College Basketball: Huskies and Rams Can Win in Final Four

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

This has been a March Madness for the underdogs and Al Dannity likes that trend to continue in this weekend’s Final Four match-ups.

Shaka has the smarts Let’s skip over the romanticizing of VCU. We all know the #11 seed Rams are the ultimate underdog that shocked us all. The real issue that needs to be addressed in looking at their match-up with Butler is what they did on the court to get here. Shaka Smart finally saw his defensive philosophy, essentially built around creating chaos, come good in tournament play. Having been over-reliant on offense throughout the regular season, VCU have become a force at both ends of the court. While the rebounding numbers are still ugly, the Rams overall defensive performance has been exceptional. Teams with potent offenses, like Georgetown and Kansas, were forced into making too many low-percentage shots. The Rams stepped up their offensive game, most impressively against defensive juggernaut Purdue, to put together a run of five straight wins including four victories by double-digit margins.

Butler should handle VCU’s defensive pressure better than most. The Bulldogs have won in spite of having mediocre shooting percentages in most of their games. Butler’s strength is on defense and this will prove crucial in deciding which of the two Cinderellas makes Monday’s NCAA Championship Game. I like Butler to slow the Rams, at least compared to what their opponents have done, but not subdue them completely. VCU’s strength beyond the arc should prove decisive. Bet on the VCU Rams as +2.5 underdogs with Sports Interaction.

Calhoun can put his trust in Kemba Kentucky may be College Basketball royalty but UConn have won two NCAA titles since the Wildcats last made it to the Final Four. Most of that success is down to Jim Calhoun’s exceptional talent in sculpting teams built for tournament play. While previous Connecticut teams had talent in depth, this year’s edition has one out-and-out leader. College Basketball betting fans know Kemba Walker is, to borrow a phrase from Gus Johnson, cold-blooded when it comes to nailing daggers. Walker has been the driving force for UConn throughout the season. At no point in the regular season however did he and his teammates jell quite the way they have through the last nine games in the Big East tournament and now in March Madness.

That momentum comes up against the similarly hot Wildcats on Saturday night. John Calipari has now made the Final Four with three different schools, although those previous two appearances were vacated. These Wildcats have shown they can compete in a shootout and that’s exactly what I expect on Saturday night. Look for Walker to step up and take over the game late for the Huskies. Bet on Connecticut to win as +2.5 underdogs with Sports Interaction.