Final Four: Preview and Predictions
The time has finally come. The NCAA Tournament is down to the final four teams. The final four teams are Virginia, Michigan State, Auburn, and Texas Tech. Virginia is the only number one seed to survive. Both Auburn and Texas Tech were shockers. Michigan State proved it is still a force in NCAA Men’s Basketball. The Final Four takes place Saturday, April 6th in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Which two teams will make it to the National Championship? Let’s take a look at both games.
5 Auburn vs. 1 Virginia
After suffering the most shocking defeat in NCAA Tournament history last season, Virginia has proven themselves worthy. Their defense is still strong, allowing less than 60 points to opponents in the first three rounds. The player to watch for Virginia is Kyle Guy. After struggling earlier in the tournament, Guy found his grove by scoring 25 points against Purdue in the Elite Eight.
Auburn’s incredible run has been inspired by their guards, Bryce Brown and Jared Harper. Both of them scored north of 20 points in the Elite Eight against Kentucky. As a team, Auburn has been sharp offensively, averaging 85.3 so far in the tournament. Also, Auburn is shooting 48% from the field.
Prediction: This is a battle between a great offense (Auburn) and a great defense (Virginia). Despite putting up 80 points versus Purdue, Virginia is not a great offensive team. They cannot afford to get into a shootout with Auburn. Virginia need to put up points early. Auburn is on a hot streak, knocking out two teams (North Carolina and Kentucky) who were chosen by many to be in the Final Four. Auburn’s hot streak will continue.
3 Texas Tech vs. 2 Michigan State
Texas Tech has been dominant so far. Three out of their four wins have been by at least 15 points. Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver has continued his role as the all-around leader of Texas Tech. He leads the team in points, rebounds and assist.
Michigan State once again has proven to be arguably the toughest team to play in the NCAA. They are strong on both sides of the ball. Head Coach Tom Izzo always have them ready to play. Michigan State’s run has been inspiring. They lost one of their top players, Joshua Langford, to injury earlier in the season and still stayed the course.
Prediction: This is an even match-up. Both teams are close in scoring in the tournament. Texas Tech averages 72.0 and Michigan State averages 73.5. Both teams defense have been very solid. Neither has allowed their opponents to reach 70 points. However, Michigan State is more balanced. Texas Tech leans on Culver heavily. If he has an off-night, there is not another player on their roster who can take over. Michigan State will march on to the National Championship.
National Championship Prediction: Auburn vs. Michigan State