Sunday, April 5, 2009

Final Four Predictions

Watch for Stanley Robinson and his high wire act today against the Huskies.

The Final Four is here. While coaches around the nation have gathered in the Motor City (Detroit) over the past few days to mingle, the important stuff has arrived.

It is about six hours until tip off so let's take a look at who I feel has the goods to make their way into the championship game on Monday.

Home state team Michigan St (30-6) hosts Big East power Connecticut (31-4).

Although Ford Field will be very pro Spartans I think the Huskies will be too strong for the fast finishing Spartans.

UConn has depth everywhere. Scoring primary comes or is created through point guard AJ Price (15ppg, 5 apg). How he goes usually dictates how the Huskies offense goes.

A lot of there offense is created through their defense though, especially with 7'3 junior centre Hasheem Thabeet. The projected lottery pick contributes 10 plus rebounds a contest but more importantly 4.5 blocks a game as well as many other intimidating efforts.

While Thabeet intimidates around the hoop, rock solid power forward Jeff Adrien (13ppg, 10rpg) collects many of the oppositions misses to kick start the fastbreak.

Stanley Robinson has caught the attention of everyone during the first four games of the tourney. His high flying antics have allowed him to become a great weakside defensive helper.

Look for this trio to put their stamp on this game very early.

Now to the backcourt. Besides Price, the Huskies have a few other guys that can have an effect on the outcome of the game.

Freshman Kemba Walker (9ppg, 4apg) comes off the bench and adds to the Huskies fast pace. The New York native's open court play has helped UConn immensely this year.

Senior Craig Austrie could be the guy that makes the Huskies National Champs. This squad needs a consistent perimeter threat and he may just be the guy to provide this. Against a stingy Spartan defense, a few long bombs may just become the difference in a tight game.

Now to the Spartans.

It starts and stops with Kalin Lucas. The Big 10 Player of the Year is the heart and soul of this team, much like Price for the Huskies. Lucas leads them in scoring (almost 15) and assists (4.5). His match up against Price could be the difference between which team gets the victory.

The guy that has been big time for the Spartans during the tournament has been centre Goran Sutun. He has upped his season averages (10 & 8) immensely and is averaging a double double (14 & 11.5) in his last four games. He needs to give the Spartans a presence inside early so the UConn big men do not control the painted area all night.

Durrell Summers (8ppg, 3rpg, 1apg) is my difference maker for the Spartans. If he can continue his tournament form he will have an impact on the final result for the Spartans. He has added incentive to play and succeed as both his parents have lost their jobs in recent time.

Although the Spartans have surprised a lot of people throughout the their run to the Final Four I believe it will end today due to UConn's superior depth and experience.

Not even Tom Izzo's great tactical game will extend his team's run in this tournament.

I cannot wait to watch this game as I believe it will be the game of the day.

After I return from the park with my children I will give you my UNC/Nova preview.


Anonymous said...

once again we are going opposite ways - I think the Spartans will get this one in a very tight game.

Anonymous said...

no one care about this