The Itch For Madness: Final Four Predictions

26 Mar 2015

It’s been a gratifying few days as an alumni of an ACC school and a resident of the Carolina’s. I would hope in the future that the committee would look at more then just the numbers because let’s face the facts: The Big 12 is not a better basketball conference then the ACC. Anyways, we’re heading into the second weekend of the tourney and I thought I’d throw some predictions around, since I’m an expert of course.

Sweet 16

Wichita State vs Notre Dame: This is a coin flip type of game in that these teams share a lot of similarities. I’ll say the Fighting Irish sneak out of this, just barely.

UNC vs Wisconsin: The Heels will make this a relatively close game but if Kennedy Meeks does not play, Frank Kaminsky may have the game of his life. The Badgers will win by probably 7 or 8.

West Virginia vs Kentucky: If “Press Virginia” can cause some havoc, maybe they can make a game of this. However, I just don’t see that happening. Like a typical Wildcats game, they’ll let the opponent hang around in the first half, Calipari will be steamed, and then they go for the hammer in the 2nd half. Cats win by double digits.

Xavier vs Arizona: This game will give Sean Miller some mixed feelings as the former coach of Xavier. The Musketeers are a scrappy bunch but they’re too many options for the Cats. I like Arizona.

UCLA vs Gonzaga: We all know the committee is laughing at the fans saying we told you so with regards to UCLA. Unfortunately, their laughing may continue. The Bruins have been playing with a chip on their shoulder even though their first game ended bizarrely and they received a gift of an opponent in the third round in the form of UAB. The Zags have always screamed pretender to me and even with all of their size, I like the Bruins to out hustle them and move on.

NC State vs Louisville: I understand that conference opponents do have to play each other in the tourney sometimes, but this early in the dance? The Pack have beaten the Cardinals before and if the threes are flying, Louisville is in trouble. NC State by less then 5.

Utah vs Duke: Shame on the experts for picking Utah as a possible second round upset. The Utes are a real solid club. Saying that, I don’t think Duke will have much trouble here. The level of confidence those three freshman have could make them a very scary team. Blue Devils win by 8-10.

Michigan State vs Oklahoma: Tommy Izzo has done it again. The Spartans continually show that experience can get you just as far as talent can. The East bracket is a mess which favors Sparty. Lon Kruger’s bunch should keep this game close but MSU wins.


Elite 8

Notre Dame vs Kentucky: Only chance is if Harvey Grant’s kid scores 30 and the Irish shoot the lights out. Kentucky moves on with it’s 9 All-Americans.

Wisconsin vs Arizona: Yes, this is the rematch we all want to see. The game last year was epic but I expect bigger fireworks this time around. I’m not sure if this Zona team is better then last years but they are definitely at full strength. Brandon Ashley, who missed last years game, will try to stop Kaminsky. This will once again come down to whoever has the ball last. I like the Badgers by a bucket.

UCLA vs Duke: A classic Elite 8 battle between two storied schools. The buck stops here for the Bruins. None of UCLA’s big guys will be able to stop Jahlil Okafor and Steve Alford’s kid will be outplayed by Tyus Jones. Duke may make this ugly.

NC State vs Michigan State: Both of these teams have the experience to move on but the heart of the Spartans will give them the edge. This is probably a great game but MSU wins by at least two possessions.


Final 4

Wisconsin vs Kentucky: The heavyweights meet and I’ll take cheese over Bourbon for the “upset.”

Michigan State vs Duke: This game doesn’t look that entertaining on paper but the Spartans will keep it close. The battle between young and the old will commence. I like the Devils.



Duke vs Wisconsin: Okafor versus Kaminsky. While these two behemoths beat each other up, the guard play will decide the game. The Badgers have more experience and that will ultimately make them champs.

Champion: Wisconsin 


Let me know your thoughts: @Michael_A_Fine