It’s time to settle down to business and talk about tonight’s games—and I’m not talking about the beer hockey tournament at the Sheraton.
Let's look at the second game first. Basketball blueblood North Carolina takes on Syracuse which just might be the hottest team of the Final Four. The defense of Syracuse, that swarming press for those few minutes, is what got them here when they bedazzled and befuddled Virginia. However, North Carolina demonstrated a defense so amazing that it will definitely go down in history. In August, just four days before UNC was to formally answer the NCAA’s charges against them, they pulled a defensive switch for the ages: they said that the school’s own internal investigation had turned up some new possible violations in women’s basketball. That mean the NCAA had to amend its charges and start the investigative clock all over again. They turned Dean Smith’s four-corner offensive stall into a brilliant defense, and here they are in the Final Four. Sorry, Syracuse. ADVANTAGE: NORTH CAROLINA.
The opening game – Oklahoma vs. Villanova -- shapes up as an up-tempo sharp shooting match. OK’s Buddy Hield won the Oscar Robertson Award as the nation’s top college player. Villanova’s gritty guard, four-year captain Ryan Arcidiacono is their obvious leader and … wait a minute. I can’t do this. I know I’m supposed to be impartial, but with full disclosure, I must admit that I have a rooting interest in this one. Throw out the stats, even the important one that shows Villanova’s average player weight of 214.1 pounds outweighs Oklahoma by a full two pounds. I confess. I want Villanova to win. I want them to win for one reason and one reason only: I desperately want to hear the on-air guys – including Kenny and Charles – to continue to struggle to pronounce Arcidiacono for two more games. ADVANTAGE:VILLANOVA.