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March Madness: A Recap of the The Final Four and Championship Game

March Madness

The Final Four Teams Played Each Other and then Concluded with the Final Game

March Madness is over. Although there were some surprises in the Men’s Basketball Division I Tournament this year, the final results weren’t surprising to many. Duke University and Michigan State squared off at 18:09 while University of Wisconsin took on the University of Kentucky at 20:49 in Indianapolis, Indiana last Saturday. The Final game was at 21:18 on Monday April 7th, online sportsbooks in US report.

The first game had an exciting start and by half time seemed lackluster, while the second game was perhaps one of the finest in the tournament. Many had hoped to see the Wisconsin Badgers and Kentucky Wildcats repeated of last year’s Final Four game. The Badger’s had revenge and faced Duke in the final game. To the satisfaction of many punters, the Duke Blue Devils were able to upset Wisconsin and win the NCAA title.

The Duke University Blue Devils vs. The Michigan State Spartans

Duke University was expected to win this game because not only were the odds in their favor but they were playing the lowest ranked team in the Final Four. As I’ve mentioned during the whole tournament, a bet for Duke was a safe one. Duke certainly proved that, but there may have been some doubt shed on that judging from the first 15 minutes of the game. NBA Hall of famer Magic Johnson looked onward without the spark he once had after he won the NCAA title and went to Los Angeles according to NBA history facts.

The Michigan State Spartans completely broke bad at the tip off with four 3-point shots nailed in 4 minutes. And with a two pointer put Duke in the lowest deficit of the entire tournament. Duke had no choice but to just hold on and play their own game. The slow pace made the Spartan streak subside and soon Duke was able to take advantage of the Spartan weaknesses.

Before long Duke was holding Michigan State to just 3 shots out of 22 attempts as well as executing a 22-6 run that caused a cold streak that would last well into the second half. By the time the Spartans started to show life again they were already down by 13 points with 16 minutes left until the end. Duke kept making big shots and were able to get a 20-point lead. The Spartans kept a bit of dignity and conceded with a 81-61 final score.

The University of Kentucky Wildcats vs. The Wisconsin Badgers

The Kentucky Wildcats had the undefeated record which automatically makes them the favorites. Kentucky Coach John Calipari has led this team to their 15th appearance in March Madness. They hold a perfect record of 34-0 in their division. Their goal to the first team to have a perfect season in the NCAA since Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosier team of 1976 was one many wanted to see. Wisconsin didn’t feel the same way.

The Wisconsin Badgers waited a whole year to reap vengeance for the loss they took from Kentucky last year. They’ve fought tooth and nail to get all the way to that point again. Coach Calipari told his Wildcats team to reflect on themselves the day before the game, while Wisconsin Badgers spent the day watching videos of Kentucky. The Badgers were ready as anyone to take on the Wildcats. I’m sure online sportsbooks considered Wisconsin’s preparation.

Wisconsin’s plan was to keep the Wildcats moving while getting the ball off the dribble. They were able to accomplish this as well as move the ball around more effectively. This game was extremely close and the score was tied over and over again. The Badger’s Sam Dekker was having a big game in his own right. They created so many opportunities that Badgers couldn’t take advantage of them all.

But they were relentless as coach Calipari admitted. “Wisconsin was outstanding. I thought we had ‘em. And they didn’t go away. They played like we played, they just kept coming.” Kentucky fell asleep a bit at the beginning of the half, allowing Wisconsin to get an 8-point lead. After a another series of brutal exchanges, Frank Kaminsky made two free throws to put the Badgers back in the lead by 3 points with 25.4 seconds remaining. The Wildcats ended their perfect season with a 71-64 loss.

Duke University and University of Wisconsin in the Final Conflict

Duke and Wisconsin didn’t start this game slowly. In fact they were so erratic that they both made many failed shot attempts. Both teams were able to make 3-pointers and after the first 5 minutes were almost tied. After they loosened up, the points started coming. Well known in U.S. gambling news, Jalil Okafor, Dukes’s big man and ACC player of the year was able to contribute early as well as Wisconsin’s Kaminsky.

Kaminsky, NCAA national player of the year, had little effect covering Okafor, but was able to put him in foul trouble. Duke’s Winslow proved to also be a factor as he has been throughout the tournament having the highest scoring average of anyone on the Blue Devil team. In the first half, Wisconsin was created 11 second chance attempts and finally decided to take advantage of them which led them to lead 24-23 with 4 minutes left. Duke quickly put themselves back in the lead.

Wisconsin started with fury in the second half getting ahead of Duke by 5 points. Okafor picked up a 3rd foul with 16 minutes left in the game (2 more and he would’ve been out of the game). At 13 minutes left, the Badger had the biggest lead of either team at 7 points. Wisconsin was clearly in control of the game. Once the Badgers widened their lead further, Duke’s Coach Kryzewski called for the time out to slow the momentum. Duke began to turn it up offensively. Within a minute, Duke was within four of the lead.

The lead was thwarted by a Wisconsin 3-pointer, then returned by a Duke 2-pointer as the two teams were exchanging leads several times over. Thirteen lead changes occurred by the end of the first half. Although the game was tied at the half, Duke put themselves in early foul trouble. With 6:41 left in the game, Duke manages to tie the game at 54-54. Then they led for the first time since the first half.

Duke made two to get ahead, Wisconsin missed a jumper and Duke’s Okafor was able to make a two and a foul shot to put his team up by 3 points. Wisconsin stayed relentless and were down by 3 points with 42 seconds left. But to no avail, Duke was able to finish the game with a 68-63 win for their 5th Title. Tyus Jones of Duke University was voted player of the game scoring 19 points, according to mobile betting sites.

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