If you’re anything like me, you’re sitting in a dark room, wondering how a No. 14 seed toppled at No. 3 seed. You find it perplexing that your alma mater didn’t make it past the first round. Everybody in the office is laughing at you, and there’s only one reason why. Yes your bracket is more busted than your mother-in-law. Unlike her, however, your woebegone bracket still has a place in your heart. Deep down inside you still want to see if you made the correct picks in the championship game – gives you something to brag about. Furthermore, you thoroughly enjoy watching the tourney.
March Madness has attached itself to you like a leech, and no matter how bad your picks were, you’re still going to watch it. And now that we’re down to the final four, you’re inviting friends and family over on Saturday to try your wife’s horrendous dip – don’t worry, you’re not alone.
But before you can validate your final picks, there are some huge games on tap. Let’s take a look at each team by the numbers.
April 4th, 2015
Game 1/6:09 PM: Michigan State 7 (27-11) vs Duke 1 (33-4)
There’s only two people that picked Michigan State to go this far – Magic Johnson and the entire student body in East Lansing, MI. This was a huge surprise, given the fact that Michigan State is a #7 seed. In all actuality, they’re playing like a #1 seed. But should we really be surprised? The Spartans are led by Travis Trice (15.3 PPG) and Denzel Valentine (14.3 PPG). Not to mention they have arguably one of the greatest coaches of all-time in Tom Izzo. Furthermore, he’s been to the NCAA tournament 18 times since he first took over the head coaching job in ’95 – winning the championship in 2000. His resume is overwhelming, but so is the resume of his counterpart.
In many ways, Mike Krzyzewski is the “second coming” of John Wooden. Clinching his 12th Final Four appearance, Coach K is on the verge of winning his fifth title as the Blue Devils’ head coach. The man has all the accolades you could want: He’s led the Blue Devils to 4 NCAA Championships and 13 ACC Championships, he’s a three-time Coach of the Year recipient, he’s amassed a record of 943-251, and he’s led Team USA to two gold medals. Led by freshman Jahlil Okafor (17.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.4 APG), Duke has a solid chance at capturing the title this year.
Vegas Odds: Duke -5
Game 2/8:49 PM: Wisconsin 1 (35-3) vs Kentucky 1 (38-0)
One of the most talked about teams is without a doubt the Wisconsin Badgers. They have a litany of talent on the court, and they are led by their “Big Three” – Frank Kaminsky (7’0), Sam Dekker (6’9), and Nigel Hayes (6’7). Dekker especially has come on strong in the tournament – shooting 8-11, knocking off the No. 2 seed Arizona. The Badgers are led by Coach Bo Ryan. Although Ryan does not possess the honors the other coaches do, he has led his team to the Final Four the past two seasons. Could this be Wisconsin’s year?
Think before you answer the previous question, and when you’re done thinking, think some more. Wisconsin will have their hands full Saturday, as they face the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcats possess a plethora of talent – four of their top scorers are underclassmen. If there is one team that plays together, it’s Kentucky. Their strongest asset is their defense – holding teams to a 35.2 shooting percentage (1st in the nation). The Wildcats are led by Coach John Calipari. Calipari led Kentucky to a NCAA Championship in 2012.
Vegas Odds: Kentucky -5.5