Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Final Four Predictions

Clarity has finally come to me after analyzing this most unlikely group of Final Four teams.

Florida over George Mason -- Anyone who didn't go to school in Gainesville is likely to root for the Patriots. And they can't be underestimated after beating an impressive collection of teams to get to Indianapolis. But Florida has the talent to execute the type of gameplan that can beat Mason. The Gators are a deep team that loves to run and press, and they won't give up on those things even if Mason counters them early. Eventually they will wear out a Patriots team that used its starting five for the final 16 minutes of the Connecticut game. I sincerely hope I'm wrong on this one, because the Patriots' and Jim Larranaga's story is one I don't want to end. But Florida looks like the best team left in the field.

UCLA over LSU -- Watching the Tigers beat Duke and Texas with their strong interior play, I have a hard time picking against LSU. But UCLA plays the type of defense that wins championships. It's not pretty to watch, but it's awfully effective. LSU is a young team that rides emotion and that type of team is most susceptible to a tempo-controlling team like the Bruins. Obviously, UCLA has no one in their frontcourt that can match up one-on-one with Glen Davis or Tyrus Thomas, so Ben Howland's game plan will have to prevent them from getting the ball too close to the basket. He'll probably use defensive stopper Arron Afflalo on Tigers' point guard Darrel Mitchell and try to deny the senior his passing lanes to the big people.

Enjoy the games. I'll post a finals prediction on Monday night.



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