T Nation

Final Four predictions

This year Final Four has me stuck on trying to predict a winner, but I’ll do my best.

OU vs Indiana: I think OU is the better team. My opinion is a bit biased considering OU is the only team I like in the tourny, other than Duke of course. OU has shown a lot of toughness in their last two games of the tourny. How they escaped Missouri without everyone fouling out is beyond me. I also think the Sooners are a more balanced team and have more offensive weapons than Indiana. On the other hand it wouldn’t surprise me to see Indiana pull another win out of their ass. OU pulls it out though, hitting some free-throws to seel it in the end.

Kansas vs Maryland: This is a tough game to call. They both have good guard play and good post players. The Kansas guards can be pushed around though. Illinois’ guards were a lot more physical than the Kansas guards were. That could be a factor. For some reason I see Wilcox being the X-factor in this game. He plays good, but then will vanish for minutes at a time. I think if he can play good from start to finish, and the rest of the team plays solid, Maryland will win. I also know if Maryland doesn’t keep Collison and Gooden off the boards they’ll have a long night. Although I don’t see them emploding on themselves like Oregon did. Oregon’s rebounding effort today was putird btw. This is wishfull thinking as I hate Kansas, but I’ll go with the Terps, in a close one, in overtime.

OU vs Maryland: I think if OU can stay out of foul trouble, and the refs will allow these two teams to play, OU will win. OU is probably the most physical and athletic of the 4 teams left in the tourny. OU has beat Maryland once this year, but for them to do it again their going to half to play a flawless game, and Maryland will have to struggle in some area for the Sooners to win. Again, wishful thinking perhaps, but OU has been playing with an “Us against the world” mentality, and seems like their on a mission. I hope I’m right. I also could toss a coin on both semifinal games and probably be as accurate. It should be interesting next weekend.

Dustin

Great analysis, D.! I don’t have a lot to add, but I do have a couple of thoughts/questions:


1)Was it just me, or can all four of these teams RUN? At times, these seemed almost like soccer games; the ball comes off the board, and in 2 seconds they were on the other end! It’s a good thing that at this point in the season, all teams are in shape…(Needless to say, they are all quick also…)


2)Wilcox’s agressive play often gets him into early foul trouble. Doesn’t that also add to his “X-Factor?”


I agree…eventual winner…tough call (P.S. I’m still in mourning over Duke…!)

frickin uconn blew it last night but played a kick ass game, i was crushed.

You make some good points. I didn’t think about Wilcox getting into foul trouble. Baxter is pretty solid game in and game out, so I think Wilcox will need to carry his load so they don’t get out played by Gooden and Collison.

The only times that Kansas has lost this year is when they faced a more physical opponent. Ball State and OU were up under the chins of the Kansas players throughout their respective games. It will take an effort like that by Maryland to beat them.

That Duke loss was tough to take because I really expected more out of them. I love Jason Williams but I honostly think Duke will be even better next year without him. They were way to reliant on him to put points on the board. All their losses this year happened when Jason had an off night. Against Maryland and Virginia especially. I think next year with the great recruits Duke has coming in along with Dunleavy as the “Senior Leader” they will be a lot tougher from top to bottom. Of course it will all depend on how they play together. With all the talent next year I hope they don’t end up like the Duke team of 98-99 that lost to UConn in the title game.

Dustin

Bump

Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk baby! I like your predictions but I’m going with KU on this one. Maryland vs. KU will be the better game. I think OU is great, and may be the best team in the tournament, but not the most talented. The most talent belongs to Maryland and KU (almost even). I don’t know why I always hear about KU not being tough but never hear it about other teams. I think it’s because Roy Williams is percieved as this nurturing father/nice guy type figure. I have a friend who is a manager for the KU basketball team and does everything with them. He said Roy hides his mean side better than anyone. When Roy is behind closed doors he is as vicious and tough as anyone, it’s just not something that ever gets leaked to the press becuase he is so well respected. From the stories I’ve heard from my friend and also Jeff Boschee himself, Roy can be a fucking animal. Anyway, KU’s freshman right now are playing unbelievable. Simien and Langford will be stars next year I promise. Miles has shown a side of him I have not seen all year the last couple of games. He penetrates as fast as anyone if he just takes some chances and gains more confidence. Hinrich’s ankle is getting better every day and that will make a huge difference. If Hinrich’s ankle was hurt the Illinois and Oregon games would not have been the same. If he’s back to 100% then this game will not be as close as many people think. Hinrich is very good, people just don’t realize how good. Gooden is just waiting to explode with a big night as well in scoring. I like there chances a lot. I would have to pick OU second though because I don’t think Maryland can go all the way after facing KS. OU is a tough team and will be fresh after easily stomping Indiana. I’m going with KU to win it all if they get past Maryland because OU cannot beat KU in a best of three meetings on a neutral site no less. Talent just takes over in those situations. OU will win if Maryland beats KU because I think OU will be fresh and they already beat Maryland once so why not again when they have gotten better and Maryland is about the same or only slightly better.