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
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Top Seed Controversy

march_madnessIt is that time of the year again… The weather is changing, flowers are blooming, and best of all March Madness is on its way. The Selection show will be airing at 4:30 CT on CBS. Every time the brackets are revealed, the teams on the bubble draw all the attention. This would make sense, these teams are waiting on their postseason future. The bubble teams absolutely deserve all of the drama and attention, but with all of the parity in college basketball this year I thought it would be appropriate to focus on the top of the line.
Most years we have a pretty clear picture of which team will be the #1 seeds, but in this crazy season, there might be 10 teams deserving of a top seed. Going into Saturday, there seemed to be a clear picture of the top seeds. North Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, and Villanova. Once Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead banked a last second layup plus the foul, full chaos broke out. The Wildcats were knocked off their Big East throne and opened the gate for another team to sneak into a top seed.
While the Pirates sunk Villanova’s ship in Madison Square Garden, North Carolina and Virginia were amidst a heavy weight battle in our Nation’s capital. The Tarheels held on to their early lead, and were able to escape D.C. with a number one seed as a lock. Virginia was not able to say the same thing.  Although Virginia lost in the ACC Championship they still looked like one of the top teams in the country. It seemed very possible that even with a loss Virginia would be a number one seed.
That was until the Oregon Ducks absolutely obliterated the Utah Utes 88 to 57, completing their sweep on the Pac-12 regular season, and tournament titles. Oregon has quietly been having an incredible year. They ran right through the Pac-12 conference, and I believe right into a number one seed. Oregon has been playing some of the best ball, and their up tempo run and gun offense is almost impossible to stop. Oregon dropped 88 points on Utah,  the top defensive unit in the Pac-12. When the Pac-12 champ has the fifth hardest schedule in the country, and dominated the competition, it would hard placing them anywhere lower than a one seed.
Michigan State also has a great chance of being at the top of the seeding, but they still have to beat Purdue today in the B1G Championship game. No matter if you are on the bubble or a top team, everybody will be anxious leading into the Selection Show.