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Saturday's Predictions

As the last four teams standing get ready to do battle, what to think? Well, it gets a lot harder now, but let's take a look.

Michigan and Syracuse - there's a classic matchup. Michigan's offense is just brilliant. It works like nothing we've seen in years. It's like the Princeton offense, if you threw that in the Matrix and maybe plugged everyone into Neo's basketball software.

But Syracuse's defense is stunningly effective also. In the post-season, no one has put more than 63 points on Syracuse except for Louisville, which won the Big East title game 78-61.

The key to the zone, though, is getting it set up, and Michigan has been absolutely beautiful to watch because they break so very, very well.

So who has the advantage here? Well, minimally, Michigan: Trey Burke is a brilliant guard and  Syracuse's Brandon Triche talked some smack, saying that "[w]e think we have mismatches at every position," Triche said before the Orange's open practice Friday afternoon. "With James Southerland being the threat he is on the 3-point line, that spreads the floor a lot. C.J. has been doing a good job mid-range and getting to the basket.

"Whether he's the No. 1 player or not, he's probably not the No. 1 defensive player. Mike being six inches taller than him, whether they guard each other or not, it'll be a nice battle. I'm sure he enjoys going up against (Indiana's) Victor Oladipo — he'll be up against one of the best defenders. It'll be a fun battle."

This game will likely come down to pace though and if Michigan can't force Syracuse to play their speed, the Wolverines will have to deal with those mismatches and that zone. Barring a perfect storm for Michigan, conservative play tends to rule the day in the Final Four. So we'll take Syracuse by five. Worth noting: John Boeheim has a 0-9 lifetime record against the 'Cuse.

In the second game, Louisville is obviously missing Kevin Ware, a valuable backup, so they'll have to hope that Wichita State can't break their guys down and run past them. Rick Pitino's teams however, are always well trained and mentally tough, plus their talent is better and it's been together longer. So we'll take Louisville, setting up a Big East rematch in the title game.