Tonight at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, IN the Wisconsin Badgers seek their second NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship against one of college basketball’s blue bloods – four-time champion Duke Blue Devils.
As my blog’s comic indicates, both elite programs will be playing this evening for all of the metaphorical March Madness marbles in the NCAA title game.
Led by two of college basketball’s best coaches, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan, both teams will be expertly prepared and poised to provide an entertaining contest.
Plus, both teams appear to be peaking at the best possible time of the season, so tonight’s tilt should not disappoint.
After a stunning NCAA Final Four upset victory over the previously unbeaten Kentucky Wildcats, Wisconsin enters tonight’s evenly matched contest with quiet confidence against a highly precocious and extremely talented Duke team.
Duke, another #2 seed in this year’s tournament, easily dispensed of a surprising Michigan State team in the other Final Four semi-final to advance to tonight’s title game.
Duke’s celebrated freshmen, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justice Winslow, have been all they were expected to be. Maybe, even more spectacular. The first year players have exhibited poise and excellence in all aspects of their respective games and have played their best when most needed.
Duke’s stout defense has excelled during the tournament and should prove daunting for Wisconsin to exploit.Point guard Quinn Cook’s veteran leadership will serve as a steadying influence and his ability to knock down big threes and convert free throws under pressure may be the difference for the Dukies to reclaim another championship.
Also, expect Duke reserve seven footer Marshall Plumlee to get more playing time tonight primarily to provide length and energy in defending Wisconsin’s talented big men.
However, based on their recent play, returning Final Four star Frank Kaminsky and rising wing player Sam Dekker should test Duke to its limits. Both Badgers are skilled and smart and motivated by last year’s heartbreaking loss in the national championship semi-final.
Even when the Badgers and Blue Devils tip-off, tonight’s game is anyone’s call.
That’s why college basketball’s annual national championship remains one of the very best events in all of sports.
Like so many millions of other college basketball crazed Americans, I’ll be glued to my television, too, as I watch two of the sports elite programs “play for all the marbles” in Indy.
MIKE on sports!