It's the Effing Final Four at Ford Field

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , , , ,

You know how in the movie "Step Brothers" they show near the end of the movie Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale's (John C. Reilly) family saying, "it's the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer," after their huge performance of 'Por Ti Valore' (with a little 'Boats and Hoes'). That's exactly how it is with the Final Four in Detroit--it's the effing Final Four at Ford Field (one humongous alliteration). Watch this video and just imagine, "It's the fucking Final Four at Ford Field" is being said instead:

Anyway, it's a big deal and it calls for a standing ovation and everything that comes with one of those (goosebumps, big shit eating grins, and inner thigh tingling sensations). Michigan State will lead things off against those pesky Huskies from UConn at 6:07 PM EST (all big events need to start at an obscure time). North Carolina will follow against the Wildcats of VillaChampagneSupernova (great song) around 8:47 PM EST.

North Carolina is probably the favorite of these four teams because if they don't win then Barack Obama will have made his first biggest mistake as President of the United States and America doesn't want that to happen. Seriously though, UNC has gotten scorching hot at the right time. They are playing pretty flawless as they have won by an average of 22.5 points in their four games this tournament. They are led by junior guard Ty Lawson (20.3 PPG in the tournament) senior four time All-American Tyler "Psycho T" Hansbrough (17.2 PPG and I prounounce that HansBRA), and Wayne Ellington (19 PPG in the tournament).

Ty Lawson is battling a painful toe injury, yet has still been playing like he is one of the best guards in the nation. Hansbrough is the heart and soul of this team as everything pretty much revolves around what kind of presence he has on the floor. His eyes and jaw are always wide open which can be very deceiving for opponents guarding him because it looks like he could be getting the ball, a lap dance, or his cat just died at any point. Great decoy effect. Ellington has surprised me mainly because when you think of UNC you think of the aforementioned, not really Wayne Ellington. However, he's just as important as those other two and has been having a tremendous season and even better tournament. UNC is coached by Roy Williams, when he's not doing Coke commercials. This is going to be a tough team to beat.

The team with the best chance to do that though is probably the Villanova Wildcats. The Wildcats are coming off of what was probably the greatest game in this tournament, a 76-75 victory over armPitt. Scottie Reynolds knocked down a shot in the paint with 0.5 seconds on the clock and Pitt's desperation hail mary at the buzzer was just off the mark. They are led by senior big man F Dante Cunningham (17.5 PPG) and senior guard Dwayne Anderson (17 PPG). It will be very interesting to see if Hansbrough can stop Cunningham and how Cunningham will do defensively against Pscyho T. The 'Cats are coached by Jay Wright who is in his eighth season at Villanova. Villanova is by far the biggest underdog coming into the Final Four seeing as they are stacked up against two No. 1s and a Michigan State team virtually playing at home. However, the Wildcats have arguably had the toughest road (American, UCLA, Duke, and Pitt) to the Final Four which could mean they are battle proof and more than ready to prove the oddsmakers wrong. It could also mean they are worn out and it will be another 20+ point win for UNC. We'll see.

University of Connecticut are another Big East school that has had a tough road to the Final Four (Chatt, Texas A&M, Miss, and Purdue). They are led by team Twitterer, 7'3" C Hasheem Thabeet (11.5 PPG, 11.25 RPG), A.J. Price (20 PPG), F Jeff Adrien (14 PPG) and freshman guard Kemba Walker. They have a lot of weapons on offense, as they can beat you down low with Cunningham or outside with their perimeter shooters. This team has battled through adversity as their long-time coach Jim Calhoun (23 years) has struggled through some health problems and the school has faced difficult questions regarding possible recruiting violations. The scary thing is that this could bring a team that is already very tight knit even closer. Or it could be their demise as the Final Four brings a whole lot more pressure, media coverage and thus, scrutiny.

Last, and certainly not least, there are the Michigan State Spartans of East Lansing, Michigan. Led by the firery passion of fifth year senior, Goran Suton (19 PPG, 11.5 RPG), MSU has made a remarkable run to the Final Four where they will be playing in their home state at Ford Field. The Spartans have not been led by just one man though. They have received great play from Kalin Lucas, Travis Walton, Durrell Summers, and Raymer Morgan--all who have made special contributions. They suffocated Louisville's offense last week in the Elite Eight with stellar defense that propelled them to a convincing 64-52 win. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Travis Walton will have the tough task of checking AJ Price and MSU big men will try to handle Thabeet down low. I have no doubt that coach Tom Izzo (14 years) will have a game plan set up that will limit UConn's great scoring capabilities.

A lot has been said about MSU playing in their home state with the inspiration of helping a city that is dealing with a crumbling economy. Certainly, it gives me goosebumps just thinking about how great this could be for the state of Michigan as a whole. The fact the event is being held in Detroit is great in and of itself, but a MSU championship would mean so much more (let's just hope fans behave if that happens--Detroit takes enough shit from people we don't need to be giving them anymore reason to). It should be known that MSU is 0-2 at Ford Field in the stadium's seven year history with losses to Kentucky in 2003 and UNC this past winter. However, if it's going to feel anything like it does at the Breslin Center for the Spartans, they have a great shot as Izzo's career home winning percentage is somewhere in the 80 percent range. This could be a very special Final Four for the Spartans if they continue to play as tough as they have thus far because "players play, tough players win" (Tom Izzo).

BallHype: hype it up!


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