64 teams started out vying for the crown of College Basketball but now only four teams remain. The names go like this: Wichita State, Syracuse, Michigan and Louisville. Each team has had a challenging and difficult road to Atlanta but what what matters is that they all are here now. Each of these teams have very good head coaches and in Louisville and Syracuse they both have Hall of Fame coaches.
Michigan: The Wolverines are led by National Player of Year Point Guard, Trey Burke. Burke is their do everything player and he is the key to Michigan’s success. He banked in a clutch game tying 3 pointer against Kansas in the Sweet 16 to force the game into overtime. Burke is the best point guard in the country with the way he can penetrate a defense and get other members of his team easy baskets. Tim Hardaway Jr is the other member of the back court and is as steady as they come averaging 14.6 points per game. I think Glen Robinson III is going to be an X factor Michigan because when he plays well Michigan is an absolute nightmare of opposing teams. When he doesn’t, Michigan tends to struggle. Mitch McGary is a freshman but doesn’t play like one, in fact he’s a bully on the interior and can rip down rebounds like it’s nothing. He out played Kansas, VCU’s and Florida’s front courts.
Syracuse: When you think Syracuse, you think Jim Boehim, you think length and last but not least you think 2-3 zone. That zone has virtually been impenetrable in the NCAA Tournament. Ask the # 1 seeded Indiana how difficult it is to prepare against something they hardly seen before. Ask Marquette how hard it is to dissect that defense. Syracuse is led by a 6-5 point guard that goes by the name of Michael Carter-Williams. He’s a mismatch for opposing guards because of his size and his ability to get into basket off the dribble. They have solid senior leadership in James Sutherland and Brandon Triche. Sutherland and Triche are knock down shooters when left open. CJ Fair is Cuse’s most versatile player because he can handle the ball with each hand, post up when the opportunity presents itself and is a good jump shooter. Baye Kita and Rakeem Christmas give Syracuse and physical presence on the inside with good rebounding and shot blocking.
Wichita State: Let’s be serious for a minute how many people’s brackets were busted by Wichita State. I know they busted mine but in that process they have made a name for themselves and their program. To say Wichita State has shocked America is an understatement. They pounded Big East mainstay Pittsburgh by 18 in their second game in the tournament 73-55. They went on to knock off # 1 seeded Gonzaga 76-70 after that contest they handily beat La Salle 72-58. When you thought their wild ride was over they knocked off Ohio State in the Elite 8, 70-66. Wichita State takes their cue right from their Head Coach Greg Marshall. He gets his team up and ready to play no matter who they’re playing. His attitude rubs of on them and you can see it in the way they play. They are very balanced in scoring as: Cleanthony Early leads the team in scoring with 14 points per game. Carl Hall gives them 13 points per game. On Defense, they play tough man to man defense and will be in your jersey all game long. They come to play and won’t be intimidated by the bright lights of the Final 4.
Louisville: The last # 1 seed and number overall seed is still standing in Louisville. The Cardinals head coach is Rick Pitino and he’s one of the best head coaches that College Basketball has ever seen. He desperately wants to bring a National Championship to Louisville and this might be his best team yet. His team fell in this round last year but it just might be the Cardinals time to raise another Championship banner. The Cards can beat you in an up and down game or a slower paced game. They are dangerous on defense because they want to cause turnovers and put the full court press on. They can beat you up on the boards with Sophomore, Chane Behanan and Freshman Montrezl Harrell. Center Gorgui Dieng gives them a shot blocker and an post presence on the inside. Russ Smith and Peyton Siva are headaches for opposing defenses to corral. They are as good as it gets in the open court and will make you pay if you give them a lane to drive. They play with tremendous heart as well, when Sophomore Kevin Ware had a gruesome injury happen. He spoke to the team at halftime of their last game against Duke, he encouraged his teammates to keep fighting and not to give up on getting to his hometown of Atlanta.
So it all comes down to this: 4 teams, 1 chance to make your dreams come true and a moment in time hold up a National Championship for your town, your school and team.