Saturday, April 2, 2011, 11:54 a.m.CSNwashington.com
Like just about every other person who made NCAA tournament predictions three weeks ago, Donovan McNabbs bracket has been blown to smithereens.
Everything is shot, he said this morning in a phone interview.
McNabb picked North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Kansas and Ohio State to reach this weekends Final Four in Houston. The survivors are VCU, Butler, Kentucky and Connecticut.
To recap todays semifinal games and preview Mondays championship game, McNabb will appear as a guest analyst Sunday at 10 p.m. on SportsNet Central on Comcast SportsNet.
McNabb has picked VCU and Connecticut to advance to Mondays final. His thoughts on the tournament:
On VCUs run: You always think about who is going to be the Cinderella and the team that shocks you but you never think a mid-major team would make the Final Four. VCU has been outstanding. You talk about a team that started out and had to play an extra game and nobody really picked them to beat USC and then they go and beat teams from just about every big conference.
On Butler: Butler is a solid team, one of those teams that you didnt like to play because theyre fundamentally sound. Shelvin Mack is just solid, Matt Howard you have to keep an eye on and then Andrew Smith down low can rebound and is a solid presence. And they hustle. Theyre guys that just dont give up. Theyve been down in games and you feel they will find a way to come back. From this year to last year, theyre quite similar, they just dont have Gordon Heyward.
On the Butler-VCU game: The key matchup is going to start down low. VCU does a great job with their big guys shooting outside and rebounding well inside. And its going to be a great battle between Ronald Norad and Joey Rodriguez, two short guys who are very quick. Its going to be an up and down game. Both teams might get to 80 points. Im going to go on a limb and say that VCU wins. This is kind of like destiny.
On Connecticut: Kemba Walker has always found a way to aid his team to possibly winning and hes willed his team into this position. Hes electrifying. When they played Kentucky in the Maui tournament, they were unstoppable but this game is a little different because those Kentucky freshmen have matured.
On Kentucky containing Walker: Theyre going to have to play Doron Lamb on Kemba. You really cant put their point guard Brandon Knight on him because Kemba is too fast for him. They need to get physical with him and bang him around to try and throw his game off. This will be a challenge for Connecticut but I definitely think Connecticut will come out on top.
On experiencing the Final Four as a player with Syracuse: The whole process waiting for game is unbearable. It seems like you wait around for a year or two and its really just a few hours. Theyre probably sitting around the hotel trying to figure out what they can do to buy time so they can get their mind off it and not ponder on how long it will be because then you get nervous.