Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Final Four Preview and Predictions

Needless to say I lit my bracket on fire after the sweet 16 after Elijah Johnson forgot how to hit free throws and after the Elite 8 when Ohio State didnt start playing until 5 minutes left in the game.

But with the Final Four here I have new life, and this time I'll be picking with my head instead of my heart (since it always seems to be wrong).

#1 Louisville v #9 Wichita State

Kevin Ware are you kidding me? That injury was the most brutal injury I've seen in a live sports game since Aaron Ramsey for Arsenal had his leg smashed into pieces by Ryan Shawcross against Stoke City. Just goes to show you, dont skip leg day at the gym. No but seriously I feel absolutely terrible for the kid and hope he has a speedy recovery.

Now onto the match-up:  I honestly feel like it's impossible to beat Louisville over a 40 minute game. Duke hung around with them for the first 25 minutes of the game but ended up getting completely smashed by the time it was over. Louisville run this tournament reminds me of Kentucky's last year when they seemed to be in control of every game they played in. They are just so consistent all game and their defense will tire you out and before you know it you find yourself down 15 with five minutes to go against them.

Wichita State on the other hand (who i picked to lose in the first round) may be the team to unlock them. They have some big time players and if they get hot from 3, watch out. They hit 14 against Gonzaga and 8 against Ohio State. They got hot early and rode that momentum into the second half where they built a 20 point lead. And with a name like the Shockers, it almost seems like it has to happen.

This is Louisville's year though, and I feel like they'll comfortably handle Wichita State.

Prediction: Louisville 76 Wichita State 60

#4 Michigan vs #4 Syracuse
Trey Burke did his job in ruining my life when he hit a 3 pointer from the parking lot against Kansas to send the game into overtime where they eventually beat the Jayhawks. The Wolverines went into the next game against the Gators and easily disposed of them mostly due to their lights out shooting from behind the arc (10-19 from 3).

They face an interesting match-up with Syracuse who has held their opponents to 29 percent shooting from the field during the tournament. With Syracuse's zone defense being particularly effective thus far, Michigan is going to again have to rely on their 3 point shooting if they want to come away with this one. While Syracuse is going to have to rely on their defense as it has done all tournament, Michigan has had no problem dealing with teams who pride themselves on their defense. Michigan shot 46 percent against Florida and 49 percent against Kansas whom rank sixth and first respectively in field goal percentage against so they have shown that they can handle good defenses.

Syracuse on the other hand isn't known for being a great shooting team and will have to rely on Michael Carter Williams and will surely have to dominate the boards if they want to come away with this one.

I think Michigan has the players to beat the Syracuse's zone, count on a big game from Burke and I have a feeling MCW is going to struggle in this one trying to keep up. Blue takes it.

Prediction: Michigan 62  Syracuse 57

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