Final 4 Picks and Preview: This has been an interesting Tourney so far, to say the least. There were so many upsets in the first round and many of the powerhouses were taken down early. The tournament also saw Oregon move on against VCU due to COVID Protocols.
There were so many critics saying that teams like UCLA and Oregon State shouldn’t have been in the tournament, to begin with, and have exceeded expectations. As the postseason winds down, there are our four teams standing and one team has surprised a lot of fans.
The No. 2 Houston Cougars are taking on the No.1 and the No.11 UCLA Bruins are clashing the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Houston at Baylor Preview +5
The game will tip-off at 5:14 p.m. on Saturday, April 3rd from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Houston has some dominating wins and some very close victories in the tournament.
On the other hand, Baylor hasn’t run into that many problems in the Dance. This is a clash between two schools in Texas.
Critics will say that the Houston Cougars had an easier route than all the teams that are remaining in the final four. Houston is the first team in Tourney history to play four double-digit seeds to reach the Final Four.
That may be true but Houston has impressed on the defensive end by limiting their opponents’ chances to have a good shooting night from the field.
Quentin Grimes is Houston’s leading scorer and has been very consistent on the offensive and forced many turnovers in the tournament. The teams’ length and athleticism are something Baylor cannot ignore as we saw Syracuse to 46 points and 28 percent from the field.
Last game against the Oregon State Beavers, the Beavers had a better field goal percentage but outrebounded them 41-29.
The AAC champions are one of the top teams when it comes to effectiveness. field goal defense at a stifling 43.3% even when they make three-pointers count for more.
The Baylor Bears led the nation in shooting from behind the arc with a percentage this season of 41.4%. The Bears are shooting around 36 percent from downtown in the Tourney. Baylor has a legit argument that they have the best backcourt in the league.
Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, and Davion Mitchell each average 14+ points per game. Baylor will have to find ways to make shots from closer range. Even though the spread is only five points, I can see Houston keeping the game competitive.
UCLA at Gonzaga Preview -14
UCLA took the odd route to make it to the Final 4 as they took on Michigan State in the First Four and looked like they could have lost if things got out of hand in the first half of that game. They faced tough competition like the No.2 seed Alabama Crimson Tide and the No.1 seed Michigan State Wolverines.
UCLA has relied on Johnny Juzang to get to this point. In his last five games in the tournament, he has averaged 21.6 PPG. To have a chance against the Bulldogs, the Bruins will have to step up on the defense.
The Zags look like an NBA team and are riding a 33 game winning streak and have blown out every team in the tournament. Honestly, the Zags just looks like an NBA team on the court and it has been a collective effort every single game.
The Zags have four players who have been averaging over double digits this season and a Jalen Suggs who could go top five in this upcoming draft. The former Florida Gator, Andrew Nembhard, has so much more room to improve as a player before potentially going to the NBA.
Gonzaga has covered every single game in this Tourney. I believe it is hard to bet against them in this spot as well.