NCAA March Madness: A Look at the Final Four

It’s official!

The NCAA tournament has reached its climax and now we know which of the Final Four teams it will be. We are talking about the Florida Gators and the Connecticut Huskies. These two teams will face each other off, on Saturday, April 5, in the semi-finals at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Exactly two hours and forty minutes later, our other two semi-finalists – the Wisconsin Badgers and Kentucky Wildcats will face each other. Winners of the two games will proceed to the much-anticipated championship game. It doesn’t get much simpler than that now, does it?

Apparently, it can.

These four teams are undoubtedly the best in college sports and sparks will fly when they come across each other in the Final Four. Many fear the networks will just be on a constant loop all weekend and will have to fight pretty hard for the ratings.

Let’s take a brief look at what each of these teams are up against, and why the competition is so intense.

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Florida Gators

The Gators (36-2) overcame the Dayton Flyers (62-52) and made their way to the Final Four. They are led by Scottie Wilbekin, who was the SEC player of the year and scored 23 points. The Gators are quite physical and it’s obvious that scoring in the half-court is difficult.

When it comes to offense, the team sets itself apart with their pace. They rank second in the nation when it comes to defense and third in points allowed. They have held the first four opponents they faced in the tournament to an average 55 points. Now that’s impressive!

The Gators handed UCLA a solid, 11-point defeat in the Sweet 16, much to the latter’s dismay. They are also 41st on offence, and 42nd on defense, statistically speaking. With this established, they should have no trouble scoring against Wisconsin’s somewhat porous defense. They’ve already defeated Kentucky three times this season, so it won’t be that big of a challenge.

Wisconsin Badgers

This talented bunch played against Arizona in what could quite possibly be one of the best games this season. And Arizona will be no easy feat; they are at the top of West Region. Wisconsin Badgers are the only team that defeated the regular season champs from the Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten and ACC.

This team also has one of the best offences all season. Their more-than-capable coach should easily be able to put together a game-plan to overcome Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle and James Young. After this, their offense should do the trick for Florida or Connecticut – whoever reaches the final that is.

Probably the only thing holding this team back is their tad bit lack in height, since all the others seem to tower over them. Additionally, Wisconsin’s potentially best offensive player – Dekker – was absent in their last two wins, and that is a cause for concern.

Connecticut Huskies

The Huskies (30-8) beat Michigan State Spartans (60-54) and cleared their way to the Final Four on April 5.This season, Shabazz Napier leads the team in almost every category. He’s averaging 17.4 points with 4.9 assists.

Connecticut is averaging 71.9 points per game, and shooting 44.8% from the field this time around. They are a decent rebounding ream and tough near the basket. Their blocks per game average goes to 6.2. They have only lost twice in their last eleven games, and that to Louisville.

Biggest concern for this team, if Napier goes down, the whole team’s offense may go down. Their life and soul is in Napier’s hands. That could prove to be either a very good thing, or a very tiresome affair. There is also the additional matter of all three of their opponents being as good as they are.

Kentucky Wildcats

These men can score. No question about it. There has probably never been a group of more capable offensive players on one team that work just fine with any rotation. This may force other teams’ defense to be extra vigilance.

Wildcats’ best game was undoubtedly the 32 point victory over the unbeaten Wichita State. They might be the best rebounding team left in the tournament. The ‘Cats had to make their way, albeit successfully, through power-houses like the unbeaten Wichita State, the defending national champs Louisville, and the defending runner-up Michigan to reach the Final Four.

The team has the country’s top offensive rebounding percentage. In each of their last three wins, they managed to grab at least 10 offensive boards. But they might need to be a bit more aggressive to take on the Badgers, Gators and Huskies.

All in all, the Gators are experienced, balanced and big enough to cause the Huskies a whole lot of trouble. Wisconsin’s stellar ball control, and Kentucky’s sudden rise to the Final Four can turn out to be the deciding factor.

Image courtesy: By Brandonrush (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Ivy Oscar is a professional writer and blogger from Magnolia, Delaware. She likes to write about music, sports, celebrities and all the good things in life.
Categories: Sports

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