Who Wins The Title Tonight? Vengeful Home Cooking or Overpowering Talent?

Posted on April 6, 2009. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

75 PERCENT CORRECT. . . One and a half out of two ain’t bad, right?  In my Final Four picks, the North Carolina prediction rang true – are they on a mission or what?  I also got the Michigan State vs UConn game HALF right . . . You can’t get a pick half right you say?  Sure you can.  By predicting everything that needed to happen for a win, then picking the wrong team to do it.  

I said that the team who was more efficient offensively, worked the transition game and won the battle on the stripe would come out on top.  With 22 fast break points, Michigan State effectively took away Hasheem Thabeet’s shot blocking power (had 2 blocks, less than half his average) because he doesn’t run the court well and couldn’t get into solid defensive position.  Tom Izzo’s team had five less turnovers and UConn left 12 points on the table by going 21-for-33 at the line.  They lost to the Spartans by nine points.  You do the math . . .

So here we are.  North Carolina against Michigan State for the National Title.  Two savvy coaches.  Two talented big men inside.  Two quick fast point guards that can score and ignite their teammates.  One streaky defense that is on the right side of the streak and one lock down defense you can be sure will hold teams below their scoring averages. 

And ONE home court advantage . . .

But North Carolina has already eschewed the idea of playing Michigan State at Ford Field as an advantage for the Spartans – see the 35 point lashing Tyler Hansbrough and crew put on State early in December.  Don’t forget, Tar Heels fans, that the stakes are higher now and Tom Izzo has his entire roster to game plan for instead of the injury riddled squad previously pummeled by the basketball wonder boys that wear Carolina Blue.  Michigan State’s Goran Suton didn’t play due to a knee injury.  Kalin Lucas shot 20% from the field and Michigan State totaled 21 turnovers.  It’s a marvel they didn’t lose by more after giving the transition point machine Tar Heels so many extra possessions.

That embarrassing loss will be Tom Izzo’s motivating muscle, he will use it as a fire starter to keep the flames of desire burning in the pits of his team’s collective belly as he prepares his guys to battle against all odds for the National Championship.  But will it be enough?

DRUM ROLL PLEASE . . . I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Michigan State to avenge it’s early season ass whooping by North Carolina.  They will have to take care of the ball and continue to be like glue on defense so the Tar Heels’ outside shooting doesn’t get in a rhythm, and I think they can do it.  Kalin Lucas will have to outplay Ty Lawson.  Izzo is a whiz at the chess game inside the game and will concoct schemes to throw North Carolina off balance and out of their comfort zone.  PICK: Michigan State 81-79  

It will be interesting to watch Goran Suton versus Tyler Hansbrough . . .

Hey, who said White Men Can’t Jump?


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2 Responses to “Who Wins The Title Tonight? Vengeful Home Cooking or Overpowering Talent?”

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Man I loved all your picks, stories and predictions until now. I tried to stop gambling many many times and years ago but its now time for a change and a win for my side. Love the story but for once I hope you’re wrong. Great writing!!!!

You got what you wished for Geno! I suppose I can’t be right ALL THE TIME. I hope you made out last night – thanks for the comment!

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