Tough times may have hit the Motor City, but this coming weekend college basketball will reign supreme as the Final Four is slated to be held at Ford Field.
Fans and students from North Carolina, Connecticut, Villanova, and especially Michigan St. will be out in full swing.
Three of the four coaches, Jim Calhoun, Roy Williams, and Tom Izzo have found success on college basketball's top stage before. This is completely new for Villanova coach Jay Wright, but he, like the other coaches, should feel confident with the team that brought him here.
The Tar Heels and led into battle by Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson. Though Hansbrough has been the bigger name during his career, Lawson is the bigger reason the team has made it this far. After missing all of the ACC Tournament and the first game of the NCAA Tournament, Lawson was back on the floor and the Tar Heels seemed more explosive than ever.
They have won all tournament games by double-digits. Without Lawson, they'd probably be back in Chapel Hill right now. Provided he stays healthy, the Heels appear to be the favorite to win the championship. Look for Wayne Ellington and Danny Green to also be key factors.
The UConn Huskies have nothing short of an impressive roster. Already looked at highly by NBA scouts at the start of the season, Hasheem Thabeet is now in a position where he looks to be one of the first few players off the board at the draft in June.
Should UConn win the national championship, he'll be the guy everyone says was responsible for that victory. Thabeet is surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast, including All-West Region Team members A.J. Price and Kemba Walker. Add Jeff Adrien and Stanley Robinson in the frontcourt and you've got a team that's tough to stop.
Each player is special in their own way and if North Carolina doesn't win it all, the Huskies most likely will.
With the Final Four being in their home state, the Spartans will have the most crowd support. Ford Field could be the loudest it has ever been. The Big Ten regular-season champions have been able to brag about their guard play as Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, and Chris Allen have all made the key plays for them in the tournament.
Goran Suton has also been terrific as the man in the middle. For the Spartans to have any further success, the players mentioned will need to continue to come through when needed and the team, as a whole, must limit turnovers—a season-long problem for them, which they were able to control against Louisville.
It's not an impossible task, but all-around team play is what got them here, and it must keep up.
Without Scottie Reynolds' last-second shot, the Wildcats would not be in their first Final Four since winning it all back in 1985. As the lowest remaining seed in the tournament, they have the most pressure of any of the other three teams.
Reynolds and Dante Cunningham are the two players the country is most familiar with, the latter of which is Nova's top scorer.
It was defense that got the Wildcats here in the first place, and that must keep up in order to pull off upsets. Cunningham must also stay out of foul trouble because the team is more beatable with him on the bench.
Defense wins championships, and that'll definitely hold true if they can pull off the improbable.
Prediction: Sorry, Spartan fans, but your dreams of seeing your team clinch it at home will not be realized. Villanova will not have the same defense against these big bodied teams. North Carolina and UConn will meet up in the final, where the Tar Heels will celebrate their second national title in five years.
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