Monday, March 29, 2010

Today's Washington Post column on the Final Four

There may not be such a thing as a perfect Final Four, but the one that will begin on Saturday in Indianapolis comes pretty close.

It has a Cinderella practically playing on its home court.

It has a team that hasn't been to the Final Four in 51 years but is going back after a prodigal son came home.

It has a team whose coach always seems to find a way this time of year, playing in its sixth Final Four in 12 seasons.

And it has a villain, the team people love to hate, whether because it wins so often or because people have to have someone to root against once their team has gone home.

Those four teams, in case you spent the weekend wondering who the Redskins are going to draft, are Butler (Cinderella), West Virginia (prodigal son); Michigan State (coach who finds a way) and Duke (villain). Butler and Michigan State, both No. 5 seeds going into the tournament, will play the first game and Duke and West Virginia, a No. 1 and a No. 2, will play in the second game.

Before looking at those games, let's not forget who isn't going to be playing in the Lucas Oil Stadium. To begin with, three of the four No. 1 seeds -- Kansas, Syracuse and Kentucky. Each went out a round apart: Kansas losing to Northern Iowa in the second round, Syracuse in the round of 16 to Butler and Kentucky to West Virginia in the Elite Eight.

Anyone who has seen West Virginia play could not have been surprised by the outcome in Syracuse on Saturday night. The Mountaineers play exactly as they are coached to play by Bob Huggins -- always intense, always angry, never satisfied. Whether they are playing the 1-3-1 zone that completely baffled Kentucky or man-to-man, they are in the opponent's face on every defensive possession. They have an absolutely fearless shooter in Da'Sean Butler. They are mature -- juniors and seniors are the core of this team -- and they aren't likely to be shaken by a close game or the need for a big basket or a big stop. 

Click here for the rest of the column: This Final Four has it all


Anonymous said...

Regarding your column in the Washingtpn Post today, March 30th, "NCAA Final Four matchups may not be perfect, but they're pretty close," John Calipari has coached in the Final Four twice: with Massachusetts in 1996 and Memphis in 2008. Both appearances were vacated subsequently but he has coached a total of three games in the Final Four.

Anonymous said...

So that means technically, he never coached the Final the article said :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

I am not really a huge WVU fan but curious about your thoughts on De'Sean Butlers chances in the NBA. You used "might" be a sure-fire NBA player. He seems like a stud to me, just knows how to score when he needs to. Especially after this tourney run.