It’s been a great road to the Final Four here in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and although we don’t have 100,000 seats like Jerry Jones’ palace, we do expect great crowds for all of our games. Here’s each team’s keys to winning their games tonight, along with the NCAA Tournament team that they remind us most of.
6:30, Court #2
Division I Semi-Final: #1 NWO Vs. #5 Team Win
NWO Wins If: They can contain Armin Hadziomerovic on the boards and deny Team Win second chance points, as well as using defensive rebounding to start the fast break with Richard Kent.
NCAA Comparison: Florida, The #1 overall seed, is well rounded and has experience
Team Win Wins If: Armin Hadziomerovic continues to rule the boards and gets the ball out to Bobby Scott to start the fast break.
NCAA Comparison: Louisville, the defending champs who return plenty of talent
7:30, Court #2
Division II Semi-Final: #1 Team Jacob Vs. #13 Heisenbergs
Team Jacob Wins If: They continue to play the way they have throughout the tournament. Team Jacob’s closest game this postseason was decided by 14 points. As long as they continue to play their game they should advance to the finals
NCAA Comparison: Wichita State, undefeated regular season, brutal tournament road but tons of talent.
Heisenbergs Win If: Evan Harris is able to penetrate and get to the rim or kick out for three pointers, if he can get inside and the three pointers fall, Heisenbergs have a chance to pull another upset and reach the championship game.
NCAA Comparison: Kentucky, a low seeded team but one that had the players to survive and advance, even against some stiff competition.
7:30, Court #5
Division II Semi-Final: #7 Team Poland Vs. #6 1509ers
Team Poland Wins If: They are able to capitalize on 1509ers lack of size on the inside, and dominate the paint. If their points in the paint are high, Team Poland rolls to the championship game.
NCAA Comparison: Connecticut, besides both being #7 seeds, the strength of Team Poland is their guards, much like Connecticut, but don’t sleep on the inside players either.
1509ers Win If: Their zone defense stays tight and does not allow the ball into the middle, and they are able to find a man and box out. 1509ers should look to slow the game down and be methodical on offense, if they do, it’s on to the championship.
NCAA Comparison: Wisconsin, both teams offensive style is slow and methodical, with a very good zone defense to fall back into.
8:30, Court #2
Fraternity Semi-Final: #1 FIJI Vs. #5 Sigma Nu
FIJI Wins If: They stay on the right side of fast and out of control. A team that loves to press and loves to run in transition, they can get out of control at times. As long as those out of control spurts don’t last too long, FIJI should make the finals.
NCAA Comparison: Arizona, #1 seed who plays pressure defense and has players who can straight up run
Sigma Nu Wins If: They handle FIJI’s pressure and get back to stop transition baskets. Crashing the offensive boards may be tempting, but if you don’t get players back to stop the break, FIJI will burn you.
NCAA Comparison: Harvard, smart basketball players who will have to be calm and make good decisions to pull of the upset over an opponent who has more athleticism
8:30, Court #6
Fraternity Semi-FInal: #7 SAE Gold Vs. #6 KA Gold
SAE Gold Wins If: They can find scoring from somebody other than Chris Brasher. KA should be able to play tough defense on SAE’s top players, but if someone else can shoulder the scoring load, it should be enough to win.
NCAA Comparison: Michigan State, experience, senior leadership and a history in this tournament.
KA Gold Wins If: Defense, defense, defense. We saw KA’s ability to shoot the 3 against FIJI Glass Slipper, and they have the bodies to score inside, but defense wins championships.
NCAA Comparison: Creighton, a team we all know can score, but defense will be what’s needed to elevate them to the next level
9:30, Court 2
Women’s Championship: #1 WKU Soccer Vs. #2 WKU Girls
WKU Soccer Wins If: Chandler Clark and Stephanie Lindsey control the tempo of the game and get to the basket. Despite their athleticism, WKU Soccer feels comfortable playing half court offense and should look to do so again tonight.
NCAA Comparison: UConn Lady Huskies, undefeated and the defending champions, just like the Lady Huskies this is a pretty easy comparison to make
WKU Girls Wins If: Desireah Mills and Daysha Pruitt know when to attack in transition and know when to slow down and run half court offense. Whoever controls the pace of tonight’s game takes home the championship.
NCAA Comparison: Wichita State, their only loss all year came to WKU Soccer, similiar to Wichita State’s only loss coming to a national finalist. A team that surprised some last year was certainly on the radar this season, and has a chance to take home the title
9:30, Court 6
Division I Semi-Final: #2 “Us” against “Them” Vs. #6 Who’s Next
“Us” against “Them” Wins If: Whichever team plays under control and avoids foul trouble will win this game Andre Farrell and Dawan Robinson will need to know when to slow down and when to put their foot on the gas pedal
NCAA Comparison: Michigan, athletic team with a championship pedigree who can shoot the ball from outside.
Who’s Next Wins If: Michael Fluellen, Willie McNeal and DaMarcus Smith crash the boards and make good decisions on their outlet passes to set up the fast break.
NCAA Comparison: Tennessee, big bodies who can play inside, as well as a team that came on late in the season and has beaten tough teams so far this tournament