I think this game comes down to the four seniors, how bad they want it, and the preparation provided by Coach Billy Donovan. These seniors seem to be on a mission. They have continued to improve and play as a team. I would be surprised to see them falter so close to the prize. Patric Young announce to the other three on the sidewalks of Gainesville, "If we stick together we can make history." They are almost at the mountain top if they can stay in the moment.
Will Yeguete has played his role and had some very key moments up to now. Patric Young is fierce down low. And, even though he doesn't have consistent offensive games his, defensive presence has been undeniable. Casey Prather has to continue his, "And 1's," and creating his own shot and looks down the lanes. Scottie Wilbekin has to continue to be Scottie. If he plays the same tenacious defense on the best player of their opponents team, they will be hard to beat. In addition if he is clutch on offense and averages 17 points and 4 assist as he did throughout regional play, then I think the Gator chances will increase. Wilbekin has only two turnovers in the entire tournament so far. Yep, just two. That is outstanding for any PG at this juncture in March Madness....
Napier is key for the Huskies. And, also the preparation by Kevin Ollie. I must say it has surprised me and many others on how well the Huskies have stayed in the moment, and played clutch in key strethes. I do operate from the premise that the Huskies got a little home cooking from being so close to Connecticut at MSG. They played so many Big East games there that is just like home for them.
What's key overall is how well the shooters from each team adjust to the depth perception at Dallas Stadium. I look to see early how well Frazier will be hitting from behind the arc. If he finds his stroke early, I think the Gators are in the drivers seat.
My pick Gators. And, I don't think I am going out on a limb. This has been their goal....and I just feel they will find a way. There is a revenge factor. UConn is the last team to beat the Gators this season. It would surprise me to see the Huskies have enough to get the the NCG.
Wisconsin Badgers v Kentucky Wildcats
First of all, I must admit, I don't want to see the Wildcats win anything in any sport. But, especially the Calipari Cats. With that being said though, I do feel this is a dangerous team--the team out of Big Blue Nation that is.
Randle, Young, and the Harrison twins have found their place on this team. They seem to understand that to play together is much stronger and effective than their individual play. Good to see them grow right in front of me. If Randle is dominant down low and Young and Harrison, (pick anyone of the twins) is hitting from outside then let's call it right now.
But, I also feel the Badgers will have a lot to say about the offensive performance of the Wildcats.
Bo Ryan has never courted a team that could not play defense. And, this Badger team is not void of defensive talent. But, if Kaminsky continues his offensive production I am all in for the Badgers taking a close one.
I really feel the Wildcats will fall back into their old habits and the spotlight of individual play, and the Badgers will be the tortoise and continue their methodical defense and boring offense right on to the NCG.