After two weeks of incredible action, the Final Four for this year’s tournament is set with #2 seed West Virginia winning the East, #1 seed Duke winning the South, #5 seed Michigan State winning the Midwest, and #5 seed Butler winning the West.
Saturday, April 3rd – 6:00 P.M.
Michigan State Spartans vs. Butler Bulldogs -1
Current Over/Under 126
Michigan State’s ride through this tournament has been a bit rocky at times starting with almost losing to #12 seed New Mexico State. In their second round 70-67 win over Maryland, the Spartans (28-8) lost their leading scorer junior G Kalin Lucas with a torn Achilles but managed to persevere without him in their next two games. In their 59-52 win over #9 seed Northern Iowa, junior G Durrell Summers helped pick up the slack with a game high 19 points.
His 21 points led the way in the 76-73 win over Tennessee and senior F Raymar Morgan added 13 points and 10 rebounds including two crucial foul shots at the end of the game to seal the win.
Butler (32-4) has been nothing short of spectacular throughout this entire tournament. After handling #12 seed UTEP 77-59 and squeaking by # 13 seed Murray State 56-54 they really stepped up their game in their next two wins.
Against #1 seed Syracuse in the Sweet 16, they turned in a total team effort with three Bulldog starters scoring in double figures in their 63-59 upset win. In their 63-56 upset over #2 seed Kansas State, sophomore G-F Gordon Hayward had a game high 22 points and sophomore G Shelvin Mack added 16 to propel Butler to their first ever Final Four appearance in school history.
Michigan State has done a great job making up for the loss of Lucas, but they will definitely miss him in this game. Butler is playing extremely solid and having home court advantage will only help their cause. Take the Bulldogs -1
Saturday, April 3rd – 8:45 P.M.
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Duke Blue Devils
Current Over/Under 131
West Virginia (31-6) is the lone survivor from the Big East, a conference that sent eight teams to this tournament including #1 seed Syracuse and #2 seed Villanova. Over the course of the last four games, they have proven themselves to be clearly the best of the bunch. With fairly routine wins in the first three rounds, the Mountaineers took their game to a whole new level in knocking out #1 seed Kentucky 73-66 in the Elite Eight.
In the win over the Wildcats, four starters scored in double figures led by senior F Da’Sean Butler’s 18 points and junior G Joe Mazzulla’s career high 17. Mazzulla was filling in for injured sophomore G Darryl Bryant.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s has his team back in the Final Four for the 15th time in his career. After three dominating wins, the Blue Devils (33-5) earned a trip to Indianapolis by knocking off a very good #3 seed Baylor 78-71 in a game that went down to the wire. Junior G Nolan Smith scored a career high 29 points and senior G Jon Scheyer added 20 including hitting five three pointers to lead Duke to their 16th win in their last 17 games.
This is clearly Krzyzewski’s best team since winning a national title back in 2001 as they are balanced across the entire lineup. Unfortunately, when you match them up against West Virginia they come up just a bit short. Take the Mountaineers +2
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