Based on the games played in the Elite Eight, it appears that the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship may actually be decided in the Semi-Finals when Kentucky plays Wisconsin in the latter of the two games Friday evening. Kentucky won 68-66 over a very good Notre Dame squad in the Elite Eight. Wisconsin was an 85-78 winner over an equally good Arizona team. Duke defeated Gonzaga 66-52 and Michigan State won in overtime 76-70 over Louisville.
In my opinion, the best two teams still standing are Kentucky and Wisconsin. It’s unfortunate they the two teams aren’t meeting in the Finals. For entertainment purposes only, Duke and Kentucky are both five point favorites as of Tuesday morning.
Duke has the most NBA-ready player remaining in the tournament in six foot, 11 inch freshman center Jahlil Okafor. An intriguing player I hadn’t seen play before this past weekend is Wisconsin junior forward Sam Dekker. I would be surprised if Dekker doesn’t declare for the NBA Draft at season’s end, especially if Wisconsin can upset Kentucky. Frank Kaminsky, the seven-foot senior forward from Wisconsin receives most of the team’s publicity, but Dekker can do more things on the basketball floor than Kaminsky.
My prediction is its Kentucky’s year and they will meet Duke in the Finals. Okafor will carry Duke past Michigan State. However, Kentucky’s interior defense is more than a match for the talented Okafor. Kentucky will beat Duke for the title Monday night.