Both Final Four games offer great match-ups. In the UNC vs. Villanova game, however, the game boils down to two specific match-ups. Let’s take a little look-see.
1. The ’Nova backcourt vs. Ty Lawson
Ty Lawson is one of the best point guards in the country. Good toe or bad, he runs the transition game at an extremely efficient level. He’s one of those guys who is able to run just as fast dribbling the ball as he does without it. He’s also a pretty solid offensive threat himself, he’s been averaging about 20 points to go along with his 7 assists in the tourney so far. People can say all they want about Hansbrough, but Lawson is the key to them winning.
However, if there is one team who can slow him down, it’s Villanova. In their athletic backcourt you will see: Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Reggie Redding, and Corey Stokes. They’ve already slowed down some of the best guards and shooters they’ve faced in the tourney so far (Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, Levance Fields, Jrue Holiday). The game will be decided in the backcourt.
2. Tyler Hansbrough vs. Dante Cunningham
I’m hoping they’ll defend each other, because this is an interesting match-up. Cunningham is certainly the more athletic of the two, but he may have trouble with the bigger Hansbrough. Cunningham is averaging 19 points and 8 boards in the tourney, and is really the leader of the team. If Psycho T is defending Dante, I suggest ‘Nova employ a similar tactic to Oklahoma, give Cunningham the ball early and try to get Hansbrough on the bench with foul trouble.
Though it’s clear that Lawson is the best player for the Heels and is the floor leader, Hansbrough is the emotional leader. When he gets going and starts banging his chest, it makes their fans go crazy, the TV commentators usually start drooling over him, and the Tar Heels are tough to stop. But, if ‘Nova and Cunningham and neutralize him with foul trouble like Oklahoma did, and make some outside shots, unlike Oklahoma, it could be a very good game.
Interesting Side Story: Lawson and Cunningham used to play together as kids.
I’m picking with my heart on this one. In my opinion, the Big East has proved to be better than the ACC, and ‘Nova has played tough teams all year.
Prediction: ‘Nova 82, UNC 76