We’re just a few weeks from the NCAA Tournament and a little over a month away from the Final Four.
Here are my Final Four picks:
Kentucky is one of, if not the, hottest teams in the country. Yes, they did almost lose to a .500 Arkansas team last night at home, but the Cats played some of the worst basketball they have played all year in the first half, along with Arkansas shooting the lights out. The Cats turned it on at the beginning of the second half and thanks to late-game free throws from Tyler Herro, Immanuel Quickley, and PJ Washington, the Cats came away with the win.
The Razorbacks took advantage of Reid Travis being out. They were able to get into the paint, and even thought EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards are the backups, Reid Travis is much better than them. The Cats have a huge game this Saturday against Tennessee and if Travis doesn’t play, I would expect a blowout by the Vols.
I have Duke here because if Zion plays, then they’re a national title contender. If Zion sits out the rest of the year, which I don’t think is likely, then Duke is a second weekend team at best. The Blue Devils really only have two reliable players without Williamson in Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett.
RJ Barrett since Zion’s injury: 33/57 FG, 6/22 3-pt, 84 pts, and 16 asts
Cam Reddish since Zion’s injury: 18/47 FG, 8/26 3-pt, 49 pts, and 4 asts
Without Zion, I don’t know if Barrett and Reddish can make Duke cut down the nets in Minneapolis.
After a rough start to the season, the Tar Heels are finding themselves at the right time. After a home loss to Virginia, the Heels have rattled off four straight wins by a combined 80 points. Coby White dropped 34 points against Syracuse including six threes.
Duke and UNC have one match up left in the regular season on March 9th. The next time they’ll most likely meet will be in the ACC Tournament, which could be a game for not only the ACC Championship, but a #1 seed.
They beat Kentucky at Rupp and just beat Tennessee at home without their best player, Tremont Waters, who is easily one of the best players in the SEC. The Tigers are currently ranked #13 and could easily sneak into the top 10 before the end of the season.
As of right now, Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU are tied at the top of the SEC standings. Unless the Tigers drop a game down the stretch, they will most likely be the #1 seed in the SEC Tournament. Will Wade has done a great job with this program.
They would need a favorable draw, but the Tigers have a crazy athletic starting five, and they could easily make a run to the Final Four.