This is a final four of firsts:
•Texas Tech will be appearing in their 1st Final Four.
•Auburn will be appearing in their 1st Final Four.
•Virginia will be appearing in their 1st Final Four since 1984.
•Tom Izzo is going to his 8th Final Four, The most by any Big-10 Coach.
#5 Auburn vs. #1 Virginia
Despite losing one of their best players, Chuma Okeke, The Auburn Tigers beat the Kentucky Wildcats, 77-71 to advance to the Final Four. Jared Harper and Bryce Brown scored 50 points combined against their SEC Rivals.
Virginia was a number 1 seed last year. They became the first team in the history of “March Madness” to lose to a 16 seed. They lost to #16 UMBC 74-54. The Cavaliers have used that loss as motivation to catapult them to the Final Four.
This is going to be a total clash of styles. Auburn wants to play in the high 70s and low 80s. The Cavaliers want to play in the high 50s and low 60’s.
Players to Watch:
Guards, Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter average about 30 points per game between them. They both rebound the ball exceptionally well. Mamadi Diakite had 4 blocks against Purdue and can control the game with defense and rebounding for Virginia
Guards, Harper and Brown can control the tempo of the game and drive to the basket and shoot the three. The question for Auburn is, Who will step up Okeke’s absence.
Auburn is playing with “House Money” and Virginia may feel the pressure, if the game is close down the stretch. Whichever backcourt plays better, their team will win.
My heart tells me Auburn, my mind says… Take Virginia 63-60
Saturday, April 6th, 8:49 PM:
#3 Texas Tech vs. #2 Michigan State
Texas Tech has been the best college basketball team in the NCAA Tournament. They dominated a Buffalo team (that some had going to the final four) 78-58. They beat Michigan 63-44 and got to the final four by eliminating #1 Gonzaga, 75-69.
Michigan State upset the #1 Duke Blue Devils 68-67. Tom Izzo is now 2-11, against coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Players to watch:
Texas Tech’s Jarred Culver is the best guard in the country that no one knows about. Culver is averaging 18.5 points, 6.3 rebound and 3.7 assists per game. Tariq Owens can control the game with his defensive presence on the interior, blocking shots and rebounding.
Michigan State’s Cassius Winston had 20 points and 10 assists against Duke. This was not a surprise, on the season he is averaging 18.9 points and 7.8 assists per game. Kenny Goins can get a double/double every night. He will have to control the boards is Michigan State has a chance.
This should be a physical, 15 round boxing match. I like Texas Tech to make enough plays and win this game. Take the Red Raiders, 66-60
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