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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Fighting Words

Tar Heels and Tigers all the way

Keith Cordero Jr.

The two teams advancing to the NCAA Championship Game will be the North Carolina Tar Heels and Memphis Tigers. UNC Coach Roy Williams and All-American junior forward Tyler Hansborough will dominate Kansas, which has not faced better than an No. 8 seed in the tournament. UNC has lost only two games all year and has beaten every team in the tournament by double digits. The Tar Heels will win with Hansborough and sophomore guard Wayne Ellington scoring at least 20 points.

Memphis is led by freshman phenom guard Derrick Rose and Conference USA Player of the Year junior guard Chris Douglas-Roberts who beat the Spartans and Longhorns by double digits. Free throws won’t be an issue, as the Tigers will contain UCLA’s freshman forward Kevin Love and junior guard Darren Collison. I’m taking the Tigers to beat the Tar Heels to win the national title.

Keith was right about one

Jong Lee

Way to go out on a limb, Keith. Memphis played tough teams to get to San Antonio, but they’re still Memphis. The Tigers still play whenever they want to play, UCLA may be a team they may not get up for, and that free-throw shooting is still awful.

Texas didn’t have an inside game, and the Longhorns took too many perimeter shots. UCLA will dominate points in the paint, clog up the middle and not let Douglas-Roberts have his way as he did against Texas. UCLA wins a close game.

Keith isn’t giving Kansas enough credit. UNC dominate Kansas? It’s going to be close – maybe not as close as UCLA and Memphis – but closer than Keith is making it out to be. Hansborough is going to live in the paint against the Jayhawks, but senior center Sasha Kaun may bring some energy off the bench to counter him.

UCLA and UNC will meet for the National Championship with Love cutting down the nets before heading for the NBA draft.

Give Kansas some more credit

Chris McCown

Kansas has been the best team in the country all year. They have an absolutely suffocating defense that can win games all on its own. Even when they aren’t shooting well they’ll find a way to win. As much as they were the weakest-looking winner yesterday, I think you have to give Davidson some credit there as well: they were clearly a much better team than anyone was willing to admit.

I’ll pair them up with UCLA as well, though I’m really sick of the media narrative on Memphis’ free throws being a big deal. Memphis is a great team but they are not a good free-throw shooting team: those facts are not going to change. The Tigers will lose because they do not have an answer for Love.

Kansas and UCLA in the title game, with Kansas putting another anti-climatic ending to the season with a 10- to 15-point win. Junior guard Mario Chalmers finally starts getting some respect.

March madness forever

Judge Dredd

Jong, you never cease to amaze Judge Dredd. There was a reason why Texas and everyone else who’s played Memphis this season shot more 3-pointers than they were accustomed to. Joey Dorsey, Robert Dozier and Sean Taggart are all taller than 6-9, freakishly athletic and kill anything that moves in the paint.

There is no such thing as an easy layup or dunk when you play Memphis, and Kevin Love won’t find it easy to operate under those conditions.

In fact, Judge Dredd expects Dorsey to posterize Love at least twice before the Tigers win Saturday night.

On the other side of the bracket, the Tar Heels and Tyler Hasnborough will knock off Kansas in a close one.

Judge Dredd says March Madness is awesome. Four of the freakin’ best teams in the country battling it out for the NCAA title in a matter of three nights will kick so much butt we will all go blind.

Verdict: Keith wins

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