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Zach Edey vs. D.J. Burns, which player can lead their team to the National Championship? – originally posted on Sportslens.com

After another thrilling weekend of March Madness, the Final Four is set. On one side of the bracket, the #1 seeded UConn Huskies will face the #4 Alabama Crimson Tide. UConn is the heavy favorite in that game and to win it all. The other matchup in the 2024 Final Four is must-watch TV this Saturday. 

There are always improbable runs that happen in the tournament each season. This year’s Cinderella story is the N.C. State Wolfpack and outstanding big man D.J. Burns. One game stands between the Wolfpack and the National Championship. Their most important game of the season is this Saturday when they face Zach Edey and #1-seeded Purdue. Everyone will be watching the battle down low between D.J. Burns and Zach Edey. The game tips off this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. EST.

N.C. State vs. Purdue is going to be a heavyweight matchup between D.J. Burns and Zach Edey


For the Purdue Boilermakers, they were expected to be in this spot. The team lost embarrassingly last season in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Purdue knew they did not reach their potential in 2023. Their most important piece, Zach Edey, returned for the 2024 season and has been the best player in college basketball. At his size, every team runs into the problem of trying to guard the presumed 2024 National Player of the Year.

Edey is averaging (25.0) points, (12.2) rebounds, (2.0) assists, and (2.2) blocks per game this season. That’s elite production that has carried the team to the Final Four. The only person who has a chance to match Edey’s output and give him a tough game defensively is N.C. State’s D.J. Burns. He’s been a fan favorite throughout the tournament and has helped lead the team to their first Final Four since the early 1980s. It’s been a historical run for the Wolfpack who are looking to be the ones who can take down Purdue.


CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein noted that this is a “David against Goliath-type showdown.” Zach Edey stands at seven-foot-four and is nearly impossible to guard. N.C State’s D.J. Burns is six-foot-nine and will do his best to keep Edey from getting to his routine shots. In the Elite 8 vs. Tennesse, Zach Edey scored a career-high 40 points and snagged 16 rebounds. Can D.J. Burns play the best game of his career this Saturday and help his team take down Purdue? Tune in this weekend and watch to see this epic clash in the Final Four.

From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks

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By: Zach Wolpin
Title: Zach Edey vs. D.J. Burns, which player can lead their team to the National Championship?
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/zach-edey-vs-d-j-burns-which-player-can-lead-their-team-to-the-national-championship/
Published Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2024 12:49:50 +0000

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Here Are The Finalists For The 2023-24 NBA Awards

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With the NBA Playoffs underway, we will soon begin learning who has won the various NBA Awards for the 2023-24 season. While some, like Rookie of the Year, feel like a foregone conclusion, there is genuine intrigue for many of the selections on this year’s awards ballot.

There have been ample debates about the MVP, DPOY, and Sixth Man of the Year races this season, and that will only continue once the awards are handed out and voting is made official. This year’s awards voting had the added wrinkle of the NBA’s new games played mandate, which required players to play in 65 games — and to play 20 minutes per game. That eliminated some contenders from the Most Improved race, in particular, and led to some voter frustration.

On Sunday, the three finalists for each of the awards were unveiled, and while there are few surprises among the list of finalists, we now know officially what players remain in the running for the league’s various awards.

Most Valuable Player

Luka Doncic
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Nikola Jokic

Defensive Player of the Year

Bam Adebayo
Rudy Gobert
Victor Wembanyama

Rookie of the Year

Chet Holmgren
Brandon Miller
Victor Wembanyama

Coach of the Year

Mark Daigneault
Chris Finch
Jamahl Mosley

Sixth Man of the Year

Malik Monk
Bobby Portis Jr.
Naz Reid

Most Improved Player

Tyrese Maxey
Alperen Sengun
Coby White

Clutch Player of the Year

Stephen Curry
DeMar DeRozan
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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By: Robby Kalland
Title: Here Are The Finalists For The 2023-24 NBA Awards
Sourced From: uproxx.com/dimemag/nba-awards-2024-finalists-list-mvp-dpoy/
Published Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2024 22:54:50 +0000

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Nikola Jokic Shares His Thoughts On The NBA MVP Conversation

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Nikola Jokic Shares His Thoughts On The NBA MVP Conversation – originally posted on Sportslens.com

The end of the NBA regular season marks the close of the individual award races around the league. Many of the 2023–24 awards have long been locked up, at least based on their betting odds, and there are just one or two that still have to be decided. The odds for MVP are heavily in the favor of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, though the superstar doesn’t seem to buy in to any conversation regarding the honors.

