THE FINAL FOUR
Louisville vs. Wisconsin
PICK: WISCONSIN :: I’ve said it for weeks – the finals could end up being a nice showdown between two Big Ten teams. Plus, I’ve never quite been like the rest of the media so I couldn’t pick Louisville.
Georgetown vs. Indiana
PICK: INDIANA :: It was quite a game in Brooklyn and it’ll be quite the game in Atlanta. The Hoyas lost to the Hoosiers in overtime back in November. Indiana’s guard and center, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, are too much for Otto Porter Jr. and the Hoyas to handle – in overtime.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Wisconsin vs. Indiana
PICK: INDIANA ::
I am a fan of the story. Yes, I grew up in basketball country. Yes, I sat and watched high school ball at one of the largest high school gymnasiums in the country since I was a child. Yes, basketball is what I know, but I am not a Hoosier fan. I did not pick Indiana because I am a homer. My best friends would groan and tell you that they’ve tried to convert me, but it didn’t work. (Well, actually my best friends went to Purdue so they would tell you they tried to make me Boilermaker fans. That didn’t work either.) I worked around IU’s program and the journalist in me is too ethical – even when I was a college kid. I understand this may sound crazy – and yes I do love to see my friends happy – but I also love knowing that I can tell you a story and be telling the truth. So you can say that the Indiana girl picked what she likes, but the Indiana girl picked what she knows.
This is the comeback story of one of the most storied basketball programs. When you gut college basketball to its core – you have Duke, Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and Indiana.
All four of those other programs have shined in recent years. Indiana’s rebuilding began when they hired Tom Crean. They showed their potential last season by upsetting No. 1 Kentucky and handing the Wildcats their only loss of the regular season – and then by making it to the Sweet Sixteen to be defeated by — Kentucky.
And the Hoosiers will finish that story – or what they call The Movement – off with a sixth banner to hang in Assembly Hall – and they’ll do it by beating the only team that’s beaten them twice this season: Wisconsin.
Yup, that’s a story for the books.
2013 National title winner: INDIANA