FINAL FOUR – Alamodome San Antonio, TX
Memphis vs UCLA ( -2 ) 6:07 PM
Chris – This game is going to probably be an ugly one. Both teams play hard scrappy defense, barrel through screens, and love to drive and finish around the rim. This game will turn into a turnover-laced, foul-laden slugfest.
The Tigers are at their best when they’re playing aggressive defense, crashing the boards hard and sharing the ball through their dribble-drive motion offense. The Bruins are battle tested, throughout this year’s tournament, as well as this being the third straight year the Bruins have been in the Final Four, being eliminated by eventually back-to-back champion Florida Gators.
This game will be low scoring, close through-out, down the final possessions game and will come down to who will make the big time buckets down the stretch. I see the Tigers strength and balance to prevail.
The Pick: Take the Tigers, the points, and the outright win. MEM 66 UCLA 62
Brian – I am currently still in first place in my bracket and all the naysayers nipping at my heels have UNC as their champ. My champ however is UCLA, so I am sticking with them no matter what to win this game and will be pulling hard from my couch.
I am a little nervous though as Memphis looked GOOD against Texas, almost making it look easy at times. Derrick Rose is the real deal and he took over whenever Memphis needed a key bucket early. Besides Joey Dorsey being a freak of nature, Taggert (had a great game off the bench against TEX) and Dozier inside will be tough for Kevin Love to take on by himself.
Darren Collison will need to step it up defensively on Rose and the combination of Mbah a Moute, Russell Westbrook and Josh Shipp need to contain CDR. Take out one of Memphis’ big three (Dorsey, CDR or Rose) and its lights out for the Tigers.
The Pick: UCLA to win outright, Memphis’ horrific FT shooting finally catches up with them, in the biggest game of their season. UCLA 78 MEM 71
Kansas vs North Carolina (-3 ) 8:47 PM
Chris - Roy Williams against his former school for the first time, two of the most talented teams in the nation are facing off on the biggest stage.
With these two powerhouses of college basketball facing off, look for this game to be more anti-climatic once it starts.
The Tar Heels with Ty Lawson just look unbeatable. With his dribble ability he can seemingly break any full court pressure on his own. Combine that with the excellent wingman Green and Ellington, as well as all-American Tyler Hansborugh on the inside, the all-around Tar Heel game will be too much for the Jayhawks.
This game is controlled by UNC pretty much from start to finish. Kansas might make things interesting in 2nd Half, but Williams and his talented gang will march onto Monday night’s title game to play for their second national title this decade. The Pick: Take the Heels at -2. UNC 78 KAN 70
Brian - As mentioned above, I am atop the leaderboard in my bracket with my buddies and everyone’s champ is UNC besides me. So take a wild gander as to who I am pulling for in this one? Thats right folks, the Kansas Jayhawks will prevail. First of all, I think the most certainly can, and WILL win and here’s why.
Almost every game in this tournament has been won or lost behind the 3 – point line. Kansas is deadly from behind the arc, whereas UNC is mediocre at best, with no real threat from deep. Kansas has the luxury of four great 3 point shooters in Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Russell Robinson and Sherron Collins. Chalmers and Rush are straight deadly and if you leave Robinson or Collins open for a second, they will burn you.
If the bigs for Kansas (Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun) can frustrate ’Psycho T’ Tyler Hansbrough, we should be in for a thriller. Another aspect I consider favorable for Kansas is that UNC relies way to much on very few players. Besides Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough, and Wayne Ellington, UNC doesnt have any legitimate scoring threats. Every player in Kansas starting five and even well into their bench is capable of putting up 20 on any given night.
The Pick: Kansas throws way too much depth at Pyscho T and Ty Lawson. Kansas gets hot from deep and wins outright. KAN 84 UNC 79