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    Welcome to Cam's Corner

    University of Arizona, PIKE.
    Football/Basketball Sports reporter, .
    Creator of Cam's Corner.

    Los Angeles - http://dailywildcat.com
    Twitter - @MoonCameron20

    See Cam's recent interview.

    Monday
    Apr082013

    Well, we finally made it.

    After naming our way through upsets, emotional wins and the brief phenomenon that was Florida Gulf Coast, the road stops at this weekend’s Final Four at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

    After the week that has been in college basketball, with the Mike Rice controversy at Rutgers and the now-former Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating for the Pac-12, Ed Rush, offering $5,000 or a trip to Cancun to officials refereeing Pac-12 tournament games, it’s going to be nice to just see some basketball again isn’t it?

    There’s nothing like the journey that teams go through to reach this point. It takes a deep focus, a lot of skill and a little luck just to reach the tournament, let alone the pinnacle of the sport.

    In a year where it seemed like multiple top-10 teams were losing weekly, it should come as no surprise that at least one team in the Final Four does not come a traditional power conference.

    In tonight’s matchups, you have a battle of the proverbial David and Goliath in No.9-seed Wichita State and Louisville, and a battle of high scoring offense and shutdown zone defense in Michigan vs. Syracuse, with a trip to Monday’s national championship game on the line.

     

    Here’s a closer look at both matchups:

    (1) Louisville vs. (9) Wichita State

    In a normal year, Wichita State, playing the part of this year’s Cinderella team, would have been the choice to be America’s team as well, drawing neutral fans in the Georgia Dome hoping to see one more upset before the season ends.

    Too bad it’s not a normal year.

    If you’ve been playing even a minute amount of attention to this year’s tournament, you know that Louisville’s Kevin Ware and his gruesome leg injury have captured the hearts of America.

    Ware, who was averaged 5.8 points per game in the NCAA tournament, broke his leg in last week’s Elite Eight game with Duke and somehow the Cardinals were able to refocus long enough to rip off a 50-31 run in the second half to secure a spot this weekend and end Duke’s season.

    Because of the gruesome injury to Ware, little-known Wichita State has gotten even less coverage than normal. A few facts about WSU:

    • Wichita allows an average of 60.9 points per games, which ranks it in the top-50 nationally.
    • Louiville head coach Rick Pitino called the Shockers’ defense “Marquette on steroids,” according to ESPN.com. Marquette ranks below the Shockers in scoring defense and field-goal percentage defense.
    • The Shockers are one of few teams in collegiate sports that have to buy their own uniforms because they don’t have a uniform sponsorship.

    Prediction: Louisville


    (4) Michigan vs. (4) Syracuse

    Syracuse’s trademark 2-3 zone will be out in full force against Michigan and star sophomore guard Trey Burke.

    The zone can work against the Orange in this game, in part of because of the speed and athleticism of Burke. Burke can get in the middle of a zone defense playing him too closely, essentially rendering it useless.

    Freshman forward Mitch McGary has an opportunity to get a ton of second-chance points off poor shots or altered shots from Burke and his teammates in the lane.  Also, the combination of unlimited range of 3-point specialist Nik Stauskas and Burke’s athletic abilities – not to mention his 3-point shooting ability as well, has the ability to stretch the defense, opening more holes for McGary and Glen Robinson III, who already scored 14.6 points per game this season and 13.5 in four tournament games.

    The downfall, however, for Michigan is that it is not a stellar defensive team. The Wolverines give up the 77th most points per game in the country, at 62.9 points on 42.3 percent shooting.

    The Orange’s James Southerland has been inconsistent scoring from the floor in the NCAA tournament, scoring more than 10 points every other game. Orange guard Michael Carter-Williams averages 7.4 assists per game, which led the Big East conference this season. If he can get going and get the ball to Southerland and Brandon Triche, who makes 3.1 3-pointers per game, it could be a long day for UM.

    Prediction: Michigan