The 2009 version of the Final Four is set and is taking place in Detroit at Ford Field. The Connecticut Huskies, Michigan State Spartans, Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels are the four teams playing for the 2009 national title.
UConn will take on Michigan State and Villanova will play North Carolina. The four teams have played well enough to be the last four standing out of 65.
Even though each team is individually talented, I am picking North Carolina to beat UConn in the championship.
North Carolina is the best team in the final four and I think they will dominate both of their final four games.
One reason why the Heels will be victorious is the experience. North Carolina is in the final four for the second consecutive year. The Heels have six players still remaining from last year’s team.
Seniors Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green lead the Tar Heels. Hansbrough is averaging 17.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds
Hansbrough can dominate inside the paint against the Wildcats because they don’t have a legitimate inside presence.
In the championship against UConn, Hansbrough can bring shot blocker Hasheem Thabeet out the hole and may be able to get him in foul trouble.
Green is the Heels utility player and has been filling the stat sheet. Green is averaging 13.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 2.5 steals.
If Green can continue his consistent play the Tar Heels will win the championship.
The Tar Heels are also the most consistent team in terms of offense. North Carolina is averaging 88.7 ppg, just about two points down from their average during the regular season.
Four out of five Tar Heels starters averaged double figures during the NCAA tournament. Ty Lawson averaged 20.3 ppg, Wayne Ellington, 19ppg, Hansbrough, 17.2 ppg and Green, 13.5 ppg.
What was being looked at as the Heels weakness is now one of the team’s strong points.
Defense was looked at as their downfall compared to North Carolina’s team, but since the tournament has begun they have done nothing but prove spectators wrong.
North Carolina is holding opponents to 66.2 ppg compared to the 72.1 they were giving up during the regular season.
One reason the defense has been so good is because the Tar Heels have been contesting opponents’ shots.
They are held opponents to a 40.95 field goal percentage during the tournament.
The X-factors for the Tar Heels are junior point guard Lawson and freshman forward Ed Davis.
Lawson has been dominant since returning in the second round and is by far the best point guard in the final four.
Lawson is averaging 20.3ppg and 6.66 assist per game. He also takes care of the ball; Lawson has a 10 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
Davis has been the valuable sixth man. He is coming off the bench and making huge contributions, averaging 8.2 ppg, 1.7 blocks and 5 rebounds per game.
North Carolina was heavily favored coming into the season to win the National Championship.
Before the start of the NCAA Tournament Lawson’s injury was an issue that may have played a role on the Tar Heel’s fate.
If the Tar Heels do what they have to do, there is no reason why they shouldn’t win the championship collectively and by a landslide.
Mario Brock is a junior broadcast journalism student from Jacksonville. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org