After trying to pick the winners of the previous 64 NCAA D1 Bracket Game Winners. I hope you are doing better then my final four picks. The only survior of my final four is Kentucky. My other picks Syracuse, Florida State and Michigan State all fell to Ohio State, Wisconsin and Louisville.
The Louisville-Kentucky matchup is a very intersting one. Both from the same state, both bitter rivals because of Pitino leaving Kentucky after he won a National Championship to return to NBA Coaching and then leaving the Pros only to take the Louisville Job as added alot of fuel to the fire of this big instate rivalry.
It is much like the Kansas-North Carolina RegionaL Final of the Elite 8 as Coach Roy Williams of NC had coached 15 seasons at Kansas before taking the North Carolina Job. However, there is no fuel added to that rivalry as it has been a very positive one between Williams and Kansas.
The Ohio State Matchup with Kansas has seen these teams only meet just 9 times over the years. Ohio State has not won a NCAA Championship since 1960. Kansas just won one under Coach Bill Self recently.
Tough picks in both games. Certainly, North Carolina was hurt by the injury to point guard Marshall in their 13 point loss 80-67 to Kansas. However, Lousiville building up a 20 point lead 42-22 at the half really just road the second half to a very surprising easy win pver Florida, which also had an intersting storyline with Florida Coach Billy Donovan being a former player for Lousiville Coach Rick Pitino when he was at Providence and then Donovan being an assistant coach under Pinto for several years. The teacher is 7-0 in games against his former student.
Ohio State lost to Kansas at Kansas early in the season but was without their big athletic star post player who was injured and did not play in that game.
Well here I go again with my final four picks. My brain tells me Kentucky will meet Kansas in a battle if the K’s, but my heart tells me it should be Ohio State and Kentucky in the final. In this one my brain says Kentucky but my heart says Ohio State.
I have a little personal connection with both coaches in the Kentucky-Lousiville Game. I officiaied a game for Rick Pitino’s BU team when they Played Maine in “The Pit” before a sold out crowd back in the late 70’s and I drove Coach Calipari from and to the Bangor International Airport when he was speaking at a Maine Association of Basketball Coaches, Coaches Clinic before he got the coaching job at Massachusetts. Calipari has not won an NCAA Championship so being at Kentucky. having taken Pitinos Place, there is a great deal more pressure on him then the other 3 coaches.
So Here Goes that I can’t go wrong with my brain or my heart so long as Kentucky or Ohio state win it all, even though I picked Kentucky and Kansas to meet in the final and with Kentucky winning John Calipari’s first NCAA Championship for him.
Trivia Question? Which one of the final four Coaches was a candidate for the University Of Maine Mens Head Basketball Coaching Job, the year that Rudy Keeling got the Maine Head Coaching Postion?