Monday, March 31, 2008

Absent/Final Four

Let me apologize, again, for not updating the blog as frequently as I would have liked to. I had midterms, and then my teachers decided to give us tons of more work after those midterms so I have been swamped. Add to that within the past two weeks there has been some personal problems, but I am back, and ready to write. I'll start this week's blog off with the Final Four, which I will be attending next weekend.

This will be my seventh Final Four appearance, all coming in a row. I go every year with my dad and my two cousins and uncle. My dad and uncle have gone every year going on number 23 this year (so since 1986). This is the first year in Final Four history that all four number 1 seeds will be squaring off against each other. UCLA vs. Memphis is the early game on Saturday followed by Kansas vs. UNC. I am so ridiculously pumped for this Final Four. Each team has a legitimate shot to win the title, as each team has weaknesses other teams can prey on.

I picked them to win the title in my bracket (however my bracket has been pretty awful this year), but I'm not sure I necessarily believe they can win. I was skeptical of their chances, but after the Louisville performance they really showed me they can win in a close game against a good opponent. Kansas plays their style of ball and this will be the first time UNC will have an opponent who can go head to head with them in transition. With a healthy Lawson UNC will be very hard to stop on the break. Key for them is to continue to crash the offensive glass, as they're one of the best in the nation at doing that. Add to this matchup: Roy Williams going up against his former team that he bolted from to coach at his Alma Mater. Craaaaazy.

Kansas will have to get back on defense and make sure Kaun and Jackson and Arthur bang Hansbrough inside if they're going to contend with UNC. Their game against Davidson was a close one. Their previous three games they won with ease, so I'm not sure if it was the pressure of getting to the Final Four that affected their game or if Davidson really did play them well (I'm going to say both, because Davidson really is a good team). Either way, they're going to have to play much better against UNC if they want to win. Rush can't shoot the way he did against Davidson and their bigs are going to have to produce more (sans Kaun, who was a machine. Literally. My friends and I just made fun of him the whole game. He looks deranged. "Kaun smash basketball. Kaun score goal." I'm convinced he sees like the Terminator does, with a red computer screen).

With Kevin Love they might have finally added the right piece to the puzzle to win a National Championship. Their third Final Four in as many years, Love was the MOP in the Regionals and will have to be that much better to lead his team to their first title since 1995. Love is going to have to bang against Dorsey and a very athletic Memphis team and try to produce. Collison and Westbrook are going to find that they have yet to experience a team as athletic and long as Memphis. Just ask Texas.

Did they impress in Austin or what? Totally manhandling a pretty good Michigan State team and a great Texas team. Derek Rose really showed that he is the best point guard in the country, completely controlling every facet of the game. And there is no one quicker than him with the ball end to end (sorry Ty Lawson). And their free throw shooting, not a problem, going 30-36 against Texas. They are goooooood.

My Picks
I have Memphis over UCLA in OT by 3 in the first game and UNC over Kansas by 4 in the second. In the final, I have UNC over Memphis by 1 in eight OTs because it's gonna be an amazing game. Ok, maybe not 8, but one OT at least.

I hope I didn't jinx UNC....and if Kansas wins the whole thing I get $150. Sweet.

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