#1 Louisville Cardinals vs. #9 Wichita State Shockers
There isn’t a team that is more “shocking” that you’ll ever see in the Final Four than the Shockers. This is the first time that Wichita State has been in the Final Four in nearly five decades, and the team is clearly the biggest underdog to make it to the Final Four since the VCU Rams were here two seasons ago. The Shockers were supposed to be knocked out of this tournament in the very first game against the Pitt Panthers, when they were the biggest underdog that we have seen in an 8/9 game in years. The Gonzaga Bulldogs were supposed to finish off the Missouri Valley reps as well. After that epic fail, the Ohio State Buckeyes were definitely supposed to finish the job. All failed, though, and the Shockers have really looked the part of a giant killer, going 4-0 SU and ATS here in the dance.
This would be the biggest scalp of all, though. It’s been a bad thing to be a No. 1 seed here in the tourney, knowing that all of the rest of the top seeds are finished, but Louisville keeps plugging along. The team is now 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games dating back to the regular season, and it has won all four games in the dance by at least eight points. The Cards have averaged winning their games by 21.8 points per game, and that’s why they are one of the biggest Final Four favorites in tournament history.
Prediction: Louisville 72 – Wichita State 55
#4 Michigan Wolverines vs. #4 Syracuse Orange
In the late game in the Final Four, the most touched team in the land takes on the most angry teams in the land. Syracuse is absolutely playing the angriest basketball in the land. The Orange are the only team in the country that has held a team in the 30s in scoring in the dance. Not only did they do it to the Montana Grizzlies in the second round of the dance, but they did it more impressively in the Elite Eight to the Marquette Golden Eagles. This is a team that, if its 2-3 zone is locked in, isn’t going to be scored upon all that often. Syracuse has covered three of its four in the tourney, and it has now covered five out of seven since the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.
Michigan though, is the team that just keeps figuring out how to win games. We’re still marveling at that win over the Kansas Jayhawks at the gun. The combination of G Trey Burke and F Mitch McGary have been tearing teams up. The Florida Gators never had a shot to beat these Wolverines in the Elite Eight, and ever since this team has gone on its tear, it has been compared to the Fab Five from back in the day. This is the first time Michigan has been to the Final Four since those days of Webber, Rose, Howard, and the gang.
Prediction: Michigan 70 – Syracuse 65