WE made it to the final weekend of the college basketball season. If you try to claim you knew that South Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon and North Carolina would be the four teams here, you are either full of crap or you should by a lotto ticket. Two teams in the Final Four for the first time along with a team back for the first time since 1939 all nestled around last year’s runners up is a unique field to say the least. Let’s break down the games.
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South Carolina V Gonzaga
I’LL admit it I didn’t think Gonzaga was going to go very far. From the outside looking in I rated their conference as weak and therefore their 36-1 record didn’t truly reflect the teams talent. After diving in a bit more I realised I was wrong. The Bulldogs are in the Final Four for the first time in school history thanks to their stellar defense and seasoned veteran line-up led by junior Nigel Williams-Goss. They square off against a South Carolina team that is also in the school’s first Final Four. After upsetting Duke in round two they have continued to gain momentum and won’t be easy to stop on Saturday. I’m looking forward to this game most, and I want to see Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier fist pumping like maniacs in the National Championship game. But I’ve got to give the experienced (if you can make that claim) squad of Gonzaga the edge.
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North Carolina V Oregon
YOU can’t help but wonder how good Oregon would be doing if they still had Chris Boucher in uniform. The injury to their talented forward forced them to adjust on the fly, and honestly it may be the main reason they are still kicking. If that isn’t the main reason it has to be the play of Tyler Dorsey. He has earned the nickname ‘Mr. March’ for good reason, scoring over 20 points in every tourney game so far and the Ducks are hitchhiking their success to his hot streak. On the other side of the court and unlikely hero in Luke Maye has taken center stage after scoring the game winner against Kentucky in the Elite Eight. 10 of the Tar Heels players that were on the team that lost the title at the buzzer to Villanova last year, so expect that experience to count for a lot when they play Oregon. A seasoned line-up, plus having Roy Williams calling the plays will probably equate to the difference in this game. If Dorsey and Brooks aren’t hitting shots too, it could get ugly.
NORTH CAROLINA WIN
NORTH CAROLINA WIN
SHOULD my predictions hold true we will be seeing Gonzaga and North Carolina battle it out for the crown. And (spoiler alert) as much as everyone cheers for the underdog and wishes for a upset, I don’t see the Tar Heels losing two in a row. Actually from this point in time I think the most important thing going forward, for every team, is how much of an impact North Carolina’s experience will have. With a ton of their dudes returning and everyone on the team motivated to make amends for last year’s heartbreak I don’t see them not winning the title this year. Period.
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