How to beat every team in the Final Four:
Villanova- No. 2 seed in the South Region 33-5 Won Big East
1.Be a ranked team
The Wildcats had a 3-4 record against ranked teams in the regular season. They managed to split with both ranked teams in their conference (Xavier and Providence). Three of the four games were decided by single digits with the other being a 95-64 blowout win over Xavier. Out of conference they are 1-2 with the losses coming to Oklahoma, their next opponent, and Virginia a elite defensive team.
2. Show down the three headed Wildcat
The Wildcats have a three headed monster in Ryan Arcidiacono who has come on late in the tournament, Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart, who all contribute over 12 points per game. The guy to focus on is Arcidiacono as he shoots 38 percent from 3 and 43 percent overall plus he is a above average ball handler leading the team with 4 assists per game.
3. Win the turnover battle
6 Wildcats average over 1 turnover a game and 3 more over 0.6 per game. As a team they had 419 turnovers while only getting 265 steals, that is not a good ratio. If a team can capitalize on that stat and win the turnover battle they will have a great chance to win the game.
Oklahoma- No. 2 seed in the West Region 29-7 At-Large Big 12
1.Be a Big 12 Foe
All 7 Sooner losses came against Big 12 opponents this year. Does that really mean anything? Probably not, but it does give a good omen that no Big 12 teams are left but no other conference in the game is as good as the Big 12.
2. Stop all of Oklahoma’s scorers
Yes the huge scoring option, and really well known option, is Buddy Hield he scores 25 points per game on 50.4% shooting from the field and 46.5% from 3. Those are some very impressive numbers for any player even as the second leading ball handler only giving out 2 assists per game. Who teams really have to worry about, and actually have a chance to guard, is PG Jordan Woodard and Guard Isaiah Cousins who average 13 and 12.8 points per game respectively. Woodard and Cousins are just as deadly shooting from 3 point land as Hield shooting 45.9% and 42% respectively.
3.Win the rebounding battle
Oklahoma has all 5 starters averaging over 3 rebound per game with only guards Woodard and Cousins averaging less than 5 rebounds per game. Hield averages almost 6 rebounds per game, while center Ryan Spangler averages almost 10 per game and Forward Khadeem Lattin grabbing 5.3 per game. This team is a great rebounding team on both sides of the court, but if they do not hit the boards and get extra possessions this team tends to and lose close games.
Syracuse- No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region 19-13 At-Large ACC
1.Do not be a Mid-Major
This team has beaten one big team this year in Duke on January 18, as well as Notre Dame 10 days later. They also beat UCONN and Texas A&M early in the year but other than that they only beat one other team to make the tourney. They played UNC twice this year and lost by only 11 points the first time and 5 on February 29, this team has the potential to give the Tar Heels a scare.
2.Coach better than a legend in Boeheim
Boeheim is a legend in college coaching, he has led Syracuse for a number of years and even won a title with Melo in 2003. It was shown off how much he knows as well as the leadership qualities he has in leading his team. Boehiem has the record of 30-20 in the west 50 game stretch of his coaching career in Syracuse. Thats one of the best stretches ever, and almost impossible to do as a “bad” 50 game stretch.
3.Get the starters out of the game
The Cuse have 5 good starters averaging more than 9 points each, with 3 averaging over 12 points per game. Outside of their 5 starters the next highest scoring average is 4.9 then 1.7 points per game. Only 6 players on the bench average something per games and only 4 average at least a point per game. The Cuse only have 6 players that played in every game and another that played in over 18 of their games. The Orange have no proven bench depth as all their starters play on average 30 minutes per game, with their sixth man averaging 17.5. Thats not a productive take off of efficient play and minutes played from the bench, all the over working of the starters has to catch up to them sometime soon.
North Carolina- No. 1 seed in the East Region 28-6 Won ACC
1.Be a team that is expected to win
This UNC team lost to Northern Iowa, Texas, Louisville and Notre Dame when they should have won that game. Yes they did lose to both ACC powers Duke and Virginia, but they avenged both losses within a few weeks after the loss.
2.Try to slow down Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige
Brice Johnson averages a double-double of 17 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game as he leads a potent offensive squad. Marcus Paige is also a all around threat as he averages 12.3 points per game 2.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists to lead his team. What really shows on this team is their great shooting, they shoot 32 percent from 3 point land and 48 percent overall. They shoot that well because they are very good at feeding the post and getting quality shots.
3. Prevent passes and assists
The Tar Heels average 18 points per game as a team and have 4 players averaging 2.9 assists or more per game. Those players are Paige, Forward Justin Jackson, Guard Joel Berry II and coming off the bench Theo Pinson. Pinson is a great bench player for the Heels as he has the same production ratio as Marcus Paige when Paige is out of the game. Like I mentioned the Heels are really good at moving the ball and sending it inside, so if the opposite team can prevent inside passes they have a good chance of winning.