Coming into the Final Four, I was excited by the point guard match-ups. It’s a wrap for my bracket, so I really didn’t have much else to look forward to. With my $10 gone down the drain, I decided to focus on the great contrast in playing styles among the 4 point guards. Because as they say, styles make fights.
We had Louisville’s ultra-quick Peyton Siva going up against the strong, rocksteady Malcolm Armstead of Wichita St. In the night-cap you had the Wooden Player of the Year, Michigan’s Trey Burke, going up against Syracuse’s long and athletic Michael Carter-Williams.
All of these players had been major factors in their teams getting here, so I sat down in front of my television, ready to see some high level ball.
Damn, what a letdown! It was the ‘meeting a girl from Instagram and she doesn’t look as good as her pics’ kind of letdown.
I’m not going to bore you to death with numbers, but these 4 elite point guards combined to shoot 4 of 33 from the floor, including 1 of 16 from 3. I’m far from a math wiz, but I know that’s HOT garbage. On top of the bad shooting, they combined for 16 assists to go with 11 turnovers. Not exactly, Steve Nash like.
Siva and Burke were bailed out by their teammates stepping up and making big shots.
Armstead had solid assists numbers (7), but was nowhere to be found down the stretch as Louisville mounted that amazing comeback.
Carter-Williams was the worst of the bunch. Fouling out after putting up a 2 point, 5 turnover showing. I’m sure Cuse fans can’t wait for high school PG Tyler Ennis to hit campus next year.
So that brings us to Monday’s championship game. I think this is the match-up everyone wanted, unless of course you’re an Orangemen or Shockers fan.
Two of the top backcourts in the country ready to go head-to-head. Like I said earlier, styles make fights. The contrasting styles Saturday night, led to some average showings. But Michigan and Louisville both prefer to play uptempo, so I fully expect a wide-open, up and down game.
So yep, my hopes are up again. I’ll be in front of the tv Monday night, hoping to see Siva, Burke, Russ Smith and Tim Hardaway, Jr go to work and show me something.
As for whose going to win, it’s hard to go against The Ville. They’re playing for their fallen teammate and Pitino is such a great coach. Plus is there any other coach who can pull off the all-white suit?
With Michigan, I think Burke got his clunker out of the way and he’ll be able to handle that Louisville pressure and make things happen.
Such a tough call, but I’m going with Louisville to cut down the nets in a close one, 76-71. Russ Smith takes home the M.O.P. award.
– N.D. Face