It’s that time of year again. Yes, the Final Four. The annual Final Four that everyone gets all hyped up for in the beginning of November, and it lasts until the very first wee days of April. The Final Four has made us officially capitalize the two words bunching them together into the Final Four. It’s the unofficial holiday where we don’t need to have a bunch of relatives over to just enjoy it. You may eat, but we don’t need to have big feasts to chow on while we sit around together. It’s not expensive. If your team loses, the tournament is still bittersweet in the end. All you need is these three things: 1.) TV, 2.) Remote, 3.) lounge chair/couch.
This years Final Four consists of the following four teams: Florida, UCLA, Georgetown, and Ohio State. Last year consisted of Florida, UCLA, LSU, and George Mason. With two of the same teams from last year’s Final Four returning (Florida and UCLA), and two newer teams grasping ahold of the headlines for the first time in a while (Ohio State and Georgetown), it’s adding a spark and flare to the whole ending with the perennial number one pick in the upcoming (June) NBA Draft, Greg Oden, and his Ohio State Buckeyes going up against Roy Hibbert and his Georgetown Hoyas, respectively, while we will have a rematch of the national championship from last year take place later on, on Saturday night with the Florida Gators and UCLA Bruins.
Starting off with the Buckeyes, and the Hoyas, it should be a great game, there’s no doubt about that, and there’s no news to it. Obviously, everyone in America including your’s truly, is looking forward to the low post matchup between Greg Oden and Roy Hibbert. Both guys are very talented (with Oden being exposed as more talented from the media’s viewpoint), and it’s going to have a sense of an old-school style game (hopefully) when these two teams step onto the hardwood on Saturday evening together. Finally, a game that isn’t dominated by extreme guard play, but with superior big men down low trying to bump and cushion themselves in for a quick basket, or a swat at the ball. This game should be an aggressive one in the end. It’s really hard to say if it will be high or low scoring considering how games like these go, by controlling the ball in the paint, working it around in the contests area trying to get good lucks from mid range, with the bounce pass down low to possibly a spreading away from the block Oden/Hibbert. My prediction is that Ohio State pulls away with this one, and the Greg Oden hype train continues, carrying over a thousand Ohio State bandwagoners from all over the country.
So, the Bruins; the Gators. The 2006 national dchampionship ended in disgust for the Bruins, as they were considerably annihilated by Florida on April 3, 2006, handing the Gators the National Championship. This year, Ben Howland, coaching, and UCLA, playing, came out with a hard thrust in the tournament, after losing in the first round of the Pac-10 conference tournament. They turned on the pedal to the metal defensively, and cranked up the heat another notch, and really got after some teams forcing turnovers on the high wings, running great half-court trap sets to force offenses to rush their passes, and shots at terrible angles. Florida, on the meanhand, ended their season on some questionable games, with losses to Tennessee and Vanderbilt (most memorable. I’m not going to look the others up for now.) However, Florida has been picks for everyone to win the national championship all season long, continuously preaching out on how Joahkim Noah is only their 4th leading scorer on their club. However, I think this game will be much closer, but UCLA will be so close but no cigars, as Florida will match up with Ohio State, in a rematch of their earlier season game versus Ohio State, and their school’s football team’s national championship rematch against Ohio State. Get your popcorn ready for Monday night, folks.