Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday: Elite 8

South Region:

Florida vs. Michigan - Michigan has no right being here.  How Kansas gacked that game up is amazing.  Never underestimate the point guard position.  And that's the key here, I believe.  Florida's pressure defense can wear a team down.  Can Burke eat them up like he did to VCU's pressure?  And can Albrecht provide a few minutes from the bench, doing the same? 

Michigan's defensive deficiencies were in full effect on Friday against Kansas.  The Jayhawks pounded them inside and despite another fantastic offensive performance from Mitch McGary, no one stopped the Jayhawks until they stopped themselves late in the game. 

Florida hasn't been seriously tested in this tournament.  They've struggled in close games as we know.  Michigan will have to keep this close but they play better playing up-tempo.  Florida isn't afraid to do that or ugly it up and frustrate the Wolverines, the way Sparty or Wisconsin did.  I think the B1G gets shut out of the Final 4 and TV sets in Maryland & New York don't watch the Final 4.

The Pick:  Florida 68  Michigan 57

Midwest Region:

Duke vs. Louisville - So, in a Regional final, we get KenPom's 2 and 4 playing?  Get your popcorn, no?  Duke beat Louisville sans Giourgi Dieng at Atlantis at the start of the year.  I wouldn't take much from that game.  Teams change so much between then and now.

So far, I doubt any team has looked as good as Louisville, thus far.  Duke has been equally impressive in my mind, at least in the last 2 games.  Why?  Because they've been really solid on defense.  Stopping Michigan State isn't overly impressive given their offensive deficiencies but Sparty had a clear advatage on the boards and Duke continued to harass them into tough shots.  What they did to Creighton was more impressive, giving them virtually no good looks.

Louisville has been great at forcing turnovers.  Duke has enough guys to handle the ball, including their big men.  Coach K is 11-1 in regional finals, only losing to Tubby Smith and Kentucky.  I think this game comes down to whoever is shooting better and I think Duke is typically more consistent in that regard.  Should be a good game, either way.

The Pick:  Duke 73 Louisville 72


Kurly said...


Anonymous said...

Agreed. Team Tubby!