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Which Final Four Team has Best Chance of Repeating

2015 Final Four Taking Place in Indianapolis

The 2014 NCAA Tournament will come to a close in the next few days, with Florida, Wisconsin, UConn and Kentucky left to compete for the Tournament title. The teams are in varied points in their programs. The Florida Gators have a starting lineup of four seniors, while the Kentucky Wildcats have leaned on a set of six precocious freshmen. While all four teams will experience a good amount of turnover as stars look to capitalize on the notoriety a Tournament run gives, it is worth taking a look at what the 2014 Final Four teams have in store for next season. 

 

The Florida Gators inherently are built to win this year. They have four seniors in their starting lineup, a rare achievement for a big-conference school in the one-and-done era. Those four seniors (Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, Casey Prather and Will Yeguete) were not projected to have big seasons this year, but they have lead the team to the Final Four. Their departure will likely lead to a transitionary 2015, as the team identifies a new set of leaders, potentially current underclassmen like Kasey Hill and Michael Frazier II. However, a recruiting class that includes three four-star recruits (Devin Robinson, Brandone Francis and Chris Chiozza) according to ESPN.com, gives the Gators a chance for a quick rebound.

 

The Wisconsin Badgers are lead by junior forward Frank Kaminsky, who appears to be the tournament’s breakout star. Given his status during the Final Four run, analysts have speculated that Kaminsky will depart for the draft. That would leave the Badgers without their two best players, as starting point guard Ben Brust will be leaving as a senior. If 6’7 sophomore Sam Dekker leaves as expected, that would be a difficult void to fill at the top of the roster. Wisconsin will likely rely heavily on incoming freshman Ethan Happ and whatever holdovers are left from the Final Four team.

 

Kevin Ollie’s UConn team may have been the most surprising team to make this year’s Final Four. Senior Shabazz Napier has been their star during the tournament run, and has certainly improved his draft stock in doing so. However, the Huskies have only two other significant senior contributors in Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander. These Huskies are a fairly young team, and with an ESPN  four-star recruit in Kentan Facey coming in, the Huskies might be well-positioned for a return trip to the Final Four.

 

The youngest team coming into the tournament might also be the team with the most turnover, in John Calipari’s Kentucky team. The highly lauded 2013 recruiting class may have had a disappointing regular season, but they came together in the postseason. Calipari’s teams have been the face of the one-and-done era, and yet whoever stays could serve as a veteran guide for another impressive recruiting class. The four man 2014 class of Trey Lyles, Karl Towns Jr, Devin Booker, and Tyler Ulis is again ranked as one of the best in the country, and likely will give the Kentucky Wildcats the best chance of these four teams to return to the Final Four in 2015.

 

The Final Four weekend is one of the best weekends in American sports. The fans of these teams should thoroughly enjoy these games as their teams have already had great seasons to make it this far. It’s most likely that none of these teams will make the Final Four next season, yet it wouldn’t be surprising to see such big programs making noise again soon.