My Final Four Preview
If you are a gambler, ignore this post. Chances are slim that my vocalized predictions come true. I would have to say it’s a stretch that I am 50-50. That said, here is my shot at prognostication:
#7 UCONN (18 in the final AP) vs #1 Florida (1 in the final AP)
Connecticut should have been higher than a seven seed. They finished ranked in the top twenty which usually translates into a 4 or 5 seed. Florida is the best team in the country right now. They haven’t lost since 2013 and are playing good team basketball; of course that loss came to none other than Uconn. Senior Shabazz Napier will be the key for the Huskies and I see Billy Donavan employing one of three strategies against him. He will either a. play him straight up and force Shabazz to outscore the Gators on his own or b. overplay and double team him and try to make someone else step up or c. a combination of the two. Shabazz is being compared to Kemba Walker and their title run in 2011. While Olie is an up and coming coach, I believe Donavan will have a superior plan in place. Experienced winners are tough to beat, who bets against Phil Jackson or Red with a strong team.
Florida 66 UCONN 61
#8 Kentucky (28 in final AP poll) vs #2 Wisconsin (12 in final AP poll)
Here you have the up and coming Wildcats against the Streaky Badgers. Kentucky’s starting five freshmen will put up a good fight if no one reminds them they are in the Final Four. Wisconsin is also young but is lead by junior/veteran Frank Kaminsky. Both teams love to push the ball so the pace should be great. If one team gets hot, you might see a double digit lead but it won’t be over early. Rebounding and inside play will be big keys. The Badgers are physical and they are a solid rebounding team that should limit Kentucky’s second chances. Watch for lots of runs from both sides and hopefully a tight ending.
Wisconsin 71 Kentucky 64
With my lack of faith in my picks I will hold off until Monday to preview the final. My guarantee lock is a fun night. I have Beer Me partner in crime Tony T coming over to enjoy the games. Maybe the best bet is my next trip will be planned before Sunday!
I teach, coach, and love my wife. Yes, I'm aware there are several interpretations to that first sentence.