"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Monday, April 6, 2015

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

Although a Duke - Wisconsin final in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament could be viewed as an upset, it's difficult to characterize it as such when you end up with two number one seeds battling it out for the championship. Duke was impressive in an overwhelming defeat of overachieving Michigan State, while Wisconsin avenged last year's Final Four defeat to Kentucky by finally doing something no one else had done this season: Outplay the previously undefeated Wildcats down the stretch. In what turned out to be every bit as good a game as we expected, the Badgers turned a couple of breaks, including a score on an obvious shot clock violation, into momentum changing baskets and denied Kentucky a shot at history.

Tonight's game has the potential to be another classic. Wisconsin will feature big men Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker against the Blue Devils' Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow. Guard play will be huge, with Duke's freshman Tyus Jones and senior Quinn Cook going against Wisconsin's senior Josh Gasser and sophomore Bronson Koenig. If expereience matters, the edge could go to the Badgers, with Duke starting three freshman. But we're in the thirty-ninth game for Duke, so I don't really consider anyone a freshman at this point, especially considering the level of competition both teams have faced up to this point. Wisconsin has non-conference wins against Georgetown, Oklahoma and Buffalo, not to mention defeats of North Carolina, Arizona and Kentucky in the last three tourney games. Duke owns a head to head win over Wisconsin earlier in the season, and with the exception of a couple of losses to Notre Dame, who presents matchup problems for Duke, they haven't lost to anyone else since the second of their back to back losses on January 13.

This is a virtual tossup for me, with my heart going with the ACC's Duke. However, Wisconsin is also playing at a very high level. I won't be surprised to see either team win, expecting it to come down to a late shot or turnover. Sam Dekker is probably the difference maker for the Badgers and he's the reason I'm giving them an extremely slight edge in a nail biter, perhaps one of the best championship games in history.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords.