Sports Magazine

Early Analysis on the Final Four

By Realdarinford @realdarinford
With the season underway and the big name teams opening their year Friday I thought I'd show you the teams who have the talent to make it to New Orleans for the Final Four.
Check out a look on some top contending teams that could make to the Final Four with our "Read More" link:
Early analysis on the Final FourNorth Carolina
You have to include the number one team and for good reason this year. North Carolina returns five NBA-caliber players and adds another potential top 5 pick in James McAdoo. Harrison Barnes now has played in college and won't have the transition troubles he did last year. North Carolina at best will take the ACC by storm and get the number one overall seed on their way to three titles in eight years.
Young talent always finds its way to Kentucky. Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis found their way to Lexington this year to join returning starters Terrence Jones and Darius Miller. The Wildcats have the talent to return to the Final Four if they can share the ball and equalize playing time.
Ohio State
Early analysis on the Final FourCraft-y defense can earn Ohio State another one seed. But the Buckeyes are going to need some offense to get an NCAA Title. William Buford will be the main outside shooter and Deshaun Thomas will step in and help as he did last year with his range from beyond the ark. Overall the Buckeyes look great even with the loss of three seniors. As long as Ohio Sate continues their tough nose defensive play and makes a few changes on offense then they'll have no problem putting last years disappointment behind them.
North Carolina isn't the only team having five returning starters. Vanderbilt has talent no doubt but they always seem to struggle as soon as the Big dance hits. Vandy needs to be able to win the tough, close games unlike they have been doing. If the Commodores take care of finishing games then they obviously have the talent and experience to go far in the tournament.

Early analysis on the Final FourI'm going to go out on a limb here and say Tu Holloway could very possibly be the Jimmer Fredette of this year. By the Jimmer of this year I mean lead this team with a knack for scoring along with true passing skills. He isn't as good or as hyped as Fredette was but he can lead his team far. If my prediction works out we'll be hearing his a name a lot this year along with Xavier in late March.
Baylor isn't going down the road they did last year again. The Bears have both Anthony and Perry Jones back to control the paint. They also added Quincy Miller, a tall and athletic forward, who along with returning starter Quincy Acy can control the wing spots. Baylor can only go forward from last season. People won't expect much and Baylor can go under the radar all the way to the Big Dance.
All three Plumlee's re-unite at Duke and highly anticipated recruit Austin Rivers will join them. I don't believe they have enough to beat North Carolina when it matters in the ACC Tournament but they do have talent to shake up the brackets. If the Blue Devils heel quickly from the loss of Nolan Smith then they can go far but if they live in the shadows of Smith and Kyle Singler then it will be an unsuccessful year in coach Krzyzewski's eyes.
Early analysis on the Final FourAlex Oriahki and Andre Drummond will have the blocks controlled keeping many teams shooting up inconsistent jump shots. With UCONN's defense is Jeremy Lamb and Roscoe Smith's offense. The Huskies have the skills to repeat but like Duke they have to get over the loss of their main guy. UCONN will eventually get over a hump they seem to have each year and if they get Kemba Walker out of their mind go on another magical run.

They have a nice starting cast mixed with veteran and young talent. Each player contributes well to the offense and defense. The Orange like last year should get another top three seed in the NCAA Tournament and if they stay healthy get a Final Four bid.

**Author Bio Blurb:
Collin Wilson is our college basketball editor and specialist. You can find all of his work here in Officially Hoops by clicking on his archive link.**

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