Chris Carlson: The wild and crazy first two days of the NCAA Tournament led to an interesting second round, which lead to a Sweet 16 and Elite 8 that underwhelmed to say the least. There were still some drama and last second heroics just not quite up to the standard set by those opening few days of mayhem. Only one #1 seed remains along with two 2 seeds and a surprise 10 seed.
Oklahoma vs. Villanova
These same teams met in December in a game that saw the Sooners hit 14 three-pointers compared to Villanova’s 4 of 32 from behind the arc. So how much can you take from their December 7th meeting? While you can’t completely throw everything out of the window it is clear that both teams are different in April. Villanova’s core of veteran players proved the doubters wrong who were focused on the two previous years of early exits. Oklahoma’ starting five is great but will lack of depth come back to haunt them?
Villanova’s inside presence gets voided out by the Sooners pair of big men. Both teams rely heavily on their guard play but the Sooners seem to live and die with how Buddy Heild plays. Villanova will be a tough out because of their team oriented mentality and improved defense. Will it be enough to right a wrong in their first game? This scribe is calling for a more all-around team performance that lifts Oklahoma.
The Pick: Oklahoma closes this one out on the free-throw line in the closing mintues.
North Carolina vs. Syracuse
These two final four qualifiers met twice in the regular season with the Tarheels sweeping both games. Syracuse made a hell of a run to make it this far and you can bet they will show up ready for a scrap. This game will be much closer than the last few tourney games for North Carolina. Defense wins championship and although the Orangemen are the best teams left on that side ball it likely won’t be enough. The Tarheel freight train will be hard to slow down let along stop. Improved defense and outside shooting has North Carolina poised to win their 6 national championship title.
The Pick: North Carolina wins ugly and moves on to the NCAA title game.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio
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