The National Championship Game on Monday night is set, and it'll be Ohio State, with super freshmen Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., taking on Florida, which puts the same starting five on the floor as they did a year ago when they cut down the nets. Neither of the games tonight got me that excited - the basketball on was good but not great in both.
Ohio State played good defense, but Georgetown played much more tentatively than I would have thought the team that came back against UNC would. Greg Oden missed much of tthe first half with two fouls, and yet OSU had a halftime lead. The tandem of Conley and Oden are NBA ready, and it's astounding to think that last year they played for the same high school. Conley was particularly poised and mature tonight. Georgetown's biggest disappointment has to be the inability to get Big East Player of the Year Jeff Green involved in the offense more.
Florida was as good as they've been this entire tournament, challenging shooters and cutting off drives on defense, and working their offense inside out to get - and hit - open threes. UCLA played ordinary basketball, solid, but just not quite well enough to beat a team like Florida. Corey Brewer is quite the defensive stopper.
So It'll be the Gators vs. the Buckeyes for all the marbles on Monday night. Earlier this year the experienced Gators played the inexperienced Buckeyes and won in a blowout. No, not that one, this one. Who'll win? Your guess is
as good as probably better than mine. The Gators win earlier was by 26, but it was closer than that early on. Here's my prediction: if Oden can stay on the floor for 30 minutes then the Buckeyes will win. If he's on the bench for an entire half and lives in foul trouble the whole game then Florida cuts down the nets. So there you go.