Which Final Four team will win the national championship?
Mar 29 2018 by Dustin Murphy
But don't let that fool you. "We're a good team, and we believe we can keep getting better".
Michigan: Simpson is a defensive stalwart and one of the main reasons the Wolverines have become so good on that end, though his offense can be unpredictable.
"They're as an explosive an offensive team that we've played all year", Wright said.
Reasons they won't win: MI can't afford to go cold now. Loyola's defense, meanwhile, is rated No. 5 in the country, allowing 62.4 points per game. The regional finals ended up providing a bit of stability to a wild and upset-filled NCAA Tournament with two 1-seeds headlining the teams in San Antonio. However, that wasn't the norm for the Wolverines.
Florida State continued with a strong defensive showing in the second half by limiting MI to only 2 more three-pointers on 12 more shots, bringing their total three-point percentage in the game to just 18%. "But most importantly, we're down there to play basketball and that's what we have to focus on". He's averaging 17.4 PPG on 56.7% shooting from the floor in 17 non-conference games. You need your point guard to be that way. "I'm missing Easter as well, I'm gonna go cover it", said sophomore Nick Schultz, assistant sports editor at the Loyola Phoenix.
ROLLING AGAIN: For the second straight season, the Wolverines (31-7) got hot late in the year to win the Big Ten Tournament title and reach the NCAA regional rounds. They turn it over on almost 19% of their possessions, which is 218 nationally.
So they did so on defense. "We know how to pull them out".
However, what makes Wagner special is that he's not just an oversized guard. "They really have. And it's starting to pay off now at the right time".
Villanova might have seemed more worthy of a spot alongside the Blue Devils, Tar Heels, Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats to the casual fan had it not been for some upsets as a single-digit seed in the tournament.
No. 1 UConn will take on defending champion and No. 2 seed SC in Albany Region final at 7 p.m. ET, followed by No. 1 Notre Dame vs. Each of the previous four lost in this round, all by at least eight points. They have demonstrated the ability to rally on defense as well, with them contesting 86 percent of shots from Texas Tech. It is what makes the team flourish. "Look at the stats offensively and defensively in their league, they're No. 1 in both categories".
TITLE HISTORY: Top seeds have hoisted the trophy on the final Monday night of the season in 18 of the past 26 NCAA Tournaments, while No. 3 seeds have won threetimes (Syracuse in 2003, Florida in 2006, CT in 2011) in that span.
Speaking of three-point shooting, this is where Michigan's offense is the strongest. They are now the Wildcats leading scorers. In fact, the South Region's Most Outstanding Player was Ben Richardson, who averages just seven points per game.
It's a foregone conclusion that Bickley & Marotta will have to perform the penalty dished up to the losers - having to complete a live musical performance of the song chosen by the other competitors.
-The Ramblers have been great at driving to the basket all tournament.
Beard compared them to the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers that played across the way in the old Boston Garden. They've scored 274 points in this tournament and 136 have come in the paint. In an era of one-and-done superstars, the Wildcats have seasoned ballers that can be relied on when the tough moments come.
Loyola Chicago is definitely the big surprise team of the tournament, but Michigan's making it to this point is partly a miracle as well. They also defend well without fouling, ranking 15 in opponents free throw rate this season. The team left Loyola's campus Wednesday morning to board a plane to San Antonio.
One, two or perhaps all three will likely see some time against Kansas in the national semifinal on Saturday. Sometimes I worry if a team is mature enough to handle all the distractions and still play hard and play together and play humble and hungry.