As crazy as it sounds, college basketball is down to the last game of the season, and with it, it’s time to make your Final Four Picks!
But before you do, get to know these players who could influence your bets:
Shelvin Mack, Butler: While Kemba Walker is the name most college basketball fans know well, it is actually Mack who could most influence your Final Four Picks. Understand that of every player left in this tournament, (including Walker) none has had a greater impact this March.
And that impact has carried all the way to Houston, where he was the Bulldogs star against VCU Saturday night. Mack scored a team-high 24 points, including hitting a ridiculous five of six three-point attempts. Then again, that’s just what he’s been doing all March long, as Mack has averaged 21.8 points, and hit 30 in the win against Pittsburgh.
Kemba Walker, UConn: Ok, you didn’t really think we could any longer with our Final Four Picks preview without mentioning Walker, did you? The UConn junior guard is rewriting the Huskies record books as we know them, and has the school on the brink of their third National Title.
And while Walker struggled a bit against Kentucky Saturday night, that was the exception to the rule this March. Walker still finished with 18 points, but did it on just 6 of 15 shooting, his worst shooting output of the NCAA’s. Then again, how bad could he be, considering that Walker is averaging an impressive 26.8 points and 68 assists per game this March. Wow!
While Butler relies on Mack and a host of others, Walker could singlehandedly carry the Huskies to a Final Four Picks win on Monday night.
Matt Howard, Butler: Finally, you didn’t think we could any longer without mentioning Butler’s big guy in the middle Howard, did you? The 6’8 forward from small-town Indiana continues to defy logic, and lead the Bulldogs to wins.
Saturday’s victory over VCU was no exception. With the Rams sporting the quicker, more athletic frontline, Howard still went for 17 points and eight rebounds, despite being limited to 31 minutes because of foul trouble. And while most big guys struggle at the foul line, Howard was Butler’s most clutch performance, going 11-12 from the charity stripe.
Then again, like everyone else on this list, it’s what Howard has been doing all tournament long. He’s been the model of consistency, averaging 16 points per game this March, never scoring less than 14 points, and never more than 20. He’s also averaged over seven boards a game.
Could Howard become the most unlikely of tournament hero’s, and lead Butler one game further than they got last year? Your Final Four Picks might depend on it.