Show

Heavyweights make it to Atlanta

March 29th, 2007

UCLA

Darren Collison and UCLA hope get back to the national title game.

Darren Collison and UCLA hope get back to the national title game.

UCLA will try to avenge last year’s National Championship loss to the Gators. Two starters return from last year, junior Aaron Afflalo and sophomore Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

The road to Atlanta for the Bruins included wins over Weber State, Indiana, Pitt and Kansas.

Three keys for UCLA:

  1. Continue to play the best defense in the tournament. UCLA has not allowed more than 55 points in any of their tournament wins.
  2. Shoot well from the foul line. The Bruins are the worst foul shooting team in the Final Four at 66 percent.
  3. Get scoring from their post players. UCLA’s big men average 19 points per game.

Florida

Joakim Noah and the rest of the Gators look to defend their title.

Joakim Noah and the rest of the Gators look to defend their title.

Florida hopes to defend their title with all five starters from last year’s team. The last team to defend their national championship was the Duke Blue Devils in 1991 and 1992.

The road to Atlanta for the Gators included wins over Jackson State, Purdue, Butler and Oregon.

Three keys for Florida:

  1. Play with a chip on their shoulder. The Gators have started slow in every tournament game and sooner or later it will catch up with them.
  2. Limit turnovers. The only weakness this team has is their lack of ball security. If they take care of the ball this team will be tough to beat.
  3. Have three-point sharpshooter Lee Humphrey stretch defenses by hitting his outside shots.

Ohio State

Greg Oden has led Ohio State to the Final Four for the first time since 1999.

Greg Oden has led Ohio State to the Final Four for the first time since 1999.

Ohio State holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 21 games. The last Buckeyes loss came at Wisconsin on Jan. 9.

The road to Atlanta for the Buckeyes included wins over Central Connecticut State, Xavier, Tennessee and Memphis.

Freshman Mike Conley Jr. has been on fire in the NCAA tournament scoring 57 points in his last three games. Without Conley, the Buckeyes season would be over.

Three keys for Ohio State:

  1. Keep Greg Oden out of foul trouble. Oden has spent more time on the bench than he has on the floor in the tournament.
  2. Stop falling behind in games. Ohio State has been living on the edge coming back from near extinction against Xavier and Tennessee.
  3. Continue to rebound the ball well. The Buckeyes average 36 rebounds per game.

Georgetown

Roy Hibbert has put Georgetown in the Final Four for the first time in 22 years.

Roy Hibbert has put Georgetown in the Final Four for the first time in 22 years.

Georgetown has a rising superstar in junior Jeff Green. He has made himself a sure fire lottery pick in the NBA draft.

The road to Atlanta for the Hoyas included wins over Belmont, Boston College, Vanderbilt and North Carolina.

Georgetown’s Princeton style offense is very difficult to guard against the first time a team sees it. Look for the Hoyas to have success on backdoor cuts.

Three keys for Georgetown:

  1. Keep Roy Hibbert out of foul trouble. The big man spent a lot of time on the bench against North Carolina. The Hoyas need him in the game to beat the Buckeyes.
  2. Contiune to play both man-to-man and zone defense
  3. Avoid falling behind early in games. The Hoyas have come back from two double digit deficits their last two games.