BOZICH: Final Four Tale Of The Tape - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH: Final Four Tale Of The Tape

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Rick Bozich compares the Final Four teams in 10 different categories. Rick Bozich compares the Final Four teams in 10 different categories.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Dazzling wins. Ugly losses. Calling Cards. How they got there. It's all here in this Tale of the Tape on the four teams heading to the Georgia Dome for the NCAA Final Four this weekend.

 

                                  LOUISVILLE

AP Pre-Season Ranking: 2, only Indiana was ranked higher.

Calling Card: Sticky Fingers. The Cards rank second nationally, behind only VCU, in steals per game at 10.9. They've taken everything but the logos off the court.

Longest Winning Streak: 14.

Current Winning Streak: 14, started Valentine's Day against St. John's.

Longest Losing Streak: 3 mid-January (Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown). Panic ensued.

Best Regular Season Win: 58-53 at Syracuse March 2, a possible preview of the national title game, one of three between the Cards and Orange this season.

Worst Regular Season Loss:  73-64 at Villanova, Jan. 22, but even the Wildcats made the NCAA Tournament.

Best NCAA Win: 85-63, Midwest Regional final over Duke. Who beats a Mike Krzyzewski team like that?

Seeds Beaten: 16, 8, 12, 2, Saint Louis, the four didn't make it to Indy.

NCAA Tournament Winning Margin: 21.8, best in the field  .

                                 WICHITA STATE

AP Pre-Season Ranking: Unranked, and did not receive any votes, even though Northern Iowa, Lehigh and Oral Roberts did. No Shocker. Wichita State lost its entire starting lineup from a team that finished last season ranked 18th, one spot behind U of L prior to the start of the tournament.

Calling Card: Glass Cleaners. The Shockers go to work on the glass, ranking seventh in the nation in rebounding margin at plus-8.

Longest Winning Streak: 9 to start the season, including two road games and two at neutral sites.

Current Winning Streak: 4

Longest Losing Streak: 3 (Indiana State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois) from Jan. 29-Feb. 5. I'm not certain if panic ensued, but it should have.

Best Regular Season Win: at VCU, 53-51, Nov. 13. You're not supposed to beat Shaka at Shaka's place. A tough team to slow down at a tough place to win.

Worst Regular Season Loss: at Southern Illinois, 64-62, Feb. 5. The Salukis lost 17 games.

Best NCAA Win: 76-70 over Gonzaga, third-round West Regional

Seeds Beaten: 8, 1, 13, 2. Can't ask for much more.

NCAA Tournament Winning Margin: 10.5

                                              SYRACUSE

AP Pre-Season Ranking: 9, behind North Carolina State and Kentucky among others.

Calling Card: Defense, defense, defense. You might be tired of hearing about the 2-3 zone, but the Orange rank third nationally in field-goal percentage defense at 36.8. Something's going on here.

Longest Winning Streak: 10, including one true road game, to open the season.

Current Winning Streak: 4.

Longest Losing Streak: 3 (Georgetown, at Marquette, Louisville), Feb. 23-March 2. Panic ensued.

Best Regular Season Win: at Louisville, 70-68, Jan. 19. Michael Carter-Williams took over the final four minutes after throwing the ball around for 30 minutes.

Worst Regular Season Loss: at Villanova, 75-71 in overtime, Jan. 26. The Wildcats made some ridiculous threes. Truly ridiculous.

Best NCAA Win: 61-50 over top-seed Indiana while blocking five Cody Zeller shots.

Seeds Beaten: 13, 12, 1, 3. Nice weekend in Washington D.C, breaking up President Obama's bracket.

NCAA Tournament Winning Margin: 20.

                                    MICHIGAN

AP Pre-Season Ranking: 5th in nation, but third in the Big Ten, behind IU and Ohio State.

Calling Card: Good Hands People. Wolverines rank first in assist/turnover ratio at 1.55-to-1.

Longest Winning Streak: 16 to start the season, including two road games.

Current Winning Streak: 4.

Longest Losing Streak: 2 (Wisconsin, Michigan State) Feb. 9-12. The Badgers needed a miracle.

Best Regular Season Win: Michigan State, 58-57, March 3. Quite a turnaround from a 23-point loss at East Lansing.

Worst Regular Season Loss: at Penn State, 84-78, Feb. 27. Panic ensued. Who loses to Penn State and wins a national title?

Best NCAA Win:  79-59 over Florida South Regional final.

Seeds Beaten: 13, 5, 1, 3.

NCAA Tournament Winning Margin: 15.5.

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