Butler, Michigan State, Duke, and West Virginia. I KNOW you didn’t think that this would be the Final Four at the end of the regular season.
Indianapolis is the site for the 2010 Final Four. The hometown Butler Bulldogs face their fellow #5 seed Michigan State Spartans, while the lone surviving #1 seeded Duke Blue Devils await defeat at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Butler has been the overlooked team because they play in the Horizon League and don’t really have a “star” player. Not playing in a power conference led them to a mere #5 seed, but they took out UTEP, Murray State, Syracuse, and Kansas State en route to a return home to Indiana to play in their first ever Final Four.
Michigan State has survived and advanced nearly every round. A narrow win over New Mexico State in the first round followed by the epic finish against Maryland, in which Korey Lucious drilled the game winning three at the buzzer to send the Terps packing. Kalin Lucas’ season was over after getting injured in the Maryland game, but MSU perservered and rallied to beat Northern Iowa and surviving by one against Tennessee.
Duke got placed in an easy region and steamrolled through their opponents before winning a close one against Baylor. The only team that could’ve challenged them and beaten them was Villanova and they lost in the 2nd round.
West Virginia hammered Morgan State, stifled Missouri and Washington, and then had a threefest against Kentucky to come out as the lone Big East representative out of 8 teams from the conference. The latter two victories came without one of their leading point guards in Truck Bryant, who broke his foot during practice and will likely miss the rest of the tournament.
Without further ado, the picks are….
Michigan State 65 Butler 58
West Virginia 72 Duke 60
Michigan State just seems like one of those teams that was meant to advance this far. It’s their next shot at winning the title that eluded them last season. North Carolina crushed the Spartans in Detroit last year, and this year MSU will end Butler’s great run by edging them out in Indianapolis.
West Virginia is too physical, too quick, and way better than Duke. If Duke wins I’m going to be physically sick.
Enjoy the Final Four everyone. What more surprises will be in store for us in what has been a sensational and sublime NCAA Tournament?