MJ: Louisville, Michigan

MJ: Louisville, Michigan

Louisville and Michigan: That’s who college basketball beat writer MARCUS JACKSON likes in Saturday’s semifinals

Wichita State-Louisville

What do we know about the Shockers? Their coach (Gregg Marshall) wears yellow glasses, gives passionate pregame speeches in which finishes by telling his guys to “play angry” and hates being called a Cinderella Story. “Cinderella found one glass slipper, we’ve won four games; I don’t think she found four,” Marshall said. Well, his players might look like they’re wearing slippers when asked to guard Louisville’s fantastic guard duo of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva. The speedsters are averaging 35 points and seven rebounds in four NCAA tournament games and as they go, so do the Cardinals. Remember, the Cardinals are familiar with this stage, seven of Rick Pitino’s top eight players playing in last year’s Final Four in New Orleans. Wichita State has been a nice story as the first Missouri Valley team to reach the Final Four since some guy named Larry led Indiana State to the title game in 1979. But Louisville has been outstanding in the tournament, winning by an average of 22 points and crushing Duke despite witnessing the gruesome injury to Kevin Ware.

Syracuse-Michigan

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about Syracuse in this NCAA tournament is that suffocating 2-3 zone the Orange has played. Opponents are averaging 46 points per game against Jim Boeheim’s lankies in the tournament, including an Indiana squad that knocked Michigan off twice this season. But when the Wolverines are scoring in transition and knocking down perimeter shots like they did in wins against the Illini — and in the win against Florida on Sunday — they’re tough to defend. Surly as he can be at times, Boeheim made friends in Illiniland when he took a shot at Tom Crean by saying his zone can be beat, but Indiana never figured it out. Well, he’s got a guy on the other sideline (John Beilein) who’s considered an offensive wizard with the horses — and six days of prep — to beat that zone. Beilein didn’t have the National Player of the Year (Trey Burke) at point guard in those nine previous meetings with Boeheim (all losses). The Wolverines are explosive and Beilein crafts a game plan that gets him his first win against Boeheim and more importantly, his first shot at a national title.

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

Green Shirt wrote on April 05, 2013 at 4:04 pm

A couple of points.  Beilein is 0-9 against Boeheim so he has never been able to figure out how to beat Syracuse's 2-3 zone.  Michigan will have to score in transition because they will have difficulty getting good shots against the Syracuse zone.  The good news for Michigan is that they may get a number of transition chances since Syracuse is not very proficient offensively.

Moonpie wrote on April 05, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Where's the story? Does anyone at the Sleepy Gazoo know how to write an actual story? Looks like Bushleague Jackson is a good candidate to replace Oracle Tate.

JimOATSfan wrote on April 06, 2013 at 5:04 am

Shock the Cardinals!

... Know-it-alls and Jeer-leaders can always start posting their own fanposts on fan sites like The Champaign Room. See the link in the right column.  Cheers and Jeers!

http://www.thechampaignroom.com/

walker wrote on April 06, 2013 at 3:04 pm

above assessment not that bad moonpie. Your attitude toward the gazette and/or anything tate is a bit ridiculous.  Just read mark tupper over at the decatur sports page.  You obviously get way too much heartburn w/ this staff.  i'm beginning to think that you worked there at one time and got fired or maybe applied for work there and did not get the job??  That is about the only thing that might explain your obsession. Obama's speech writing staff might also be a dream job for you.  His low information constituency would get a big kick out of your style.