Tuesday, March 30, 2010
FINAL FOUR PREVIEW
This year's Final Four resembles just that as the "favorites" have gone by the wayside and only Duke University enters this weekend as a number-one seed from the South Regional.
The Butler Bulldogs and Duke Blue Devils are slight favorites as the Final Four of the NCAA Basketball Tournament tips off Saturday in Indianapolis.
The Bulldogs (from Indianapolis) face the Michigan State Spartans while Duke goes against West Virginia.
Duke is the lone number-one seed remaining from the field of 65 teams and will face a chippy team in the Mountaineers, who won the Big East Tournament after finishing second in the conference during the regular season.
The Blue Devils are a senior led team with Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer up front going against the tenacious West Virginia defense, led by Da'Sean Butler, Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks .
The Mountaineers are emboldened by Head Coach Bob Huggins, who was in one Final Four with Cincinnati back in 1992. Look for the Mountaineers to buckle down against Duke and look to force turnovers, which would lead to easy fast break baskets.
As for the Butler vs. Michigan State game, the Spartans are no strangers to this stage as they lost in last year's National Championship Game against North Carolina.
The Spartans are in their sixth Final Four in the last 12 years.
Not too shabby.
The Bulldogs will be playing "in their back yard" as they reside in Indy and are literally minutes away from Lucas Oil Stadium.
Raymar Morgan, Chris Allen and Delvon Roe lead the way for the Spartans, who have made this run minus their star player, Kalin Lucas, who is out for the season with a leg injury.
Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo already has a National Championship under his belt from the 2000 season and he knows how to prepare his team for the big games.
The Bulldogs are the darlings of the tournament this year after knocking out mighty Syracuse and Kansas State to reach the Final Four.
Bulldogs Coach Brad Stevens has Willie Veasley, Matt Howard, Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack to look to against the experienced Spartans.
This Butler team is not all fazed by the competition they have faced this year, and they have the nation's longest winning streak at 24 games to prove it.
As for the games, here goes nothing...
Michigan State 62, Butler 58
West Virginia 71, Duke 66
West Virginia 59, Michigan State 58
Hope everyone enjoys the Final Four.