My condolences and best wishes also go out to Kevin Ware of the Louisville Cardinals. A horrific, freak accident shattered Ware’s leg in the Cardinals elite 8 game in Indianapolis. I am happy to report that Ware is up and walking around in a full leg cast. Those Sports Guys wish him all the best.
Now, on to the tournament. While one group of friends is disheartened by the Hoosiers defeat, another group of friends and family is elated by the Oranges' victory. The Syracuse Orange are going to the final four, for the first time since 2003. A team that lost to Georgetown and could not score more than 40 points just a month ago is ready to square off with Michigan later this week in Atlanta.
What did not surprise me and should not have surprised you was the Orange victory over IU. Indiana moves the ball quickly down the court and they like to pound the post. Syracuse runs the perfect 2-3 zone defense to force teams like IU to slow down and take perimeter shots. By no means is IU a poor 3 point shooting team, don’t get me wrong, but Syracuse has very long players this year, allowing them to consistently contest shots. Mix the contested three point shots and the elimination fast breaks - IU didn't have a chance.
Going into the Final Four it is fairly clear that Louisville and Syracuse are poised to meet up in the finals. Michigan, another Big Ten team, is going to struggle against the 2-3 zone of Syracuse since they see primarily a man to man defense in the regular season. On the other side of the bracket, Witcha State is just out matched going up against Louisville, who also plays a zone defense. Despite being a nice Cinderella story, Witcha State has had the easiest road to the Final Four. After defeating a questionable number one in Gonzaga, they beat #13 La Salle and skimmed by #2 Ohio State.
I am only one man and evident from my brackets, am wrong on a regular basis. So who do you think is going to win…leave me a comment and let me know! If nothing else...you have to admit a Louisville and Syracuse championship game could be interesting. A clash of two Big East teams that will soon be ACC rivals. Live, love and play like there is no tomorrow – thanks for reading!
The Marris Minute