up that hot shooting against this tough Nova team?
Villanova is the definition of grit and toughness. They fit the mold of a Philadelphia team. They are not just tough kids who get really physical…cough…cough Cincinnati, these cats are fundamentally sound. I think the game changer is freshman guard Jalen Brunson. This former Mcdonald’s All American hasn’t been the greatest scorer, but he does the little things that make a team successful. If Brunson can play to his full potential, Villanova will have an answer to Buddy. Throughout Jay Wright’s career as the Villanova head coach, he has had to endure a lot of failure, but that was needed. This Wildcat team wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t upset year after year. That pain has made them who they are. Villanova’s experience and toughness will get in the heads of Buddy and the Sooners. Villanova will move on to the National Championship.
Prediction: Villanova 73, Oklahoma 72
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Game 2: 1 North Carolina vs 10 Syracuse
Looking at this game it just looks like a regular season ACC game, but it’s not. This is the ACC championship… wait still wrong. Oh yeah, that’s right this is an all ACC Final Four game, the ACC has had a great year. North Carolina is back in the National spotlight, Roy Williams finally has a team that is talented and experienced. From preseason #1 to #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Tarheels have been flexing their muscles. Brice Johnson has been the heart and soul of this team. He bleeds Carolina Blue. Johnson is an All American who can enforce his presence in the paint against the Orange. Normally a powerhouse, it is defiantly different seeing Syracuse as a Cinderella. I think Jim Boeheim and the Orange like the feel of the glass slipper. Malachi Richardson has turned himself into a star in a couple weeks. He went from disappointing freshman to March superstar who is getting phone calls from Carmelo Anthony. The combination of Richardson and  senior, Michael Gbinije has been lethal. This is not your father’s Cuse team, but they have been an incredible story. Syracuse will start off strong, but Marcus Paige and North Carolina will figure out their zone as the game goes on. The Tar Heels will move on to face Villanova in the Championship game. It will be a battle of blue in Houston.
Prediction: North Carolina 65, Syracuse 59

March Madness Elite 8

The Elite 8 starts today, and I am here to break down the biggest game of the day. The West Regional Championship between  #1 Oregon and #2 Oklahoma is the game you don’t want to miss. Chalk has played out in the West, and the Ducks and the Sooners will face off for a chance to play in the Final Four.
This will be one of the most exciting games we will see all year. These are two of the most explosive offensive teams in the country. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield is the best player in the country and is most likely the Player of the Year.
hield-020316Hield and Oklahoma’s other guards will have their points, but the key for Sooners is to get their big men going against Oregon’s tough shot blockers. Ryan Spangler and Khadeem Lattin will have to assert their presence in the paint to make this Oregon defense honest.
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Oregon is the most well rounded team in the tournament. They are balanced at every position on the court, and extremely athletic. Sophomore forward Dillion Brooks has been a monster throughout the year and especially in March Madness. His motor is nonstop, and he will burst through the defense straight to the hoop. Brooks has been playing with a chip on his shoulder and now that he faces off against Buddy Hield, he will be very motivated. Oregon is so deep, they have their star Brooks, and you add on the likes of Tyler Dorsey, Chris Bouchier, Elgin Cook, and more. This team is very dangerous.
I think Oregon will over power Oklahoma’s big men, and will be the better coached team today. I am sticking with my championship pick, Oregon.
Prediction: Oregon 96, Oklahoma 92