These are the predictions by the NBN sports staff about the outcome of the NCAA Championship between Memphis and Kansas tomorrow. Enjoy!
We’ve all known for a while that Memphis could score but in their last couple of games they proved that they can defend at an elite level as well. DJ Augustin of Texas is considered one of the best point guards in the tournament but the Tigers made him look lost and overpowered in the South regional final. Kevin Love is an elite big man and they held him to 12 points at the Final Four. I think they’ll do likewise with Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers, Kansas’s upperclassmen guards. Give me Derrick Rose and Memphis to beat Kansas: 78-61.
Almost every great coach goes through a period when he’s labeled, “The best coach who can’t win a national championship.” But then these coaches eventually go on to win a championship. University of North Carolina’s Dean Smith won his in 1982. Coach K of the Duke Blue Devils got his in 1991 after several missteps in the Final Four. Gary Williams and Maryland won in 2002. Bill Self, Kansas’s head coach, will get his first national championship this year. Kansas to beat Memphis: 70 – 67.
In the NBA having one great player on your team is enough to win games, especially when that guy rips the other team apart and scores 40-plus points. Kansas and Memphis have proven that this isn’t the case in college basketball. Both teams draw from all-around efforts for their success and in that kind of contest, Kansas is unbeatable. I predict the Jayhawks‘ bench will make the difference here. Kansas to beat Memphis: 75 – 71.
Memphis and KU are both strong in the backcourt as well as the frontcourt. Kansas proved Saturday that they can run the floor and dominate at a quick tempo, something critics questioned. The Jayhawks will play Memphis’ style of game but will neutralize the Tigers’ big men. KU wins the battle of the boards and wins a barn-burner. Kansas to beat Memphis: 85 – 82.
Both teams are led by tournament veterans and some of the best guards in the country. KU’s Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers, both juniors, have taken their game to the next level and lead Kansas in scoring and assists. However, their defense is not solid enough to stop perhaps the country’s most dynamic player all season — Derrick Rose. The addition of Rose, a freshman, has made Memphis immeasurably better on offense and defense. He will cement his status as a top 5 NBA draft pick, should he choose to leave Memphis. Rose and the hot-handed Chris-Douglas Roberts will not be contained by the Kansas defense. Coupled with a big day from Joey Dorsey – who the Jayhawks will not be able to contain on the offensive and defensive glass – Memphis will have a surprisingly easy time with Kansas. Memphis to beat Kansas: 80 – 72, with the score suggesting a closer game than will actually happen.