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Final Four Weekend

TGIFFF. Or, Thank God it’s Final Four Friday, either/or would work. The best in the land of college basketball descend on Detroit tomorrow to decide who’s going to the National Championship game on Monday. The first game is Michigan State versus Connecticut, with North Carolina/Villanova closing us out.

So. Who ya got?

In the first game, it’s hard not respect what UConn brings to the table. Plus, they have the added motivation of not being outdone by their female basketball team. Of course, UConn’s women’s team is undefeated, so even if the both teams win their whole thing, the men wouldn’t have done it in perfect fashion. Oh well, a National Championship is a National Championship, regardless of how many losses you have.

Of course, both teams could lose before the championship game, which would undoubtedly send the state of Connecticut into a state of shock.

The key for Michigan State is Goran Suton and whether or not he can get Hasheem Thabeet out of the paint. If Thabeet has to guard Suton on the perimeter, it opens up a world of options for Kalin Lucas, who, conversely, will have his hands full with A.J. Price. Lucas may wind up guarding Kemba Walker, however, leaving Chris Allen to tangle with Price. Both of these teams look pretty evenly matched. The guards are, to me, a push. Lucas cancels out Price. Walker and Allen do the same.

UConn’s front line looks awfully intimidating, but the Spartans do match up her as well, especially if Thabeet has to follow Suton around on the perimeter. Raymar Morgan and Jeff Adrien cancel each other out, leaving Stanley Robinson as the X-factor. Robinson has been having a great tournament and could cause major problems for the Spartans. Nevertheless, it’s hard to see this game going double-digits either way, considering how tough defensively both teams are.

Prediction
UConn – 75, Michigan State – 74

Although, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this goes in the opposite direction.

In the second game, Villanova gets a shot at North Carolina. Top-to-bottom, the Heels have more talent than the Wildcats, but as far as five-on-five goes, Nova matches up fairly well. The key match up for me and most everybody else watching will be Ty Lawson versus Scottie Reynolds. Both players have been the best player on their respective teams — with no offense to Nova’s Dante Cunningham — leading them to this highly anticipated Final Four head-to-head.

The Lawson/Reynolds pairing could be one of the better individual battles in some time. Both guards are absolutely crucial to their teams’ success and both are absolutely capable of taking over games. Who gets the nod here? Considering how dominant Lawson has been since his toe injury — see the second half against LSU for example — it’s hard not to give the Tar Heels the edge here; and that in no way is an insult to Reynolds.

On the inside, can Cunningham outdo Tyler Hansbrough? What about Deon Thompson, Ed Davis and Danny Green? How does Jay Wright plan on neutralizing Carolina’s decided edge on the front line? Unfortunately for Nova, Cunningham + Dwayne Anderson != Thompson + Green + Davis.

With that in mind, it’s hard for me not to give the nod to Carolina, regardless of how entertaining Reynolds versus Lawson can and could be.

Prediction
North Carolina – 83, Villanova – 72

Agree? Disagree? Writer is a complete moron, bereft of any basketball knowledge whatsoever? Let me know below.