We always want Duke in the last game but it’s rare for anyone to do it, so in those years when Duke doesn’t make it - which like everyone is most years - we still look forward to seeing what transpires.
So on with prognostication!
A couple of key things for Virginia-Auburn. First, the Tigers lost Chuma Okeke in the UNC game. They were playing so well that it didn't matter but Kentucky was close and Virginia is impossible to understand until you actually take them on. We’ll never forget the Harvard kid who was nearly reduced to tears of frustration.
It’s like wrestling a great bag of goo. You just can’t get a grip on it and it’s very hard to hurry them up. They play at their own pace. Can Auburn gear down? We’re skeptical.
We fully expected Virginia to win this game and were going with them but when we heard that Auburn has some illness on the team, well, forget it. And even if Auburn does manage to win, attrition is taking a toll. What people don't realize is that it’s not just the games. It’s non-stop cameras and talking all weekend. It wears you out - and then there’s Virginia’s defense to deal with.
Given the circumstances, we don't see any way Auburn pulls this off.
The second game is much more interesting. We were skeptical about Cassius Winston before Duke played Michigan State. Well no more.
That guy is tremendous.
This is going to be a high level defensive game and one between two teams with huge hearts. We’ll go with Winston here as the wild card. He’s something else again.
We’re pretty confident about Virginia. We’re not nearly as confident about this one.
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