Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge
by Bryan Harvey

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'
by Bryan Harvey

Previewing the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Previewing the ACC-Big Ten Challenge
by Brendan Brody

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'
by Bryan Harvey

LCB Hoops Picks: Final Four

April 3, 2010

With the NCAA tournament down to the Final Four, we can go back to our regular rotation of picking two games. So make the jump to get our views on how the tournament has played out and our picks for the biggest college hoops games of the year.
Langston: Last Sunday after UT's meltdown in the last two minutes or so of the game and falling to the Spartans by a measly point, I received a bunch of apologetic text messages. It was a nice gesture from my friends who understood how much it sucked to be this close to the final four only to see you team fall by one point. And while I was disappointed in the way it all ended, there is no reason to be agitated with their play or with this team. There season was all but flushed down the drain after a joy ride on New Years involving firearms, pot, and open containers. They were forced to play with only 6 schollys and a couple walk-ons when they upset the Kansas Jayhawks. They were without their best player, Tyler Smith, for the rest of the season. Yet, they went farther in the tournament than any team in school history had before and along the way beat UK, KU, and Ohio State. They led us on a roller coaster of a season, one that has many Volunteer fans for the first time counting down the days until the next tip-off.

Berndon: I'm still in shock about how quickly my bracket crumbled into the Indiana air, as I thought I was going to go 4-4 with my Final Four picks. But then Tennessee let Evan Turner get his, but shut everyone else down. This was followed by Butler continuously making play after play against Kansas St. After that, Kentucky decided to shoot 3-176 from the three-point line against WVU. I now am potentially going to owe my friend and West Virginia alumnus Brian 300 dollars if the Mountaineers cut down the nets. This ironically sets up a scenario where I might have to root for Duke to beat them, the Devils also coincidentally being the only Final Four team that I correctly predicted. So it should be a fun little Saturday. I might just try and find a CSI marathon or something. Jokes aside, although the hype isn't really there with these teams and players, and ratings might be down without the glamour of the matchups being a little less than what CBS probably hoped for, all four teams are extremely even. I really think any of the four could win it. All the teams left are flawed, yet all have things that they do really well. I guess we'll see how it all plays out.

(5) Butler v. (5) Michigan State @ 6:07 on CBS:
Langston: I really have no idea how this game will play out. Butler hasn't lost this year and Tom Izzo is a damn good coach (Somewhere that anon commenter/State fan is laughing maniacally with his cat perched on his lap) with a talented squad. And while I'm not sure who really has the edge, I, among with everyone who hasn't spent time in East Lansing will be pulling for the hometown Bulldogs. This is a chance teams like Butler don't get often. And while they aren't a mid-major, with a 96-team field on the horizon this is the best chance to see one win it all in our lifetime. Butler 73, State 69.

Berndon: Michigan St. should have lost to New Mexico St. Then they should have lost to Maryland. They were down by 7 to Northern Iowa, and Tennessee also had them on the ropes. Somehow, through all of this, they're still standing, without their starting point guard to top it all off. Luckily, Sparty rolls deep, and Korey Lucious has been a capable replacement. If they were at their best with everyone healthy, I think Michigan St. wins this one by 10-12 points. They obviously aren't however, so this will be closer than it would be. Butler has won 24 games in a row, beating higher-seeded opponents in Syracuse and Kansas St. easier than they did Murray St. They have 3 playmakers who step up at different times, as Shelvin Mack, Gordon Hayward, and Matt Howard all have had their moments, with the Bulldogs yet to have a tournament game where all 3 play well. If all three have big games, they could also win by 10-12 points. When forced to make a pick between two very evenly-matched 5 seeds, I don't think you can overlook Michigan St's experience. Most of the team played on the team that lost to UNC last year, which I think has kept them chugging along and winning all of these close games. They seem to be on a mission, and I look for this to key their 63-58 win, as the city of Indianapolis weeps as though Peyton just threw another playoff interception.

(1) Duke v. (2) West Virginia @ 8:47 on CBS:
Langston: As a former Carolina basketball camper, it's hard to admit this but I don't hate this Duke team. Don't get me wrong, I still hold an inordinate amount of animosity for Coach K and Wojo. But there is nothing noteworthy about this squad to hate. So for the first time in my life, with Duke in the final four, I won't be pulling against them. Instead I will just enjoy the game for what it is, a battle of two coaches building on their legacy's with their squads vying to make their own history. Duke 67, WVU 59.

Berndon: If ever there was a situation where I could root for a tie, where neither team advances, this would be it. For the reasons covered above, I don't want either of these teams to win. I hate Duke, and while I don't hate West Virginia, I hate the potential for losing 300 dollars almost as much. As for the actual game, I don't expect WVU to shoot the lights out like they did in the first half against Kentucky. For the season, they shoot 33.6% from deep, which is much closer to what I'd expect from them in this one. Meanwhile, often maligned, at least in my writing space, Brian Zoubek might not be as superhuman on the boards in this one, as West Virginia has the size to keep his rebounding numbers down. God Forbid Duke has to depend on Lance Thomas to get 9 rebounds again, because he is the worst starter on any of the remaining teams. The rebounding advantage for WVU will be taken away if the Dookies make their shots from the outside. In a game that could very well go either way, I like West Virginia to just barely advance. WVU 71, Duke 68.

3 comments:

Teach said...

If Duke goes 1-1, I win my bracket. If they go 2-0, best I can do is like 3rd, maybe 4th. If they lose tonight, I stay in 5th. I think I'm pulling for a Butler-Duke Final with Butler winning. I hate Duke, but it's hard to pull for a Huggins team.

April 3, 2010 at 4:49 PM
Russ said...

Can't believe this Duke team is in the title game. Amazing team effort and amazing coaching by K. Been a joy to watch. One more to go.

April 4, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Iceman, AD said...

I feel bad for this Butler team. They are limping into the final game against Duke team that arguably just played the best game of their season. I can't wait for Monday.

April 4, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Post a Comment

 

© 2008-2010 ·The Lawn Chair Boys by TNB