Tale of the tape
Bulldogs Try Not To Get Chomped In The Swamp: Mississippi State At #2 Florida
|Rick Ray is in his first year as a head coach. He was most recently an assistant at Clemson. He inherited a team that returned just two contributors from a group that greatly underachieved last year.||Coaching||Billy Donovan’s resume speaks for itself; what he’s done at Florida is remarkable. He came within a late collapse in the regional final from reaching his fourth Final Four last year. This year’s team is certainly capable of getting there.|
|Like Florida, Mississippi State is balanced, except the scoring totals are lower. The Bulldogs are a bottom-tier offensive team and shoot poorly from beyond the arc—just 28 percent.||Offense||Pick your poison against the Gators, who can score inside and out and always have multiple three-point threats on the floor. They are balanced, too, with five players averaging between 9.5 and 13.2 points.|
|Teams with decent offenses haven’t had trouble scoring on Mississippi State. They don’t register many blocks or steals, but the Bulldogs have managed to force turnovers at an above-average rate.||Defense||Florida’s offensive firepower can mask the fact that this team ranks No. 1 in the country in defensive efficiency, allowing just .81 points per possession. The Gators clean up on the defensive boards.|
|Ray has a true eight-man rotation, as three players off the bench get significant minutes. That’s not counting Wendell Lewis, a key senior who has been injured since early December.||Bench Depth||Donovan can turn to junior forward Will Yeguete or freshman guard Michael Frazier, a 46 percent three point shooter, when he wants to give his starters some rest. Keep an eye on Yeguete, however, as he left Tuesday’s game with a knee injury.|
The winner is
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National Championship Matchup: #8 Kentucky Vs. #7 Connecticut
No. 8-seeded Kentucky stunned No. 2-seeded Michigan in the Elite Eight and shut down Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky and the Badgers offense in the Final Four.
Semifinal Matchup: #8 Kentucky Vs. #2 Wisconsin
Wisconsin—who was overshadowed by other top Big Ten teams in the tournament in Michigan and Michigan State—is now the last man standing and hoping to win it all with the likes of big man, Frank Kaminsky.
Semifinal Matchup: #7 Connecticut Vs. #1 Florida
It was three years ago that Jim Calhoun led the UConn Huskies to the college basketball national championship. That Final Four included two of the teams in this year’s Final Four in UConn and Kentucky