Sunday, April 5, 2009

National Championship

So it comes down to this. After an action packed 4 weeks March Madness is into April and almost done. The National Championship game is tomorrow night. Before I give you my pick, first I'll recap the Final Four action. Then I'll let you know who I think will cut down the nets at Ford Field.

In the first game #1 Connecticut took on #2 Michigan St. The Spartans were essentially playing a home game, and looked fired up. A close first half produced a 38-36 Spartan lead at halftime. In the second half, Michigan St. pulled away for the 82-73 win. U-Conn only made two 3's, and just didn't look like they wanted it. Although Michigan St. was played in front of a very pro-Spartan crowd. With the victory, Michigan St. reserved a spot in the final to face... #1 North Carolina. The late game saw #1 North Carolina face off against #3 Villanova. Few expected to see the Wildcats in this game, but Nova had played extremely well in the tournament and was pulling for an upset. However, UNC made sure this wouldn't happen. The Tar Heels held Nova to 5-27 shooting on 3's, and 32.9% overall shooting. Down 49-40 at halftime the Wildcats never looked comfortable. North Carolina coasted in the second half to the 83-69 victory. The Tar Heels made 11-22 3's, although their mediocre free-throw shooting 59.5% could have cost them in a closer game. With the matchup set, here's my prediction for the final.

#1 North Carolina vs. #2 Michigan St. Both teams are balanced, but Michigan St. is a better defensive team with UNC the nation's second leading scoring offense. The Spartans only allow 62.9 per game, but UNC averages 90.2 on offense. However, UNC's defense (72.8) allows roughly Michigan St. offensive average (71.9). Keeping that in mind, it will be fascinating to see if the Spartans can contain the high-powered Tar Heel attack. If Ty Lawson has a big game the Spartans will be in trouble. Michigan St. is playing in front of a highly favorable, essentially hometown, crowd, but will it phase the battle tested Heels? Tyler Hansbrough came back specifically to win a national title. For that reason, and with superior athletes, UNC will be cutting down the nets. It should be close, but Michigan St. is going to fall short in this one. Final score: North Carolina 80-75. Tournament MVP will be Ty Lawson. This is my pick and I'm sticking to it. Tune in at 9:21 to see how it goes down!

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