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Spoiler Alert! The 2014 Final Four Teams Revealed

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2014 final four predictions

Somewhere in the midst of this Sports Nirvana, with the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB Playoffs going on, the College Basketball season kicked off. There was too much to cover in this weekly space, so it slipped through the cracks. That gets fixed now.

Every team has played at least one game. So I took an early look at the super freshmen throughout the country, and the teams returning major talent. Using my expert eye and crystal ball, I already know which teams will play in the Final Four in Dallas.

**Warning: If you do not want to know which teams will be in the Final Four, STOP READING!**

Kentucky Wildcats

2014 final four predictionsPerhaps the easiest choice of the four. Head Coach John Calipari might be the best college basketball recruiter of all time. He’s turned Lexington, Kentucky into the Green Room of the NBA Draft, churning out one first round pick after another.

He’s done it again with another amazing recruiting class (I’m a diehard Michigan Wolverines fan, so save all that “Fab Five” stuff…there was only one). Led by Julius Randle, the Wildcats are loaded with freshman talent. What sets this team apart is the presence of two (2!) hold over sophomores from last year’s team, namely Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein. While Kentucky disappointed last year, having talented rotation players who have handled tough situations will buoy this team.

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I normally don’t trust Calipari’s freshmen-heavy teams, but Randle is the real deal, and Poythress and Cauley-Stein will fill in the gaps when the newcomers struggle.

Michigan State Spartans –

As much as it pains me to say it, the Spartans are for real. There are few better coaches in the country than Tom Izzo, who always seems to get the most out of his players. There has never been a Spartan team that fell flat, or far short of expectations. Now that the team actually has talent behind standout Gary Harris, I expect them to book a trip to Dallas.

The thing I love most about the Spartans is their scheduling. Izzo always tests his teams throughout the season. This year, Sparty will play Texas, Georgetown, North Carolina, and Kentucky (tonight). When you add in the always tough Big Ten schedule, the Spartans will be ready for war come March.

Florida Gators –

This team has everything I look for in a college basketball team.

They have a good coach in Billy Donovan. They have good upperclassmen. They have two incoming McDonald’s All Americans. AND they have a tough schedule that will give them meaningful reps ahead of their conference games (Kansas, Memphis, Wisconsin and UCONN…makes Tom Izzo look like Jim Boeheim in comparison).

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Florida always seems to fly under the radar (except of course in 2007 when they repeated as champions), and that will probably be the case again. But this year’s team has a recipe for success, and will be legit challengers in the tourney.

2014 final four predictions

VCU Rams –

This is probably a homer pick (757 born and raised), but hear me out.

The Rams play at a crazy pace. Like the Arkansas Razorbacks when they were good. They press, trap, and run like crazy, and when they get turnovers, they either dunk the ball or shoot threes. It’s a lot of fun to watch. It’s also too much for most teams to handle.

Since their surprise trip to the Final Four, the Rams haven’t been able to sneak up on anyone…and they’ve still had postseason success. Now they have better players and a schedule full of quality opponents to help them sharpen up on their way to Dallas. If they get hot, they can beat anyone. I see the Rams rounding out the Final Four.

Negrodamus has spoken. Who do you have making their way to Dallas. And don’t say Duke. Screw them. Any other teams? Hit the comments and let me know!

Comment(17)

  1. Off top i would say Kentucky, Oklahoma St, Michigan St, and Louisville…just because whent he field is pretty even at the top stick to the stalwart coaches/hot player. Tom to the Izzo and Pitino always find their way in it the mix, i think Marcus Smart is going to be player of the year and Kentucky gon Kentucky
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  2. I'll roll with Duke (sorry) , UK, MSU and Louisville. However, I admittedly haven't done my usual preseason college bball research so I'll probably have a more informed assessment come conference play time.

  3. You're a moron with this list. To not include Louisville, which has tons of experience coming back from last year championship team, makes this list irrelevant. Only team that I can fully agree with is MSU, who may be the best team in the nation. The sooner people get off of UK's freshmen bandwagon, the better we all will be.

    1. They’ll obviously be good, but only 4 teams can make it. They lost their starting PG and C, which will be tough to fill. Plus I’ve never been sold on Russ Smith.

      Their defense will always be solid, stylistically similar to VCU, but I’m not 100% sure where the offense will come from.

      Or I’m a moron.

      1. I'm not guaranteeing that Louisville will make it to the Final Four for a third straight year, but I would not be surprised. Talent wise, they are better than they were last year. Siva was replaced by Chris Jones, who was the national JUCO player of the year last year. Dieng is hard to replace, but I think Harrell will do a great job as our main big man.

        Louisville has so many great guards that they can really run full pressure on the opposing team all game long. Our big man line up is not great, but solid enough. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to a great season!

        1. Yeah they should be right there. Like you, just ready for a good season starting (for me) tonight. Now regretting not getting tickets to all these amazing games in Chicago.

  4. I want to preface this with — After tonight, i'll either be wrong as hell or you'll see what i'm talking about.

    Tonight, Kentucky is going to lose and we're going to see that they are probably not headed back to the Final 4. I won't dignify that VCU pick with a bar.

    I like Kansas, Duke, Michigan State and…

    Syracuse. I'll tell you why, I watched the first half of the game against an always tough out for us in Cornell and I was like, "Man this team is ass." Then, they went out and scored 50 points in the second half and held Cornell to 22 points. They were able to rotate the 2-3 and the way they can score from so many different places and ways is scary. We also were without our best player in Jerami Grant. This team can go 9-10 deep easy although I know Boeheim likes to cut the rotation to about 8.

    And stop taking shots at my coach!

      1. Syracuse has been consistent over the years. They went to the Final 4 last y ear.

        I will say this much though, it's a lot easier to pick the Sweet 16 at this point than the Final Four.

    1. Any Syracuse team that can score will be dangerous. I’m always bearish on them until the Big East schedule though…guess it’s ACC now.

      Anyway, they don’t leave the state of NY until MLK Day! Lol, you know I’m right!

    2. "Tonight, Kentucky is going to lose and we're going to see that they are probably not headed back to the Final 4."

      Well the first part of your prediction was accurate….jury still out on the second. They went toe to toe with a VERY good and experienced Michigan State team so UK's ceiling appears to be as high as it gets. Wouldn't be surprised to see them make a deep run into the tournament.

      1. You ain't watch the same game that I watched.

        Kentucky was outplayed for 32 minutes of that game. Just flat out beat down like Apollo Creed. Then they had to feed Randle to win the game. They got out of these with a loss and everyone saw what it is with that team. That team can only go as far as Randle can take them. Unfortunately at 6'8" that won't be far in this league.

  5. my prediction for the final 4…. is that everyone's final four prediction's in Nov are wrong….

    and don't slept on St John's! We didn't play our super freshman in the lost to Wis

    1. Yeah…pretty sure I’ll be wrong. I’ll write a new one in March and pretend this post doesn’t exist. As far as St. Johzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  6. Kentucky, Louisville, Georgetown, and Michigan State are my picks. Three of the four have already been mentioned, and the reasons expounded on. I'm picking Georgetown based purely on gut feeling. I think JT3 has finally figured out a way to stem the time of losing to lower ranked teams in the tourney, and the "new" Big East is varied enough that the Hoyas will see different styles of play that will prepare them.
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