March Madness

Posted by JJ Raymond | 4:01 PM | 2 comments »

Fill out your brackets and join your pools, because March Madness starts tomorrow! The NCAA basktball tournament is known to be one of the most tuned in sporting events. Last year college basketball fans witnessed for the first time in NCAA history, four number one ranked teams in the final four. The four teams consisted of University of Memphis Tigers, University of Kansas Jay Hawks, University of North Carolina Tar Heels, and University of California Los Angeles. Most viewers thought that North Carolina was going to come out on top with All American Tyler Hansbrough; but the Jay Hawks would prove everyone wrong. The University of Kansas beat North Carolina by a womping 14 points, putting Kansas in the Championship Game. Then, Derrick Rose left a posterizing dunk in Kevin Love's memory as the Memphis Tigers defeated the UCLA Bruins by 15 points. The 2008 Championship Game; The fast pace and atheletic Memphis Tigers against the one of the best half-court offense and defense of the Kansas Jay Hawks. Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush lead the Jay Hakws with the victory over Derrick Rose's and Chris Douglas-Roberts's Tigers. Most of us remember Mario Chalmers coming off the "dribble-drop" and hiting the last second three point shot to send the game into overtime. With last year's exciting game, how will this year's tournament turnout? Here are my Final Four predictions.

Final Four/Predictions

First off, I have Louisville going all the way to the Big Dance and winning the National Championship. Louisville has one of the best defensive sets in the nation. Add in their back court press, they will frustrate their opponents and cause turnovers. Rick Pitino has done a great job with recruitment and adapting to different styles of game. The run and gun offense lead by Terrence Williams will be hard to slow down by any team. Terrence Williams in my opinion is one the best all around players in the NCAA. He can score, rebound and pass the ball. Yeah thoes all sound easy but it is not. Williams can hit the spot up jumpshot and has the ability to penetrate and score in the paint. He also has great rebounding IQ and has the overall strength and athleticism to rebound on both sides of the court. Add his rebounding skills, scoring capability, with excellent court vision; he is obviously the catalyst of the Cardinals. Now add in swingman and forward Earl Clark, who can rebound and score inside and oustide, the Cardinals have a great shot at winning the National Championship.

North Carolina
There is no doubt that Roy Williams has one of the best, if not the best starting lineup out any team in the tournament. With Ty Lawson running the point and improvment of the jumpshot, the Tar Heels have an elite point guard to set the tempo of the game. However with recent injuries, when will Lawson be back in action. According to Coach Roy Williams, it is highly doubtful that Lawson will play in tomorrow's game against Radford. Now everyone can not forget about Tyler Hansbrough. The All American who decided to stay his senior year after falling short in the 2008 Final Four. He is determined to cut down one of those nets. Adding Lawson's quickness and pentration skills, with Hansbrough's rebounding and hustle, and with Danny Green's athleticism and spot shooting accuracy, the Tar Heels have a great chance of winning the Championship. However, I have them falling short and losing to Louisville. North Carolina is notorious for not playing great defense; add in Louisville uptempo game and back court pressure; I see North Carolina struggling.

Coach John Calipari said that the 2008-2009 season would be a rebuilding one. Surprisgnly, the Tigers are ranked second in their region and have a great chance of making it to the final four. Yes the leaving Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey was a big lost. However Memphis had excellent recruitment year and snagged top ranked Tryeke Evans. With Evans's quickness and ability to get the basket, along with Robert Dosier and Shawn Taggarts strength and rebulding skills, ontop of the Tigers defense and run gun offense, I predict that the Tigers will make it to the final four. I have Memphis losing to Louisville. This game is going to be exciting to watch! Two similar styles of game going head to head. Louisville has more talent and does a decent half court offense putting them over the Memphis Tigers.

Pittsburgh is definently up there with Louisville, North Carolina, and Memphis. Dejuan Blair does a great job pounding the ball inside the paint and has enough strength to finish consistently. Sam Young is all around a great player who can score off penetration or off spot up jumpshots. Pittsburgh does have a decent half court offense, but defense is another thing. Dejuan Blair downfall is foul trouble. If Blair stays out of foul trouble, then the Panthers have a great shot at beating North Carolina. However if Blair does get into foul trouble, the Tar Heels will pull out with the win. This should be great game to watch the matchup between Tyler Hansbrough and Dejuan Blair. I predict Pittsburgh losing to North Carolina in the Final Four. North Carolina I beleive has overall more tallent than Pittsburgh. If Pittsburgh can slow down Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, and keep Dejuan Blair out of foul trouble then Pittsburgh has an excellent shot in going to the big dance. However, I think these tangibles are asking too much and are difficult tasks for the Pittsburgh Panthers.


  1. nitin // March 18, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

    UNC that's all i have to say

  2. JJ Raymond // March 18, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

    lol lets hear a good explanation of why you think UNC is going to win ahaha