Every Single Damn Thing You Need To Get The Juices Flowing For Today's Final Four Games
We made it. It's always a little bittersweet when we get to Final Four weekend. The mayhem is over with. The nonstop games are over with. Two games, one night. We've had all week to look at the games and try to figure out matchups and what not. Also low key hate that games are in domes. I get it from a money standpoint, but I miss the 90s when games were played in basketball arenas.
Want the juices flowing? Here you go.
Arguably the most iconic shot in the history of the NCAA Tournament happened in this stadium. One of the craziest endings I can remember. Raft and Nantz nailed that call too. But the real hero? The confetti cannon guy. Remember they went to replay to make sure Jenkins got the shot off. If he was somehow late there was about to be a 15 minute delay. Dude nailed the confetti cannon.
FAU vs SDSU still doesn't look real, but it's what makes this even unlike any other. They beat who they played, won 4 in a row and now one of them are playing for a national title.
1. Ugly, hideous basketball vs modern
We're gonna start with SDSU vs FAU. Don't get me wrong, SDSU has won so it doesn't matter, but they play some ugly, hideous basketball. They want to beat you up. They want to slow the game down. They want to defend their ass off and keep the game close enough so the last 5 minutes they just have to hit enough shots to win. They don't care if they win by 1 or 20. They are comfortable in hideous situations. They controlled tempo against Creighton and Alabama. Even more ridiculous is the fact they've held 4 good shooting teams to 17% from three in the NCAA Tournament. They have to do it again because of FAU. The Owls run the modern 4-out offense. They put Goldin in the middle and use a ton of depth at the wing/guard spot. There's always 3-4 shooters out there but they key is going to be handling not just SDSU's pressure but the size of their wings. You'll see a lot of ball screens from FAU since they have a ton of guys who can handle the ball. Don't be surprised to see them try to attack off the wing and not attack Butler defensively. On the other side of the ball, SDSU lives to get midrange shots. It's weird, but they do excel at it. They'll have their looks if FAU continues to run drop coverage. But now comes the question. Can SDSU hit those? When they miss, they MISS, I'm talking bricks. You have to adapt to shooting in a dome which no one is really used to. Just two completely different styles in this game.
2. Guard play
Miami vs UConn is obviously the 'better' game hence the 2nd tip time. There's no question that Miami has the most explosive offense. They have 5 guys who can go score double digits and they attack in different ways. Against Houston it was Pack hitting seven threes. Against Texas, they didn't hit a three in the second half. They went 5-out and let Jordan Miller take advantage of the mismatch. That's even before we talk about Isaiah Wong, ACC Player of the Year, who has decent size, can create for himself and is another good shooter. Miami wants to run, get in transition and look for the open three, when that's not there they spread you out and look to attack a mismatch. Now it's worth mentioning for UConn that Jordan Hawkins missed yesterday's open practice with a non-COVID illness according to the team. There's also a fear that it might spread to some of the other players. That's worth watching. Hawkins is an elite shooter and a guy who really turns it on in the second half. Even though Miami is a bad defensive team, I don't think we see what Gonzaga did to UConn. They won't put their worst defender on Andre Jackson and try to have him play safety. Jackson is too good of a playmaker for that now. Plus Sanogo is an elite passer out of the double while playing with his back to the basket. They torched Gonzaga doing that. I am curious what Hurley does with his lineup and how quick he subs. UConn for sure has a 'better' defensive 5 but that takes away from the offense. Do you want to do that against an offense like Miami? Miami has to hit shots early, especially if they are going to drag Sanogo out of the paint and force him to defend the high ball screen. On the flip side, Miami really has to be disciplined defensively. They don't have the size to battle UConn. They have to be able to rotate correctly if they double in the post, because we've seen what this UConn offense has done this Tournament. They are making shots and a top-2 offensive rebounding team. Good luck with that.
117-100-3 (+21.58) on the year on Twitter, mind as well add it to the blog
25-17 (+9.33) in the NCAA Tournament
Lamont Butler O15.5 P/R/A +102
Darrion Trammell O10.5 points +106
Nicholas Boyd O13.5 P/R/A +100
Jordan Hawkins U21.5 P/R/A -103
Adama Sanogo O 26.5 P/R/A
Jordan Miller O 23.5 P/R/A -104