Reactions: Final Four backing
Users share who they'll be cheering for in Final Four
Posted: Friday March 31, 2000 03:45 PM
With only four teams left to cheer for in college basketball, CNNSI.com users shared who they will be backing on the final weekend of the 1999-2000 season. A collection of some of the most interesting responses follows:
After throwing away the fiasco that was my bracket picks, I decided to root for Michigan State. First, Coach Izzo is incredible, using their tough schedule to really get it together when it counts (obviously being No. 1 in the regular season doesn't necessarily hold water come tourney time). Second, I applauded Cleaves' decision last year to stay for his senior year. Not just for finishing school, but because he believed in his team. I hope this will show future high school seniors that there is something to college ball that the pros can't compare to.
You have to pull for the Gators. Billy Donovan has made basketball fun to watch at a "football" school (oh, yea, we still love our football). This team has heart, and a strong work ethic. The Gators will press you and run at you the entire game so if you want to beat them you have to play hard the whole game. This is a young team with a young coach and 100% heart!
This year's Final Four teams are all the more reason for the NCAA to adopt a double elimination format. The gap between No. 1 and No. 64 is not as wide as it used to be. GO HEELS!
This Final Four is great! It reminds me of the 1999-2000 NFL season. Teams expected to win lost shocking games, and teams mired in losing seasons broke free to win big games. It is so refreshing to see some new teams in the Final Four, not just the Arizonas, UConns, and Dukes. My backing must go to the Gators. They are a strong team with a fast paced offense and a press defense that even frustrated the mighty Blue Devils. I feel that they will frustrate North Carolina, and then press MSU into a low scoring 65-54 National Championship for the Gators of Florida!
This year's Final Four finally proves the old adage that all you need to win the tournament is a six-game winning streak. I'll say this: there's a reason why almost every major sport (with the exception of the NFL) plays its tournaments in series format. Would Michigan State have beaten Iowa State three out of five? Would North Carolina have beaten Stanford two out of three? Or did they just have their lucky game at the right time?
What a wonderful message these four finalists send to aspiring young basketball players. Winning is a result of TEAM effort. Not individual egos centered on offensive statistics. Although I'm a Badger fan, I will totally enjoy watching the team efforts of each finalist this weekend.
I am a die-hard North Carolina fan, but I must say it's nice to see parity in college basketball. Every year it seems, the same teams (UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona) are the teams to be in order to make it to the Final Four. This year was different, and it's refreshing to see programs like Florida and Michigan State on the rise.
I will be rooting for the Badgers. I know a lot of people don't like to watch the Badgers play. But, I believe that it is basketball at its purest state. They play great man-to-man defense. And although they may not be as good of an offensive team as they should be, they score when points are needed. GO BIG RED!
This year's Final Four serves as a testament to the basketball dominance of the Big Ten conference. When two of the best four teams in the country are from one conference, one being its champion and the other not even the second or third best team in the conference, it says a lot about the conference. Wisconsin took on the best from the PAC-10 and beat them. They took on one of the best from the SEC and they beat them. Wisconsin has answered every challenge the selection committee could have put before them. Wisconsin represents the fundamentals of basketball. When it's all said and done, fundamentals win ballgames.
Michigan State is by far the best team in the tournament. No, they haven't been blowing everyone out. Even better than that, they've shown they can come back from adversity with a win. They play an all-around team game and their strong leaders step up when it counts. That's why they'll come out on top in Indy.
I believe this could be one of the most exciting Final Fours ever. The contrast in coaching philosophies is intriguing. Bennett will try to frustrate, while Izzo will try to overwhelm. Donovan will try to blitzkrieg, while Guthridge will try to outsmart. Some icing, Wisconsin is every underdog's dream team.
Florida is loaded from top to bottom with young and exciting players and coaches. Remember, the Gators only have one senior and two juniors, with the rest of the team made up of freshmen and sophomores. This run to the Final Four has been a wonderful new experience for this team and it's coaching staff. Even though Billy has been to the Final Four in other capacities, this is his first "real shot" at the big show, and in only his fourth season at Florida. No matter what the outcome may be, this team has made the Gator Faithful Proud! GO GATORS!
Final two? Wisconsin vs. Florida. -- NOT! But in this tourney anything is possible. It'll be Michigan State (although Wisconsin puts on a defensive clinic everytime they play) vs. North Carolina (the Gators are emerging but won't be able to stop North Carolina's next Michael Jordan) in the Finals. And the winner will be -- Michigan State, the only remaining No. 1 seed.
Y2K is the year for the Wisconsin Badgers and the Big Ten in NCAA. The year started off with UW winning the Rose Bowl and the Big Ten dominating most of the Bowl Games. Similarly, the Big Ten has two teams in the Final Four and one for sure in the championship final. The Badgers want it more than anyone else and will go on to beat MSU and the winner of the other non-Big Ten game. Wait and watch...
I know I'm going to be rooting for Michigan State. Mateen came back for this and he's just a fun one to watch. The way Peterson glides around the court is nothing short of pure excitement and that makes them easy to root for. As for the other game, I'm going to have to root for UNC. They're so talented all around and they are just now playing up to their potential. Forte works wonders on the court and they are a young team which is always fun to watch. Being there for the first time is neat because it's almost like you get to share the experience with them. So this year, I'm afraid that I'll be rooting for the Spartans and the Heels.