The Final Four has arrived and we’re more ready than ever. Our brackets are locked, our bets are in, and the time has come: Who will take home the title of National Champions?
Dr. Senkbeil is currently 44-16 for straight picks and is still betting strong. His Elite 8 thoughts and final predictions are below.
Oregon and South Carolina reinvented their teams and surprised everybody. South Carolina suddenly found the offense it was lacking all year to go with its salty defense, while Oregon somehow looks better after losing a major interior player (Boucher) right before the tournament. If these teams can continue to play at the same level, then both could easily win. History says that miracles and Cinderella stories end in the national semifinals or the championship game. Do these teams fit that category? Not really
Without further ado, Dr. Senkbeil’s breakdown of the Final Four:
GONZAGA (-7) vs. SOUTH CAROLINA
Projected Winner: Gonzaga
The two best defenses meet here. Can South Carolina continue to be this new team on offense jumping 49 spots in OE in just four games? Gonzaga is ranked 1st in DE so the Gamecocks will have to be good. WVU showed that Gonzaga does not like pressure and South Carolina is going to get after them in ¾ court and ½ court with pressure pressure. Gonzaga will have a huge size advantage inside so they should try and slow this game down; however, they play at a slightly faster pace than South Carolina. South Carolina is faster and more athletic and needs to watch their fouls inside against Gonzaga. I see a game where the Gamecocks get in foul trouble and struggle to score inside or in transition and the Zags win by 8. I also see a game where Gonzaga turns the ball over 25 times, gets torched in transition, and becomes yet another South Carolina victim. Gonzaga is a better team so I will continue to pick against South Carolina BUT I hope South Carolina wins again and I am not messing with their mojo. I must pick against them 😉
NORTH CAROLINA (-5) VS. OREGON
Projected Winner: North Carolina
UNC looked great against Kentucky and managed to get Monk and Fox into foul trouble, which is how you beat them. UNC is the most well-rounded team in the Final Four. Can Oregon keep them off the offensive boards? Was the Kansas game a statistical anomaly and more the result of Kansas laying an egg? Oregon scraped past Rhode Island and escaped against Michigan by 1 point. Then the Kansas domination has made me question if this team can do it again. I don’t think so, but is UNC 5 points better? Is this Carolina’s year? I would take the Heels against all three of these teams if they play like they did against Kentucky.
Missed any previous posts? Check them out below:
- First Four
- Completing Your Bracket
- Round 1, Day 1
- Big Games & Bold Picks–Round 1, Day 2
- Round 2, Day 1
- Round 2, Day 2
- Sweet 16, Day 1
- Sweet 16, Day 2
- Elite 8