NCAA 2012 Final Four Preview

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Mar 25, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Fans watch as the Kansas Jayhawks and the North Carolina Tar Heels warm up before the first half of the finals of the midwest region of the 2012 NCAA men

And then there were four. The Final Four has become one of the most popular phenomenon in all of sports. Every year millions of people fill out brackets in the hopes and dreams of having the winning bracket. Last year at this time, we were all focused on Cinderella as both Butler and VCU charged into the Final Four. Cinderella teams add a certain “flare” to March Madness and the Final Four, but the question is how much excitement to these teams add? Last year’s Final Four did add a special kind of emotion with teams that had a different kind of attitude on the court because they felt as if they were always fighting for respect. In my opinion, Cinderella teams are fun at first, but no one really wants to see them in the Final Four. The true Cinderella teams are fun to watch win a nice upset in the Round of 64, but no one wants to see them get into the Sweet 16 and further. Cinderella teams are basically nice inspirational stories, but they truly cannot compete in the end. Two examples of why I believe Cinderella teams are nice stories, but do not want them in the Final Four include:

1) Last year’s Butler Bulldogs made a nice run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament to make it to their second NCAA Championship game appearance. However, they met a Connecticut team that was just too much for them. Yes, Butler did play a close first half in that game, but the second half of that game showed where Butler really belonged.

2) This year’s Norfolk St. Spartans had a huge upset against Missouri in the Round of 64 of this year’s NCAA Tournament. However, in the Round of 32, Florida completely out played Norfolk St. and showed that they were a nice story, but in the end they were knocked out like they should have been.

This year’s Final Four has no Cinderella teams in it what so ever. The teams playing in the NCAA 2012 Final Four in New Orleans include: Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio St., and Kansas. To me, this is going to be one of the most exciting Final Fours to date. No matter which possible pair of teams makes it to this year’s National Championship, I feel as if we could see another game like we saw in 2008 when the Kansas Jayhawks met Derrick Rose and the Memphis Tigers in San Antonio, Texas. I believe we could see a last second shot game or maybe even an overtime thriller like we saw in 2008 (the best National Championship game in my mind). With the tickets punched to New Orleans and the games set to be played this Saturday, I will breakdown the Kentucky-Louisville game and the Ohio St.-Kansas game and predict who I feel will be playing for all the marbles on April 3rd, 2012.

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