Final Four Preview

Keep the faith, people.

I know my official bracket looked rough there for a while, with a spotty performance in the first round and the loss of my overall winner (Kansas) in the second. But with Syracuse, Ohio State and Kansas State losing, along with West Virginia’s win over Kentucky and Duke’s tight win over Baylor, I ended up with two Final Four teams in a year when almost no one will have three or more. That means that if you followed my picks, you’re probably sitting somewhere near the top of your pool. (Anthony Stalter didn’t look at his bracket after Kansas lost and just discovered that he’s in fourth place out of 54 entries and has a shot at second place.)

Anyway, even though I’m a Duke fan, I picked the Mountaineers over the Blue Devils at the beginning of the tournament, and now I’m regretting it a little. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s take a closer look at each game and try to predict what’s going to happen on Saturday night.

MICHIGAN ST. vs. BUTLER

By now everyone knows that Butler will be playing just a few miles away from campus. The pundits are suggesting that the Bulldogs will have a big homecourt advantage, but I’m not for sure. The Final Four crowd is largely made up of corporate types that are both neutral and non-vocal, so unless the Butler contingent can somehow get a hold of these tickets, I don’t think there will be much of an advantage. However, if Butler wins on Saturday, its fans could buy up all the tickets from the losing teams. This, coupled with a villain in the title game (Duke) could create more atmosphere. Still, it’s not like we’re talking about Indiana or Purdue — I just don’t know that the Butler fan base is that broad.

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