The Final Four is here and we have some great match ups ahead of us this Saturday and it should be a dandy. I am really looking forward to it. There are a handful of premier big men playing which should make it that much more exciting to watch. But anyways, here's some analysis and predictions on the games.
Ohio St. vs. Georgetown
Oden vs Hibbert
This is the match up I have been most anticipating. You have 7'0 Greg Oden vs 7'2 Roy Hibbert. Great match up overall. But this is where I give the advantage to Georgetown. I think Hibbert can control Oden down low and hold his own against him. Hibbert is the most physical post player in the country and I think he will out work and definitely out rebound Oden down low. Oden must stay out of foul trouble because they have no one else to guard Hibbert or even Patrick Ewing Jr. for that matter.
Also, OSU has no match for Jeff Green. They can definitely hold Hibbert down low. But who's going to stop Green? Green outmatches every other Buckeye. If they stick an undersized guard on him he will abuse him all over the court. If they put Ivan Harris or even Othello Hunter on him, he will be able to slash and take them to the rack all day. Georgetown's front court is going to provide some big problems for OSU, especially if Oden gets into foul trouble.
OSU has the edge in the back court. They have multiple options with their guards, so does G'Town, but the Buckeyes G's have a little more talent. Mike Conley is a phenomenal PG, he is most effective in the open floor, and he'll get those opportunities only if Georgetown commits a lot of turnovers or has a horrible shooting night; which is doubtful that will happen. But with Conley, Lewis, Cook, Butler, and Lighty, OSU has the ability to take it to Georgetown's G's, if they can pressure them and force them to put up bad shots they can definitely top the Hoyas.
The Pick: Georgetown- Their defense has been tremendous. They're just too big and physical for the Buckeyes. Don't forget their holding opponents to just a little under 40% field goal shooting. Georgetown will easily dictate their own tempo and should handle them well in a half court game.
It's the rematch of last years national title game. I think defense is going to be the biggest factor in this game. Both teams have played stellar defense in the tournament thus far. I don't expect the game to be as one-sided as it was last year, only because UCLA is a more experienced team.
Starting with the front court, Florida has a huge advantage here. UCLA's undersized posts have played bigger teams in this tournament well (i.e. Kansas & Pittsburgh). But, Al Horford has been amazing and has produced awesome numbers in guiding the Gators to Atlanta. Don't forget about Joakim Noah who has played well and UCLA needs to contain him Saturday night. Florida also has post depth off the bench, so if Horford or Noah get in any kind of foul trouble, it won't be a huge deal.
I love the back court match ups with Taurean Green, Lee Humphery, and Corey Brewer of Florida vs the likes of Aaron Afflalo, Josh Shipp, Darren Collison, and Michael Roll of UCLA. Both are evenly balanced and I can't really give an edge to either. But I think the X-Factor here is Darren Collison. Afflalo has been a stud lately and he needs someone else to step up too. Collison with his defense can pressure and contain Green and/or Humphery. If he can get them to force some tough shots and get them a little flustered UCLA will have a great chance at winning this game.
The Pick: UCLA- The play of Afflalo and the other guards has been amazing. I think UCLA's guards, especially Afflalo and Collision, can outperform Florida's. Also, defense will be a huge key and UCLA has been impressing many with their solid play on both ends of the court.
You should also check out some predictions and analysis from Complete Sports. I also encourage you to vote in our Final Four poll.