Sabtu, 31 Maret 2012

Final Four

March Madness is almost over but this year's tournament will definitely go out with a bang as you have four powerhouses in Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State, and Louisville all playing for two spots on Championship Monday in the National Championship. Tonight are two huge games in the Big Easy, the battle over the state of Kentucky between fierce rivals Kentucky and Louisville, and a rematch froma non-conference game earlier this year between Kansas and Ohio State. Everything is set up for two fantastic games tonight.

Kentucky vs Louisville
The battle for the state of Kentucky has come to Saturday night primetime television with these two huge rivals facing off on the biggest stage in college basketball. Rick Pitino knows that his team is the underdog but they have a shot due to the fact that rivalries are nrmally won by the team that works harder and their defense could slow down the Kentucky attack due to the fact that they have controlled the paint in most of their games this season. John Calipari has been trying to down play this game as just another game but he knows how huge this game is for the Wildcats and their fans. Final Four games are always exciting but with bragging rights in the state of Kentucky on the line, this game is at a whole new level. A key matchup tonight is can Louisville's defense contain Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The Cardinals have not faced forwards of this caliber at all this season which will make it very difficult for Louisville if they fail to contain Davis, Jones, and Kidd-Gilchrist. The job of slowing down the Kentucky big men will be left to forward Chane Behanan and center Gorgui Dieng. Dieng will bbe the guy that will face off with Davis as Dieng could be in for a very long afternoon. Another key matchup will be between point guards Peyton Siva and Marquis Teague. Despite not being the Cardinals' leading scorer, Siva has been the key player for Louisville this year as his leadership has helped get Louisville to New Orleans. Kentucky's Marquis Teague will have to contain Siva if he wants to prevent Siva from driving and/or creating shots for teammates. The x-factor in this game will be sharp shooter Doron Lamb. Lamb was a part of the Kentucky team that lost to UCONN in last year's Final Four. Lamb knows what it means to play on this type of stage with 70,000+ fans watching inside the stadium and millions watching from around the world. Lamb will be able tom change the game tonight as he is such a danergous three-point shooter as he shoots 47% from beyond the arc. Lamb knows how it feels on this big of a stage and I expect him to be big tonight.
Prediction: This will be a fairly close game but Kentcuky is the more talented team and they will pull away from their rivals at the end.

Kansas vs Ohio State
Both these teams could have been number one seeds if they would have won their conference tournaments. These teams are loaded with talented players like Thomas Robinson, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Withey, Deshaun Thomas, Tyshawn Taylor, and Aaron Craft who will probably all end up in the NBA. This game would have attracted more headlines if it wasn't for the rivalry game between Kentucky and Louisville as these are two very good teams. The number one key matchup in this game will be between the star big man: Thomas Robinson and Jared Sullinger. Robinson has been the best player in college basketball this season that is not named Anthony Davis. Robinson has been a dominate force in the post and he will be a difficult matchup for Sullinger. Meanwhile, the chance to be in the Final Four was one of the reasons why Jared Sullinger is back in a Ohio State uniform. Sullinger was extremely disappointed after last year's early tournament exit but now, he is only two wins away from helping Ohio State win a national championship. Whoever wins this matchup will probably lead their team to victory and a birth in the national championship game. Another key matchup will be between point guards Tyshawn Taylor and Aaron Craft. Craft is the most underrated point guard in college basketball as he has an impressive basketball IQ. Craft also has an impressive work ethic which allows him to drive into the lane to get layups and force turnovers as he averages 2.5 steals per game. Tyshawn Taylor is more of a scorer than Craft but he knows how to find his own shot or get the ball to Robinson and Jeff Withey. These two players will be critical to their team's success tonight if they want to win. The x-factor in tonight's game will be Ohio State's senior shooter William Buford. Buford knows how to score and is going to be remembered as one of the best players in Ohio State history. Buford is a guy who can step up and make the big shots in the most important moments in the game.
Prediction: This game will come down to the end but Ohio State will make a big play to beat the Jayhawks and book a ticket to the Final Four.

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