Final Four Review & Nat’l Championship Prediction.
Durrel Summers dunking over Stanley Robinson may have been the best dunk I have seen in the tournament ever. Watch the video. Robinson got his revenge later, though, on a pretty nasty dunk of his own. Video.
My predictions from Saturday were perfect, improving my record to 50-12 in the tournament. Unfortunately, for my Facebook bracket, UCONN lost; but that thing was dead after the first weekend (thanks for showing up, Wake).
The key to the game for UCONN was AJ Price. As I recall, I said that he needed to step his game up in order for the Huskies to win the game. For the second straight game, he didn’t. He scored 15 points, but he shot 5-20. Yikes! As mentioned in my Final Four article, Hasheem Thabeet finally played like man and contained Goran Suton to 4 points; while leading the Huskies to 17. He showed why he will be drafted #2 overall in the draft. He only hit the deck twice! That’s a new record for him.Michigan State’s defense was too good. They picked their spots to push the ball and caught the Huskies napping a lot.
North Carolina dominated all aspects of the game. Not really much to talk about. They dominated.
Moving forward to tonight’s National Championship game between these two very stories franchises. Magic vs Jordan. Mateen Cleaves vs Ed Cota. Mo-Pete vs Antawn Jamison. Paul Davis vs Erik Montross. Jason Richardson vs Vince Carter. Zack Randolph vs Rasheed Wallace. Okay, their alumni is pretty one sided.
You know what was also one-sided? Their meeting earlier in the season in Michigan. The Tar Heels embarrassed State at home 98-63. Yikes! However, I think I am going to pick Michigan State to beat UNC tonight.
Michigan State is on a roll. They are at home, they playing great, they have all the momentum in the world. In order to win this game, they need to continue to play tough defense. Goran Suton needs to contain Tyler Hansbrough, without getting into foul trouble. They need to find an answer to Deon Thompson and Ed Davis. The two teams play the same type of uptempo offense, which may lead to sloppiness, but an entertaining and high scoring game.
North Carolina has A LOT of weapons (Lawson, Green, and especially, Ellington), but State is playing hard nosed defense of late, which may rattle the Heels a little bit. The Heels have also not played a tight game in a month. If State can keep it close at the end of the game, UNC may Memphis the game. Haha. Get it? Referring to last year when Memphis allowed Kansas to win the championship after defensive and coaching lapses.
As Rick Sutcliffe would say, we are all winners tonight. It will be a great game, with a rockus one-sided crowd.