Final Four teams are set. Keys to being the last one standing.
The final four teams are set. Are all of the teams in the Final Four who we thought would be there? No, but it will be exciting to watch the battles continue on the hardwood. Find out how each team matches up, what to expect from key players on the floor, and the keys to being the last one standing.
#9 Wichita State vs. #1 Louisville
Tip-off: 6:09 PM
Offense: Known for its quickness, strong guard play, transition game and pick-and-roll offense, 19% of their points come from their transition game
Defense: High pressure and mix of man and zone defenses
Key Player(s): Guards Peyton Siva and Russ Smith apply full court pressure creating turnovers and set the pace offensively. Watch out for their quick hands defensively as well as their eye for the rim offensively.
Offense: Prefers a quick tempo and pushing the ball up the court, guard play is versatile with solid shooting, and drives to the basket
Defense: Defensive minded team that forces turnovers, stops transition and limits half court offense by taking away the pick-and-roll option
Key player(s): Carl Hall is a 6’8 post player who can battle at the post against Louisville’s Gorgui Dien. Guards must break the pressure and look inside for the quick layups from Hall and not rely only on 3-point shots.
Keys of the game: Louisville’s guards must continue to perform aggressively on the defensive end and create a dual environment of up tempo play and half court play to eliminate Wichita State’s ability to strongly defend either. Wichita State must set the tempo early by breaking through Louisville’s full court pressure, make quick passes on the offensive end, and look inside to Carl Hall for quick baskets.
#4 Syracuse vs. #4 Michigan
Tip-off: 8:49 PM
Offense: Heavy 3-point shooters, rely on transition game, and force fouls in transition to get to the foul line
Defense: One of the best zone defenses in the league suffocates offenses to force long shots and eliminate ability to drive in the lane
Key Player(s): Point guard Michael Carter-Williams is versatile. He can shoot and rebound but also ranks nationally in steals and assists. He is the first defender offenses meet at the top of the key when sitting in Syracuse’s zone defense. C.J. Fair will be a key post player in the half court offense.
Offense: Skilled offense with threats from multiple guards shooting from long range but also the ability to drive to the basket from pick-and-roll plays
Defense: Limits teams to shooting 41.8% with the ability to dominate the defensive end by playing man or zone defense
Key Player(s): Point guard Trey Burke is the leader and driving force of the team. Not only does he dribble through pressure and call the plays, he is an exceptional passer. He gets his teammates involved and forces a zone defense to choose whether to block the long ball or stop the drive to the basket. Not to mention, he was just awarded three National Player of the Year awards on Friday (The Wooden, Associate Press, and Oscar Robinson).
Keys of the game: Syracuse must play their game, the transition game. The guards are effective in transition and the quick pace will eliminate Michigan’s ability to force half court play which is not exactly Syracuse’s strong point. Michigan will need to play solid half-court offense by driving the ball and limiting the number of missed 3 pointers. Missed shots will give Syracuse their chance to run the length of the court. Burke will be key to Michigan going to the Championship game.
Tune into CBS to watch both match ups to see who moves on to the championship game Monday night.