Final Four Preview

Tonight, the remaining four teams will meet in Indianapolis to take on their next challenge. Thanks to the teams that made it to Indy, the Final Four is bursting at the seams with great stories.

Probably the biggest story is if Kentucky will go undefeated. Being the first team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to go undefeated is not an easy task, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t had an easy path. The Wildcats only faced one team in the regular season that earned higher than a 4-seed, that being Kansas just a week after the season began.

The Elite Eight game against Notre Dame was by far their hardest test of the season and came down to winning by just two. To be able to finish off their perfect season they will have to go through Wisconsin and possibly Duke, the next two best teams in the country. They certainly have the talent and the ability to go undefeated but it isn’t a sure thing.

Michigan State, the only non-one seed remaining, will be taking on its hardest team yet in Duke. Their tournament run may not be such a Cinderella story even though they are just a 7 seed as many predicted that the leadership of Tom Izzo was enough to spark this kind of run. Izzo will match up against Coach K in a legendary coaching matchup. Duke, in my opinion, will not have any trouble with the Spartans but it is hard to count Tom Izzo out as he may be presenting his greatest coaching performance yet.

Will Wisconsin get a second chance at a title? For a second time in a row, the badgers get a chance at Kentucky in the national semifinals and will look for another chance to get to the championship game and seniors Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker came back for this exact game.

My predictions:

Kentucky vs Wisconsin

A defensive oriented game will come down to who will be able to score. Both teams have very efficient defenses, Wisconsin leads the nation in defensive points per possession with 1.22 and Kentucky’s not far behind with 1.156. The Wildcats are 5 point favorites in this semifinal rematch. The biggest thing that sets Kentucky apart from Wisconsin is Kentucky’s depth. No one averages more than 26 minutes a game and Andrew Harrison is the team leader with 11 points per game. Wisconsin is nowhere near as deep as they have three players that average more points per game.

Kentucky continues on it undefeated journey, Wildcats win 64-61.

Michigan State vs Duke

Krzyzewski and Izzo are meeting for the 10th time and of the nine previous, Coach K has won eight of them. With that said, there is no other coach that is as dangerous as an underdog then Tom Izzo who has a record 13 tournament wins as a lower seed. The key matchup to watch for in this game is Michigan State’s Branden Dawson and Duke’s Justise Winslow. Dawson is by far Sparty’s best defensive player and Winslow is Duke’s hottest averaging 14 points a game in the tournament.

I think Michigan State’s run ends here, Duke wins 70-63.

Kevin Bridge

Owner at The Backfield Press
I am an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee majoring in journalism and electronic media. I am the founder of The Backfield Press.