Jim Calhoun. Jay Wright. Roy Williams. Tom Izzo.
These are the men leading the teams that will compete this weekend in Detroit for the NCAA Men’s
Still, there is something intriguing about this year’s Final Four. Three of these coaches have already won a National Championship, while the other (Jay Wright) is making his first trip to the Final Four. Story lines abound, as Jim Calhoun is being questioned in his recruiting tactics, Roy Williams is trying to get the monkey off his back and win the Championship everyone (including President Obama) is expecting, Tom Izzo is playing the underdog role for perhaps the first time in his tenure at Michigan State, and Jay Wright is just happy to be able to play for a title.
If you tune in on Saturday and Monday (which you should), you won’t see the NBA talent we’ve seen on the court in years past. Sure Ty Lawson, Hasheem Thabeet, AJ Price and perhaps Scottie Reynolds
Connecticut, Villanova, Michigan State and North Carolina. The only team of those that is even close to a high-powered offense able to score 90 in a game is UNC. Even they have a defensive efficiency rating in the top 20 in the nation (according to KenPom). Each of these four teams plays solid defense, and you know what they say about defense and championships.
There won’t be a prediction made here, but just an exhortation to watch and enjoy collegiate basketball with some grit thrown in. Last year’s finale was exciting, thrilling, and pretty much as good as it will ever get… But be prepared this year for a low-scoring hit-you-in-the-mouth kind of Championship. After all, it’s the kind of season we’ve experienced all year.