Saturday, April 02, 2011

04/02 (Final Four) Quickie

Fans are in a tough position tonight: In any other typical Final Four scenario, we'd be rooting for Butler against whoever -- some major-conference team, undoubtedly.

In this Final Four, you'd have to be soulless to root for Butler, if it means that the Bulldogs knock out VCU, currently on a run as the greatest Cinderella in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

For most fans -- and I do think that fans will tune in for the novelty of Cindy-vs-Cindy -- it's a can't-lose proposition: No matter who wins, a fiesty underdog will have a shot at the national title on Monday night against a "power" team, either UConn or Kentucky.

I can't remember a match-up that has left me less uncertain than Butler-VCU. On the one hand, Butler's D should stifle VCU's 3-point shooting; on the other, VCU's press should rankle Butler's poise.

I'm picking Butler. I'm rooting for VCU. I think a lot of fans are with me on that one.


In the second semifinal, I'm taking Kentucky over UConn. Feeling certain about it should be the kiss of death. UConn was projected to run out of gas 7 or 8 games ago. I love the idea of VCU and UConn meeting in the title game -- it's the "hot-team" theory like never before.

But the way Kentucky played in the regionals knocking off Ohio State and UNC -- it's a different team than the one that got torched by UConn at the beginning of the year.

The uncertainty of both Final Four games is a large part of what makes them so amazing. As with everything in this Tournament, anyone who says they know what is going to happen is a fool.


The most interesting thing that happened on baseball's second Opening Day was... the Rangers out-slugging the Red Sox (with the runner-up being Roy Halladay taking the no-decision before the Phillies ultimately pulled off the last-gasp comeback on the hapless Astros).


But, really, it's all about the Final Four today. Let's settle in. And pop by Quickish all evening for real-time analysis from the best sources.

-- D.S.

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