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Friday, October 24, 2014

Could We Be Seeing an Ohio St. vs. Florida Rematch?

We are only two wins away from witnessing a rematch of the college football national championship game — only in basketball. Moreover, Florida would be staring at an unprecedented third consecutive national title (in the major sports) straight in the face. Additionally, a national title would also make Florida the first school to win the national championship in both basketball and football in the same school year (they’ve already done it in the same calendar year). So what is the likelihood that we could be seeing a rematch of the BCS Championship game one week from today?

Florida is currently a 3.5 point favorite over UCLA.  The last time the teams met, Florida pimp-slapped UCLA in the championship game, taking no prisoners. Guard Lee Humphrey went 4-8 from 3pt land, Al Horford went 14 and 7, and lets not forget, Joakim Noah scored 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, and the freak also blocked 6 shots. Aside from Humphrey’s shooting spree, the Gators absolutely dominated inside, with Horford and Noah taking advantage of UCLA’s weakness.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, both Horford and Noah elected to return to school, and UCLA hasn’t exactly beefed up in the middle. Sure Mbah a Moute and Aboya are both a year older and wiser, and Mata is arguably tougher inside than Ryan Hollins was, but if Luc Richard and Lorenzo get called for three fouls prior to halftime, you can write off the Bruins and welcome the Gators to the title game once again.

Ohio St. is currently a pick ‘em against Georgetown. The Hoyas have trailed for the most part of their past three games (UNC, Vandy, and BC). It took a blown traveling call against Vandy to send G-Town to the Elite Eight, where one of the most magnificent choke jobs in the history of college basketball (UNC shooting 1 of 23 in a 15 minute span to finish the game) helped send them to the Final Four. Translation, the Hoyas have been in as many tight spots as Ohio St. recently and are lucky to be there.

One of Georgetown’s strength’s has been the play of Roy Hibbert inside. His game will more-than-likely be neutralized by the powerful Greg Oden. The x-factor then becomes the outside shooting of Ron Lewis, Daequan Cook, and Jamar Butler against that of Jonathan Wallace, DaJuan Summers, and Jeff Green. Ron Lewis and Mike Conley Jr. have been absolutely nails in the clutch, draining 3’s and FT’s when it’s mattered the most. They are battle-tested and able to take advantage of an opportunity if you leave one open. The Buckeye’s have overcome two near-death situations already, but they never cashed it in. Given the way they’ve played in the tournament, it just seems like Ohio St. is destined to reach the title game.

Once both teams pull off the with, then we can discuss whether or not Ohio St. will avenge their basketball loss to Florida in December, and their football loss in January. The beautiful thing is we have until Saturday to find out!



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