The coaching quartet of Ryan, Izzo, Calipari and Krzyzewski. The best post players in the country with Anthony-Towns, Okafor and POY Kaminsky. So many storylines, but only two games to play as Michigan State faces Duke and Wisconsin goes up against Kentucky.
In the first matchup, you will see the coaching likes of Izzo and Coach K face off the tenth time and Duke remaining victorious eight of the nine times including 2 wins in the NCAA tournament and the more recent one in November. In previous tournament meetings, the team who won took the advantage with the rebounding battle or the one behind the 3-pt line. I believe that will be the key as well for tonight with Duke being the best FG shooting team remaining at 50 %, it will the take the great equalizer to take them out their game. The small ball lineup that Duke has been playing makes it easier for Michigan State to combat their play. Key matchups that will make a difference is how Dawson plays against Winslow and tries to take away his ability make some plays because he always finds a way to make an impact on each Duke game. The two senior guards Trice and Cook will have to control the game and bring the leadership and poise to what will be a rattling, intensity filled game.
On the other hand, you have two teams looking to make a real statement with both UK and Wisconsin. Kentucky as we all know is chasing history and wants to be a game away from accomplishing the first undefeated season since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Wisconsin is doing the same also, but in a different context, the Badgers has been a part of the big picture in men’s basketball for the past under the leadership of Bo Ryan, but have not had the opportunity to make that next step to establish their program amongst the elite. Ryan can stand amongst the greats if completes the mission of defeating Kentucky. The key for this game is who is going to have the better second half out of the two, Kentucky like they have done all season, found a way to pull off a big win against Notre Dame with their hot shooting, the Wildcats completed the game with an astonishing 9-9 on the final minutes of the second half. Wisconsin in their bout with Arizona went lights out during the second shooting 8-9 from 3-point land to counter the size of Arizona. So whoever wins tonight’s matchup will have to close the game properly or perfectly as the illustrated before.
Who Wins? I have Duke over MSU and Kentucky over Wisconsin, giving the heavyweight National Championship we are all anticipating.