UCLA has beaten MVSU (by 41), A&M (by 2), WKU (by 10), and Xavier (by 19) to get to the final four. UCLA is led by Love and Collison. Love is a monster. He has a double-double in every NCAA game, averaging 22 PPG and 11 RPG. Collison has been somewhat inconsistent, averaging 12 PPG for the NCAAs, which includes two games where he scored 5 and 4 points repsectively. UCLA has had other guys step up, namely Westbrook and Shipp.
UCLA plays good defense only alowing A&M to shoot for over 40% (43). They don't force alot of TOs though (11, 12, 8), averaging only 10 forced turnovers per game in their last three NCAA games. UCLA is a good rebounding team, largely due to Love who seemingly eats glass. UCLA has outrebounded their last 3 opponents 110-86. UCLA has had some foul issues with Collison fouling out of the WKU game. Interesting enough Love hasn't been in foul trouble in any of the NCAA games. That is one of his best attributes, especially for a freshman.
Memphis has beaten TEXARL (by 24), MissSt (by 3), MichSt (by 18), and Tex (by 18) to get to the final four. Memphis is led by Roberts, Rose, and Dorsey. In the last three NCAA games Roberts is averaging 22 PPG, Rose 22 PPG, and Dorsey 10 PPG. Dorsey is also averaging 9 RPG over the last three games.
Memphis also plays good defense and has controlled the boards 108-87 (over the last three games). Memphis doesn't force alot of TOs but they also don't give the ball up as much as their opponents. That is largely due to Rose who has a 21:4 A:TO over the last three games. That is obscene for March. Memphis block shots at an average of about 8 per game. With that comes foul trouble and Memphis has had some. Dozier has fouled out of two games and had 4 fouls in the other two games. Dorsey fouled out and Taggart had 4against MisST.
Take all those stats and throw them out the window baby...its March Madness.
It all comes down to talent and match-ups. These teams match up well against each other. So who has more talent then? By my count UCLA has two sure fire NBA guys in Collison and Love. Memphis has three in Roberts, Rose, and Dorsey.
If UCLA wins it, it will be because of Love, who is a monster. Alot of people think Love is the best player in the final four. I think its too close to call between Love and Rose (its like valentines day or something). I'm not sure anyone is playing better basketball than Rose has the last two games. In the end I think Rose and Love cancel out each other's talents and Memphis has more support.
Memphis wins, comfortably, with a late surge by UCLA.
I am not positive what the matchups will be, but Westbrook is one of the best defenders around at the 2 (for instance, Curry had his worst game against Westbrook). The odds are that he'll take Rose and it will be up to Collison to hold his own. Memphis has athletic/strong big men, but Love has been playing really well and I expect him to find ways to get his points (largely on the offensive glass).
I hope that UCLA wins, but I'm guessing that it will be a good game and I'm nervous about it. One key is that UCLA has managed to win a lot of close games against really good teams, something which Memphis hasn't had as many chances to do.
Let's go Bruins!