Fat Guy’s Corner

Improbable stunner


Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

The Michigan Wolverines made plans for a trip to Atlanta, Georgia and the Final Four after two victories over the weekend. The Wolverines’ tournament run looked over on Friday night against Kansas. Michigan was down 10 points with a little over two minutes left in the basketball game, but put on a fierce rally. Trey Burke’s second half was large, as he put behind him an awful first half of basketball. If Michigan wins the national championship, Burke’s long three from 30 feet will become known as the “SHOT!” The 30-footer tied the game and sent the game into overtime where Michigan ended up winning and advancing to Sunday’s next round. It was an unbelievable stunner and as improbable a comeback win that you will ever see.

Florida and its pesky defense stood between Michigan and a Final Four appearance. The Gators were swamped by a Michigan team hitting shots from all over the floor. Big man, Mitch McGary, what a weekend he produced. Nik Stauskas was shooting three balls, as in 6-of-6 from downtown, hitting them like they were layups.

Michigan ends up as the only Big Ten team to reach the Final Four. The other three participants this weekend are Wichita State, Louisville and Syracuse. Let’s get down to some predicting of these two basketball games.

Game number one at 6:09 p.m. in Atlanta will be the Louisville Cardinals and the Wichita State Shockers. Yes, the Shockers, a nine seed, has defied the odds. How about since 1985 the nine seed record in the tourney is only 69-115. The Shockers from the Missouri Valley Conference went to the Elite Eight in 1981 and the Final Four in 1965. The Shockers have three players in Carl Hall, Cleanthony Early and Malcolm Armstead, who could start for any team in the country. The Shockers took out a one seed and two seed to make the Final Four. How, you ask? Tough defense. The Shockers’ “D” held opponents to 21-73 from threeball land. The defense will have to be outstanding to contain this tough Louisville basketball team. Louisville will be playing with heavy hearts after the horrible injury suffered by Kevin Ware. Man, was that an ugly fracture of a leg, or what? Rick Pitino’s basketball team looks real strong right now.

Louisville is strong defensively, just like Wichita. Actually, the Cardinals are stronger defensively. I feel as though Wichita State will have to play a perfect basketball game to win. I don’t see that happening. Prediction:

Cardinal Sea of Red 61 and No Shocker Here 49.

The Syracuse Orange have picked a great time to play great basketball. James Sutherland and Michael Carter- Williams lead the Orange attack. Carter-Williams has elevated his play in this tournament, as has the Syracuse match-up 2-3 zone defense. Opponents have had a tough time deciphering this tough zone defense. The “Cuse” has length and athleticism, which makes it such a tough “D” to score against. All four teams the “Cuse” faced shot below 28 percent from outside the paint. Michigan has been red hot shooting in this tournament so far. That will need to continue if they are to defeat the Syracuse basketball team.

Trey Burke needs to take care of the ball and shoot it well, also. Mitch McGary, who averaged 17.5 points and 11.5 boards over the weekend needs a huge game inside the paint. Nik Stauskas will not go 6-for-6 again from three-ball land, but more than likely he will need to knock a few down from beyond the arc. One Mr. Hardaway needs to step up his offense on Saturday, too! Wolverine fans, you won’t like this prediction, but here it goes. The “Cuse Zone” 60 and Blue Who Tears 56. (Please prove me wrong, Big Blue)

Strawberry sports cakes

The Tigers win their opener, 4-2, in Minnesota and Verlander gets the win. Game-time temperatures put a big chill on the barley pops and dogs. More on the Tigers next week. Don’t forget the home opener is Friday against the New York Yankees. thefatguy@mihomepaper.com


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