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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
The Eagle

Here's the truth about Final Four

What would the third week of March be without a Final Four projection? Instead of the normal "Two Truths and a Lie," we're going to switch it up and go with simply the "Final Four Truths."

Truth: Duke will beat Texas to advance to the Final Four. Maybe it's the easy way out, but the Dukies are playing well again after a couple rough games. The inside-outside combo of Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick will lead the Blue Devils over Louisiana State and then Texas, who should make easy work of the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The Texas-Duke game will be close for much of the time, but the experience of the Blue Devils (yes, I know two of their starters are freshmen) will be too much for Texas and overrated coach Rick Barnes. As much as I hate him, Coach K is a modern-day god and will run circles around the Long Horns.

Truth: Gonzaga will beat No. 1-seeded Memphis to advance to the Final Four.

Historically, the Zags have been led by their point guard, but this year their best player is a wing man. Their second best player is a post player.

It's impossible to shut down both Adam Morrison and JP Batista, and shutting down one opens up shots for Errol Knight, Sean Mallon, Derrick Raivio and the supporting cast, which killed Indiana in the second round. They'll beat UCLA in a close game and face the Tigers, who will destroy Bradley. The game will be close, but Morrison is the best player on the floor and he will help the Bulldogs avenge an early season loss at Memphis and bring them to the elusive Final Four.

Truth: Villanova will beat Georgetown to advance to the Final Four. Georgetown to the Elite Eight is my sleeper pick because I love what coach John Thompson III has done.

Even though Florida has looked good, it's a perennial underachiever and will lose to the inside game of the Hoyas, led by Roy Hibbert.

Villanova will have be in for a fight against Boston College. In fact, the only reason I didn't pick them to win the tournament is because they might lose here. But March is all about guard play, and no one does it better than the Wildcats, who have four studs. Jared Dudley and Craig Smith are a handful to deal with in the paint, but Jay Wright could easily be coach of the year and will find a way to neutralize the Eagles.

Truth: Connecticut will beat Wichita State to advance to the Final Four. This is a no-brainer, as long as the Huskies get past Brandon Roy and the other Huskies of Washington. Wichita State-George Mason is a great story, but their runs are over when they hit U-Conn, which should enter the Final Four with a leg up because of a fairly easy Elite Eight game. Of course, you can't sleep on the mid-majors, but in the end the Huskies are just too good.

Next week, we'll be back with the normal "Two Truths and a Lie," featuring my national champion.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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