Thursday, April 3, 2008

Final Four Preview

We are down to the final four and man what a tournament it has been. After all the upsets and nail biting games we are left with all #1 seeds left in the tournament, the first time that has ever happened. San Antonio is the place to be this weekend and here is the way I see the games going on Saturday.

UCLA vs Memphis-tip time approximately 6:07 pm on CBS-This is a rematch of the Elite Eight contest back in 2005 (UCLA won that game 50-45). While I don't think that game is going to be that low scoring, it will be just as close. The Memphis Tigers come into the Final Four as probably the hottest team defeating Michigan State and Texas soundly after getting a scare from Mississippi State in the second round. UCLA is in about the same boat. They just squeaked by Texas A&M in round two before winning more comfortably against both Western Kentucky and Xavier. Many of these players on Memphis's team played in that 2005 Elite Eight game and would love nothing more than to get some revenge on their way to the National Title Game. However this is UCLA's third straight trip to the final four and Memphis is looking for revenge, the Bruins don't see the Florida Gators in this Final Four (the team that ended their season the last two years) so you have to like the Bruins chances as well. The matchup I am watching for in this game is Kevin Love against Joey Dorsey. Dorsey isn't a guy that is going to score you 20 points a night. He reminds me a lot of Ben Wallace of the Cleveland Cavilers because he revolves his game around defense. He is gonna have to be at his best against one of the best freshman in the land in Kevin Love. Also am looking at the Freshman Phenom story angle between Love and Derrick Rose. Who Wins: I have UCLA as my champion and am picking them in this basketball game. Both teams have great defenses and both have very good transition games but UCLA has been their the past two years and you can't beat experience. Bruins by 5.

Kansas vs North Carolina-tip time 30 minutes after the conclusion of UCLA/Memphis on CBS- Its a game Jayhawk fans have been waiting to play for the past five years. As good as the players are in this basketball game the biggest storyline will be Roy Williams going up against his former team. Williams left the Jayhawks after the conclusion of the 2003 basketball season. Finally Bill Self has got over the Final Four hump and wants to make sure his first final four experience is a memorable one. Overall for this entire tournament North Carolina has been playing the best basketball from the opening game to now. Every other final four team has had a game in this tournament decided by 3 points or less. Carolina lowest margin of victory was 10 against Louisville. However if there is a team in this entire tournament that has the talent to go toe to toe with the two loss Tar Heel team it is the Jayhawks. They play of Sasha Kaun off the bench helped the Jayhawks escape Davidson and don't forget about Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, and Sherron Collins. Hansbrough will more than likely will be guarded by Darnell Jackson (with Arthur getting some time on him as well). If they can stop Ty Lawson from outrunning them up and down the court the Jayhawks are in this game. Carolina will like to get out and run. Who Wins: I think the game though comes down to depth and Kansas has it. The Jayhawks need to get Hansbrough in foul trouble early and if they do that they can build a lead and keep it. Kansas wins against Roy's Tar Heels and advances to the Championship game.

Full National Championship Preview coming up on Monday. Hope everyone has a great weekend of watching College Basketball (and when basketball isn't on a little baseball)


Neil Joshi said...

These are some wonderful matchups, man. I think UCLA has a great shot at making things ugly against Memphis, something they were great at doing in their first Elite 8 encounter two years ago. Kansas/UNC is two deep teams going at it, and the Roy Williams vs. Kansas only adds to the pot. Should be tremendous.

Stefan Ming said...

This should be one of the best FInal Fours in years. UCLA-Memphis should be a great game but UCLA will win pretty much because of their experience. But Memphis's athleticism is outstanding. I cant wait.

I also see UNC beating Kansas.

Sportsattitude said...

My story going into the tourney was NC and UCLA in the Final and I'm sticking with them. Kansas was the only #1 seed I didn't see getting to the FF so obviously I'm looking for them to get stepped on by the Heels in a fast-paced, breathless kind of game...and I think the free throw thing will finally catch up with Memphis in a very tight, low-scoring affair.