This week, one of the most fun times of the sports year is upon us with the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament starting on Tuesday night with the First Four.
Though, we enjoy college basketball a ton here at the DraftKingsMaster, we are not die hards to the point where we break down every single matchup & know every team’s weaknesses & strengths.
Therefore, we are going to just give you our Final Four picks & why we do believe they are the top in America & who we think will win the Final Four.
NCAA Final Four Matchups –
Florida vs Michigan StateMichigan vs Arizona.
Michigan State is playing their best basketball right now, now that Adriean Payne & Brendan Dawson are back. If Keith Appling can show that he is completely healthy & 100% from his wrist injury, the Spartans can definitely be a threat to win the entire thing.
Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches in the history of college basketball when it comes to getting players ready to play a big game, but his Final Four trips haven’t been the most fruitful over the last few years, with only one NCAA Championship in his 6 Final Four trips (2000).
The Florida Gators, as a team, have played stifling defense & have had impeccable shooting in clutch situations all season. The Gators have had many close games earlier in the season that have prepared this team for right now. The Spartans, even though they did have many injuries throughout the season & are healthy now, have not been a cohesive unit long enough to go against a squad like the Gators I believe.
This will be a grind it out type of game, for sure. Both teams are tough, aggressive & physical. But the difference is that the Gators have a strong, legit offensive game, which is far more advanced & more potent than Michigan State. This will be the Spartans downfall.
Florida – 75, Michigan State – 70.
The Michigan Wolverines are playing pretty much average going into the tournament. The team is led by Big Ten POTY Nik Stauskas, who has been a sharpshooter all season & has shown great efficiency in terms of getting the ball to the basket on a consistent basis.
The Wolverines have legit big men in Jordan Morgan & John Horford, who may not be the most dominant centers in America, can make life difficult for other bigs & keep the lane open for Stauskas, Robinson III & Levert to get to the basket on a consistent basis.
The Arizona Wildcats are driven by Nick Johnson & Aaron Gordon, both having big time seasons. The Wildcats, as a whole, are a strong, yet efficient offensive squad, as they shoot 46% from the field, but where they have been nasty has been on defense, where they are only allowing 58.1 points per game, 5th in the country.
The Wolverines have shown that they have a tough time against aggressive defensive units, especially without their main monster down low, Mitch McGary. The Wildcats will work to cut off Stauskas’ lanes to the basket & will work to make the Wolverines a jump-shooting team, which may or may not be a bad thing considering how deadly Michigan can be from 3-pt range.
At the end of the day though, I think the defensive intensity from Arizona will be too much for Michigan to handle, which will lead to an Arizona victory.
Arizona – 80, Michigan – 71.
In the National Championship, the Florida Gators will be able to match up to Arizona’s intensity & physicality on the defensive side of the ball, & Florida does a far better job of converting turnovers to offensive success, similar to how Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals do on a regular basis.
Florida will win the National Championship – 81, Arizona – 70.
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Also, while you are watching or taking a break from the NCAA Tournament, check out our hottest women of 2014 page here at the DraftKingsMaster blog.