It’s the most wonderful time of the year, March Madness.
It was apparent very early on in the season that it would be another unpredictable March Madness with no clear cut winner. Normally in college sports you get the same teams year in and year out (look at Alabama football and UCONN Women’s Basketball) dominating but you’ll have a hard time finding someone that predicted this Final Four.
Each team had a unique journey to Houston while the end goal remains common, win two more games and earn the title of 2016 National Champions. This group provides a great balance between conferences and on court approach, making next weekend all the more exciting.
The only #1 seed remaining in the tournament North Carolina is making their 19th appearance (1st all time) and has a remarkable balance between a strong post presence being fed by leader Marcus Paige at point guard. How do you negate that size in the paint? By running a zone – who executes a 2-3 zone better than Jim Boeheim and Syracuse? Nobody. The Orangemen used the zone and a surprising full court press to knock off #1 seed Virginia thanks to a 23-4 run, they did so as the #10 seed which goes to show anything is possible in March. The deciding factor will not be Syracuse defensive pressure but how well they execute on offense, against Virginia they trailed most of the game – which is something they cannot repeat against the Tar Heels.
On the other side of our bracket, we have a battle of #2 seeds in Oklahoma vs. Villanova. This is going to be a BATTLE! You have arguably the best player in all of college basketball, Buddy Hield, who is fresh off an impressive 37 point Elite 8 showing matching up against another sharpshooter Ryan Arcidiacono who is shooting over 58% from 3-point land this tournament. Arcidiacono put Nova on his back when it counted to take down #1 seed Kansas and did so on his birthday, needless to say his confidence is on 100 right now. It will be interesting to see what adjustments head coach Jay Wright makes to shut down Hield who is playing out of his mind right now and jokingly admitted he’s balling out of control because he knows Kobe is watching.
SU 2016 Final Four Predictions:
UNC vs. Syracuse, Winner: UNC
Oklahoma vs. Villanova, Winner: Villanova
National Championship Prediction:
UNC vs. Villanova, Winner: UNC
Be sure to tune in April 2nd, as Houston plays host to the 2016 Final Four. Villanova and Oklahoma will square off at 6:09 EST followed by UNC and Syracuse at 8:49 EST. Follow @SwaysUniverse all weekend as we bring the March Madness festivities to you and don’t forget to hit us with your predictions.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 28, 2016