NCAA Bracket 2014: Assessing Which Team Has the Edge in Each Final Four Contest

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NCAA Bracket 2014: Assessing Which Team Has the Edge in Each Final Four Contest
David J. Phillip

And then there were four.

The 2014 NCAA tournament has been full of enough twists and turns it could be used as the plot of a Hollywood movie.

Cinderella stories, upset victories and down-to-the-wire finishes have been plentiful to this point—more of the same is certain to come during the Final Four.

No. 7 Connecticut and No. 8 Kentucky will be looking to continue their improbable streaks against dominant No. 1 Florida and steadfast No. 2 Wisconsin. Before each team hits the court on Saturday, let's break down each matchup and determine who actually has the edge in the upcoming action.

 

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 7 Connecticut

This rematch didn't seem plausible at the beginning of the tournament. While Florida was ranked as the tournament's top-seeded team, the Huskies had a very difficult road ahead.

After some impressive victories from each team, they are set to face off once again—this time in the Final Four.

The last time these teams met, the Huskies handed the Gators one of their two losses on the season after Shabazz Napier drilled a buzzer-beater to earn a one-point victory.

This time around, Florida will be looking for revenge.

Napier has been brilliant of late, recording at least 19 points in each of his last four games. Although, the team will need more output from its supporting cast to advance past Florida.

DeAndre Daniels was fantastic against Iowa State, racking up 27 points and 10 rebounds; however, he wasn't much of a factor in the team's Elite Eight matchup against Michigan State.

That's a bit concerning considering Florida's stout defense and well-versed big men.

Florida, on the other hand, has a very deep squad.

Scottie Wilbekin leads the way with his ability to drain buckets from all over the court. Patric Young has been an absolute force down low, dominating the paint on both ends of the court. Dorian Finney-Smith is a rebound machine and figures to see plenty of work against Connecticut.

The Huskies are a very talented team; however, they just don't have the size or defensive prowess to keep up with the Gators this time around.

Edge: Florida

 

No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Kentucky

Wisconsin began the tournament on a tear. The Badgers crushed American by 40 points and earned decisive victories against two very good teams in Oregon and Baylor.

During their matchup with Arizona in the Elite Eight, however, the team seemed to take a step backward. Shooting only 39.3 percent from the field, losing the battle on the boards 39-38, accumulating a plethora of fouls and failing to score any fast-break points doesn't bode well.

Compare that to the way Kentucky has been playing lately, and it's night and day.

The Wildcats showcased their depth against Michigan in their Elite Eight contest.

Julius Randle recorded his 24th double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and nabbing 11 rebounds. Guards James Young and Aaron Harrison were stellar from downtown, Andrew Harrison's presence was felt all over the court and this was all without Willie Cauley-Stein.

The depth and versatility that Kentucky continues to display is impressive; however, what's even more impressive is the way this team has jelled throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament—these freshmen continue to mature by the day.

Due to the Wildcats' chemistry, it may be difficult for Wisconsin to keep up if another episode of the Frank Kaminsky show is aired. Yes, Kaminsky was stellar during the Elite Eight, but the Badgers will need more output across the board to match Kentucky's athleticism and intensity.

Edge: Kentucky

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