Monday, April 07, 2008

The Remaining Two in the Final Four of Blue

Since I mumble about sports, I feel the obligatory need to mention the Final Four even though the whole 2008 tournament has been pretty blah.

Aside from trying to figure out what state Davidson is in and the Marquette/Stanford, West Virginia/Xavier endings, nothing memorable really stands out from the games.

Memphis and KU looked impressive in their victories setting up a potential classic championship game.

UCLA had zero answers for Derrick Rose and Bruin star guard Darren Collison could not stop Rose's dribble penetration. Memphis smothering defense, superior athletes and depth down low proved too much for the Bruins.

The key point in the game was UCLA's inability to connect on a few open 3s when they were making a late second half run to get back into the game. Memphis closed the game out with a run of their own, highlighted by Chris Douglas Robert's sick facial dunk. Check it out.

I took KU to cut down the nets in all of my tourney pools but picking Texas as the runner up and the lack of major upsets hurt my chances for a potential Rock Chalk Jayhawk financial windfall.

I still was rooting for the Jaycocks and no hoops pundit saw a 40-12 KU run to begin that game. UNC looked shell shocked and the likely player of the year UNC Tyler Hansbrough was a total non factor.

The Tar Heels made a crazy comeback but they eventually ran out of gas on the offensive end and could not stop KU down the stretch.

The key sequence of the game was after UNC had cut the lead to 5 with five minutes remaining in the game, KU super sub guard Sherron Collins drilled a contested 3 from the top of the key. UNC's Wayne Ellington quickly scored a bucket but KU's Brandon Rush, who played like a NBA lottery pick, answered with a silky smooth basket and North Carolina was finished as the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Here is an awesome KU highlight video and be sure to check out the Collins to Sasha Kan Alley Oop dunk at 3:25.

Memphis and KU are almost identical in team make up. Both have electric guards who make up the majority of their offense and take the crunch time shots.

Both have deep rotation in bigs with long athletic players who can defend, rebound and finish around the hoop.

The two keys to the game will be if KU can get out on the break and get easy buckets in transition. It is to Memphis's advantage if the Tigers can make it a half court game.

The other deciding factor will be if KU can stop Memphis' dribble penetration. The Tigers' offense is predicated on the drive and dish style. They set few screens and rely mainly on weak side defenders leaving their man which opens up shots and offensive rebounding opportunities.

Both of these are easier said than done and I am just hoping for an entertaining game.
My picks are not worth the keyboard they are typed on or the cuervo poured in those over priced River Walk Margaritas but I like KU 75, Memphis 70.

Mac Gs World

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