Thursday, March 18

Tournament Time: Final Four Picks

You have to appreciate this year's Final Four logo. It really represents the event being held in Indianapolis; bland, boring, and a little chunky. Somehow I ended up with New Mexico alongside the other 3 number 1 seeds. If it happens I get to leave it up, but again I was saying that about my Gonzaga and Xavier picks from years past.

My final picks are nothing extraordinary, but if it does shake out like this there will be some good games ahead.

National Semifinals

Kansas over Syracuse: In a rematch of the 2003 championship game Kansas proves too tough for the Syracuse zone. This Kansas team is not given credit enough defensively, and their ability to limit the Orange from scoring will provide the difference. The 2-3 zone is not terribly complex, and Boeheim has said he wants to get to the tourney so he won't see anymore Big East teams that know how to beat it. Given a week though, and the driving ability of Collins and others, Kansas wins by almost double digits.

Duke over New Mexico: New Mexico would be treated like the red-headed stepchild if this Final Four comes to fruition. I would expect Duke to win in this match-up. The trio of Scheyer, Singler , and Smith, or the reverse oreo line as I call them (a tribute to the Mighty Ducks) have been brilliant and most importantly, when one falters the others seem to bring up the slack. The last few years it looked like only Singler was playing with the confidence of a top team. This year all the Duke players are. It is that Duke swagger, except it is a lot more hokey than swagger. It is that same thing we began hating Duke for in the early 90s. It is pale swagger, Laettner swagger, I'm better than you swagger. New Mexico comes into Indy in awe and shoots horribly, coach K yells at officials and Duke shoots twice as many foul shots.

National Championship

Kansas over Duke: Not really going out on a limb picking KU to win it all but I have been saying for weeks I was going with them and I am not changing now. CBS would love this scenario, because as we all know conspiracy nuts, Duke is the biggest draw of all time. Of course the pre-game hype will focus on coach K slurpage, the historic nature of the programs and of course, Grant Hill's dunk from their 1991 title game meeting which Duke won 72-65.

No comments: