Cavs Nation Poll Question
With another wacky and wild NCAA Tournament winding down, the Michigan Wolverines, Syracuse Orangemen, Louisville Cardinals and Wichita State Shockers are the last teams standing for the National Semifinals being played in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Wine and Gold have a few ties to the remaining teams. Most notably, Cavaliers guard, Dion Waiters, starred for the Syracuse Orangemen just one season ago while Cavs legend, Campy Russell, donned the maze and blue for the Michigan Wolverines from 1972-1974.
In his freshman season at Syracuse, Waiters came up big in the second round of NCAA Tournament against conference rival Marquette. Waiters shot 8-for-10 on his way to 18 points, but unfortunately for Waiters and the Orangemen, the effort was not enough to knock off the Golden Eagles.
The following season, Waiters averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game and was named AP Honorable Mention All-American.
Like Waiters, Russell also earned All-American honors, being named a Consensus Second-Team All-American in his final season at Ann Arbor in 1974.
In that same season, Russell (a team captain) was named as the team's MVP and led his Wolverines to a Big Ten Conference Championship by averaging 24 points per conference game.
In the 25-team 1974 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Michigan reached the elite eight in the Mideast region by earning a bye and defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 77–68. Ironically similar to Waiters' freshman season, Russell's team was bounced in the tournament by the Golden Eagles of Marquette.
Three Cavaliers (Wayne Ellington, Tyler Zeller and Mo Speights) were fortunate enough to get through the tournament unscathed on their way to winning the National Championship.
Speights, began his career at Florida in 2006, and averaged nearly four points and two rebounds in six minutes per game as a freshman for the National Champion Gators. As cavs.com beat writer JOE GABRIELE EXPLAINS, Speights was part of a stellar big man group which included Al Horford, Joakim Noah, and Chris Richard.
As a junior in 2009, Ellington helped lead the North Carolina Tar Heels to the National Championship, where they defeated the Michigan State Spartans 89-72. He shot 7-for-10 from beyond-the-arc during the Final Four and was named to the All-Tournament Team as well as the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. CLICK HERE to read as Ellington relives his tournament experience.
Zeller, a freshman on that team, enjoyed his own success later on in his collegiate career averaging 16.5 points per game on 55.3% shooting during his senior season. Those numbers helped Zeller earn All-ACC First Team and ACC Player of the Year honors. Zeller would have HIS JERSEY HONORED in the rafters of the Smith Center this past month.
With this season's Final Four all set, we ask YOU the fans...
Which team will win the National Championship?