Is It Midnight?

Syracuse has shocked pretty much everyone by reaching the Final Four as a number 10 seed. This on the heels of barely squeaking into the tournament. The question now is, can they complete their Cinderella run?

I picked UNC to win it all, and I see no reason to change that prediction now. These two schools have played twice in some pretty unique circumstances and both times UNC won. Game 1 was in Syracuse on the night that Jim Boeheim returned from his 9-game suspension. The Carrier Dome was rocking and Syracuse held a six-point lead with about 8 minutes to play. That’s when UNC first flashed their ability to go on runs this season, stepping up and closing out the game on a 34-17 roll.

The second time these two met was ironically the start of the Heels’ current winning streak. On Senior Night in Chapel Hill, and with the Duke game looming, UNC played distracted basketball and let Syracuse hang around and hang around. It almost cost them at the end, but they pulled it out thanks to some nifty work by Joel Berry.

One thing that Syracuse has shown in both games is the ability to rebound fairly well against UNC- no mean feat. That could be significant, but only if UNC lets Syracuse stay in the game. If they pound the ball into Johnson, Meeks, and Hicks, they could quickly turn this into a blowout. I don’t think it will go quite that far, but I wouldn’t be surprised by a “comfortable” win.

As for the other game, I am going to pick Villanova. I saw them in person for their first two games and came away impressed by their athleticism. They made a solid team in Iowa look terrible on Sunday, dominating them by over 30 points for most of the second half. They went to their regional and upset Kansas. I have a ton of respect for Buddy Hield, and I think he is the best player in the game, but I don’t think Oklahoma has enough besides him.

So I think we have a Villanova-UNC matchup Monday Night. Two teams that have met in the tourney more than a few times, and in the Final Four just seven years ago.

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  • Greg  On April 2, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Looks like you nailed it, UNC-Villanova for all the marbles. We’ll see if your prediction of UNC winning it all comes true. If it does, I’ll ask you to help re-allocate my 401k . . .

    • nysportsfanatic  On April 3, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Don’t look at me, I split my money between Chinese stocks, Russian Roubles, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals last summer.

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