Campus Chatter: Final Four Edition

Well, it’s the moment we have all been waiting for. Final Four weekend has finally come. The remaining four teams are as good of a group as we have had in quite some time and it should make for some great games this weekend. The lack of upsets early on in the tournament may have not made for many memorable moments but in the end we are left with much better basketball as a result.

I really want to get into NBA draft declarations, coaching changes and the McDonald’s All-American game but I am going to hold off on that until next week or so because things are only going to pick up once the season is over and I’d like to give the Final Four the attention it deserves. In today’s column I am just going to give my usual preview thus making it a rather short one but for Monday’s game I plan on breaking out a player by player breakdown of the big game. Alright well enough stalling I guess, “let’s gets to it” as Microsoft Word just recommended I say.

Saturday March 31st, 2007
Atlanta, GA (Georgia Dome)
Georgetown (-1) vs. Ohio State: The point-spread is one point here and with good reason. These two teams are opposites in that Georgetown brings the veteran-laden squad and a great coach while Ohio State is the young upstart team with the more questionable X’s and O’s coach, but ironically enough they match up quite well with one another. Everyone wants to see the big match-up between Georgetown’s Roy Hibbert and Ohio State’s Greg Oden and rightfully so but I am more interested in how the rest of the individual match-ups shake out. Both teams feature tough guards but I think its advantage Hoyas when it comes to the forwards. I don’t think the Buckeyes have anyone who can match-up with F Jeff Green and I think he might be the biggest x-factor. As you should already know I am a sucker for defense and I think if Georgetown is able to lock in defensively, they should be playing on Monday night.
Georgetown 74 – Ohio State 70

UCLA vs. Florida (-3): If UCLA had McDonald’s All-American Kevin Love playing in this game, then without a doubt in my mind I would go with the Bruins. Unfortunately for them he doesn’t arrive on campus until the summer. UCLA plays a suffocating defense that should give Florida a lot of problems but it is their offense that is their downfall. UCLA played their best game of the season in defeating Kansas in the Elite Eight and I don’t know if they will be able to duplicate that. Every time they needed a big shot, they got it. Florida has been turning the ball over a lot as of late though and if UCLA can turn those turnovers into points, then they may be able to get away with their offensive woes. Florida has had a knack for turning it on when it counts and I don’t think that it will be any different on Saturday. Gainesville is a mere 5-hour drive from Atlanta and I expect the Dome to be filled with Orange and Blue which should not hurt the Gators’ chances.
Florida 64 – UCLA 59

Like I said, short column today but that’s what happens when all of the other stories are in the works and only two games are being played. Check back on Monday for a detailed breakdown of the championship game. Until then, enjoy the weekend and Go Gators!

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