Jokic Comments On The NBA MVP Discussion

It has been Jokic’s award to lose since Joel Embiid went down with an injury in late January. It would be the third time that he has earned the honor of being named the most valuable, as he has averaged a near triple-double yet again this season, and has his team in position for another deep playoff run.

During his post-game press conference following Denver’s big win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jokic was asked about his thoughts on the MVP discussion happening as the season comes to a close:

I think the whole MVP conversation is getting out of control. I think I’m playing good basketball, the team is playing good basketball. If I win it, great. If I don’t win it, congrats to the other guy. I think there’s a lot of players playing really good basketball in the league.

Gilgeous-Alexander & Doncic Have Been The Other Candidates Lately

The other two players that have been garnering the most attention in MVP talks down the stretch have been Luka Dončić and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The latter has been in the conversation for much of the season, as the Thunder guard has led the league in scoring and has had his team at the top of the standings throughout the year.

Doncic has been arguably the best player in the league over the past couple of months. Not only has he been putting up impressive numbers, but his Mavericks have been on fire as of late, having won 16 of 18 to catapult into the top-5 in the West.

Jokic was the winner of the NBA MVP award in both 2021 and 2022, and there were some who believed that he should have taken home the hardware last season as well. Had be topped Embiid in 2023, he would be on the brink of an unprecedented fourth straight MVP win.

From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks

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By: Anthony R. Cardenas
Title: Nikola Jokic Shares His Thoughts On The NBA MVP Conversation
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/nikola-jokic-shares-his-thoughts-on-the-nba-mvp-conversation/
Published Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2024 20:43:13 +0000

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Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Is A Candidate For The Kentucky Head Coaching Job

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Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Is A Candidate For The Kentucky Head Coaching Job – originally posted on Sportslens.com

College basketball is coming off of a weekend in which they owned the sports landscape. The women’s Final Four set viewership records and the men’s side saw UConn pull off back-to-back championships, but some of the biggest news came off of the court, when it was announced that John Calipari would be leaving Kentucky after spending the last 15 years as the head coach. There has already been plenty of speculation about who will take the high profile job, and Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan has been one of the names most often floated.

Is The Bulls Head Coach A Candidate For Kentucky Job?

While he has been in the NBA ranks for the past nine years, most of Donovan’s success as a head coach came during his days at the college level. He is best known for being the head coach at the University of Florida from 1996 until 2015, a span that saw six Elite 8 appearances and back-to-back National Championships in 2006 and 2007.

But his first ever job as a coach of any kind came at Kentucky, where he worked as an assistant under Rick Pitino. So a connection between Donovan and the program exists, which make him one of the assumed leading candidates for the job.

Does Donovan Want To Head Back To The College Ranks?

Would he leave the Bulls and the NBA in order to move back down to the collegiate ranks? His name is brought up nearly every time there is a prestigious NCAA job opening, though this particular program might be more enticing to Donovan than openings in the past. But despite Chicago’s struggles this season, it appears that his job with the Bulls is safe, as he recently signed a multi-year extension with the team.

Kentucky can certainly offer more money, though, and as The Athletic reports, the Bulls likely won’t be interested in getting into a bidding war. They instead could be banking on the fact that coaching the Wildcats brings far more pressure than coaching the Bulls does, which may be a reason for the 58-year-old Billy Donovan to stay put in Chicago.

Other names that have been mentioned as possible Calipari replacements are Baylor head coach Scott Drew and Nate Oats of Alabama.

From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks

———————–

By: Anthony R. Cardenas
Title: Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Is A Candidate For The Kentucky Head Coaching Job
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/bulls-coach-billy-donovan-is-a-candidate-for-the-kentucky-head-coaching-job/
Published Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2024 15:18:30 +0000

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