From the Bird’s Nest: More fearless predictions
It’s been the most unpredictable tournament ever, judging by the way brackets have been shredded throughout the country.
And I’m not going to be surprised if the unexpected happens again. But I’ve decided that everything is unexpected, so what the heck. Here are my picks for Saturday’s national semifinals
BUTLER VS. VCU
Lots of admiration going out to both squads. Butler is obviously a very well coached team. Brad Stevens makes in-game adjustments as well as anyone; he’s proven that during the last two tournaments. VCU is poised to be the best NCAA tournament story EVER. The amazing thing about their run to the semifinals isn’t so much that they’ve pulled upset after upset, it’s the fact that, with exception of their overtime win over Florida State, they’ve simply hammered their opponents, winning by an average of double digits. This one for me comes down to the battle of wills. FSU was able to make their game against VCU generally a half court game. That’s the reason the game was so close. If Butler can do the same, they’ll be playing on Monday night. I think they will. Butler has won their games by an average of three points. They’ve had their share of white-knuckle games. And, most of these guys have played in the Final Four. That’s going to mean something, especially early in the contest. I’m looking for the Bulldogs to advance to their second straight championship game.
KENTUCKY VS. CONNECTICUT
Well, so much for my theory that a team that relies a lot on freshmen don’t go far in the tournament. Both the Wildcats and the Huskies start three frosh, although UCONN’s best player, Kemba Walker, is a junior. Kentucky relies heavily on the freshmen to carry them. I’ve been going back and forth on this one. I think Connecticut has an advantage inside. I also think Walker is the nation’s best player. But I’m going with Kentucky in this one. And, the reason is I think they have more offensive weapons. UCONN relies so much on Walker, while Kentucky’s three freshmen are all capable of taking over a game. There will be a lot of blue in the stands Monday night….navy for Butler and royal for Kentucky.