Each season as a college basketball player, your main goal is to make it to the Final Four, and hopefully get a shot at the National Championship game.
We finally have two contestants that have earned the opportunity to play for it all, Villanova and North Carolina.
It’s been a year full of parody up and down the standings, but Monday night will finally reveal the true top team in college basketball.
Here’s my view on the game.
2 Villanova vs 1 North Carolina
Buddy Hield got all of the hype leading up to the final four game on Saturday night between Oklahoma and Villanova, and rightfully so as he was named the Naismith Player of the Year. However, Villanova gave him no space and made him take contested shots all game, and it worked. Hield was held to just nine points all night long on 4-of-12 shooting and 1-of-8 from 3-point range. For Villanova, junior Josh Hart led in scoring with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting, adding eight rebounds and four assists against the Sooners. Also, junior Kris Jenkins had a nice game with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and an assist. Those two and senior Ryan Arcidiacono will look to lead their team to play against outstanding senior center Brice Johnson and North Carolina.
Johnson was one rebound away from another double-double with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and nine rebounds. Johnson has led the Tar Heels all year long on the court in his play and from keeping the team calm in tough situations. They didn’t have a tough time with 10 seed Syracuse however, as they won their Final Four game 83-66. Justin Jackson also had a very big game with 16 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, adding three rebounds and two assists. An unsung hero was point guard Joel Berry II who only had eight points, but his real contributions were in the assists and rebounding categories with 10 assists and seven rebounds. This is a team that doesn’t have a true leader, but really seems to feed off of each other as the game goes on.
Roy Williams is in his 14th season as the head coach of North Carolina and will be going for his third NCAA tournament title. A lot of people wonder if Williams will retire if the Tar Heels win the championship, which should add a lot of emotion into this game. The opposing coach for the Wildcats is Jay Wright who is now in his 16th season at Villanova. This will be his first title game appearance.
Every way I look at it, there is lots of experience on both sides of the court that should help. Villanova might be the most fundamentally sound team in the country. The Wildcats don’t make many mistakes, which will be big against UNC because of how much they like to push the pace of games. I think Villanova will be a very tough opponent for the Tar Heels and will cause some problems early in the game. However, I see UNC pulling out the win and getting Roy Williams third title with a late run to get them past the Wildcats, but not by much.
After all, even though it’s April, there is still room left for one last game full of madness.
The game is at 9:19 p.m. tonight in Houston, Texas. It will be televised on TBS.