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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
The Final Four is Set!
By Reel Robinson

Another weekend of March Madness didn't disappoint. The Elite Eight presented us with compelling games. Although I am heartbroken that my Wolverines had to lose in the fashion they did, I still have enough sense to recognize great basketball when I see it. The last four standing after this weekend were UConn, Kentucky, Florida and Wisconsin. After all the dust clears and the cutting the nets from winning their respective regions, there are still two more games to be named national champion. Who will cut down those national title nets in Arlington?

The overall No. 1 seed in the tournament and perennial favorite to win the whole thing is Florida and they're the only top seed left. They took down a Dayton team who played tough, but were over matched by the SEC powerhouse. Stevie Wilbekin led the way again with 23 points and his constant three-point shooting has been the difference in the Gators slow but steady run through the tournament. The Gators shooting coupled with their powerful defense gives them an open advantage against most opponents. In the Final Four game they will be taking on a familiar foe in the UConn Huskies, who were the last team to take down the top team in the country off a buzzer beater by All-American point guard Shabazz Napier. The Huskies have been playing some of the best ball in the country over the last month. Their guards have displayed pressure defense locking down one of the favorites to the title Michigan State better than I have seen any team do. Napier and Boatright may be the toughest back court in the country on both sides of the ball. The No. 7 seed Huskies will have to play another complete game to beat this Florida team twice in the same season, but at the same time the huskies are a different team who has found their identity at the right time. Throughout the week, I will go into more detail about the matchups.

There were two spots up for grabs coming into Sunday afternoon. Michigan took on a Kentucky team who has looked as good as they come in the tournament. So far the young Wildcats have taken down two of last year's Final Four participants with Michigan being their third. Michigan played a stellar game. Big Ten Player of the Year Nick Staukas had 26 points and the Wolverines shot pretty good when it counted. Glenn Robinson Jr. made two big three-point buckets from the corner down the stretch to give the No. 2 seed a chance to win, but a late bomb by freshman guard Aaron Harrison put Kentucky up three points leaving Michigan with a half court heave that misfired as time ran out, advancing the No. 8 seed to the Final Four for the first time since winning it all a few years back. The 75-72 win has made me look at the freshmen-heavy team a little different now. They could be a real threat to win the title. I said from the beginning that the champion would come from the Midwest region (maybe I was particularly bias because my Wolverines were in that region), but I still think Kentucky will be a hard team to beat if they're playing at the same level. One of the most talented teams in the country, they had third string big man Marcus Lee come off the bench and impact the game like he has started all season. Michigan had no answer for their size.

The Wisconsin badgers took down a strong Arizona team in overtime to get to their first Final Four in over a decade. Bo Ryan (Head Coach of the Badgers) will be leading one of his most talented teams to date against a strong Kentucky team. Kentucky took down one Big Ten foe with Michigan, but Wisconsin is a different kind of monster. The Badgers thrive where the Wolverines lack and that is on the back boards. They will not allow Kentucky to dominate the rebounds like Michigan did and that could be the difference in this game. Wisconsin will stretch the floor on the young team making their big men guard the perimeter. Kentucky must find ways to handle Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky, who put up 28 and 11 against arguably the best defense in the nation in Arizona. 

I am excited about the Final Four. I want to see if Napier will do what Kemba Walker did for the Huskies during his final year in an UConn uniform. I wonder if Billy Donovan will get his third national title at Florida in his still young career. He will put his name in the ranks with some of the greatest of all time if he can. Wisconsin -- who has played great basketball -- may be the unseen team in this field. They'll have some matchup issues for Kentucky to deal with. The veteran Badgers vs. a young athletic Kentucky team will be an interesting matchup to watch. This will be a great Final Four and I will go into more detail as the week progresses.

Did you enjoy the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups this weekend? Let me know with a comment. 

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