Obviously, today's national semifinal games offer little intrigue to WVU fans. Sure, there's the angle that WVU lost to Kentucky in the second round (which, I suppose, takes a little sting out of the loss now that UK is in the Final Four), and the Big East/UConn angle, which could cut both ways depending on how you feel about Jim Calhoun and Kemba Walker. The Butler-VCU matchup should be a dandy, with both teams playing as well as anyone right now. But that doesn't really have anything to do with WVU. It's just good basketball.
Butler enters tonight's 6:09 tip as a 2.5-point favorite over VCU. The big battle in this game is going to be on the glass. If Butler can continue to limit second chances for its opponents and create additional opportunities for itself on the offensive end, it stands a great chance to advance to its second consecutive championship game. VCU hopes to stay hot from behind the arc and make enough shots to nullify any rebounding advantage Butler enjoys.
The Kentucky-UConn nightcap should resemble a heavyweight fight with both teams boasting talent all over the floor. Kemba Walker is the real story here, and John Calipari will probably throw the playbook at him in an attempt to force other players to carry the load. Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier will have to play well for UConn to pull out a win. On the other side, Kentucky boasts plenty of talent of its own, with much of the scoring burden falling to sensational freshman Brandon Knight. Also, look out for Josh Harrellson, who should be able to do some damage in the paint against UConn's big men. UK is favored by 2.5.
We here at The Smoking Musket don't condone trumping up some kind of manufactured WVU lens through which we can watch today's games, but we recognize that many of us are sports fans in general and need little incentive to watch Final Four games. Especially when watching those games can be paired with a grilled sirloin and a cold beer. And even more so when the sirloin and beer can be enjoyed while posting snarky comments about the games. With that, we bring you this Final Four National Semifinal Open Thread. So join us for some beer and snark. But bring your own sirloin.