Jeremy Growe’s Final Four predictions

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Bill Motchan, Special For The Jewish Light

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game on April 4 pits North Carolina University against our neighbor to the west, Kansas University. Don’t be surprised if you see lots of folks wearing their KU Jayhawks gear Monday.

Which team has the edge? The St. Louis Jewish Light asked an expert on the sport, St. Louis native Jeremy Growe, Associate Head Coach at Furman University. Growe, who is Jewish, graduated from Ladue High School. He previously was director of men’s basketball operations at Xavier University.

Any big surprises from the 2022 NCAA Tournament so far?

I think the biggest surprise was St. Peter’s making it to the Elite 8. I was also shocked to see both Gonzaga and Arizona not make it out of the Sweet 16. I thought both teams had everything you need to win a National Championship, but that is what makes the NCAA Tournament so good.

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What’s your take on the skills of NC’s Caleb Love, another St. Louisan from CBC?

Caleb has had tremendous growth throughout the year. We actually played North Carolina in December and while he wasn’t playing at the level he is playing at now you could tell he was close to breaking out. He is a tough shot maker, fearless and lives in the paint. He has made a HUGE impact on North Carolina’s run especially in big moments.

Who do you favor in the championship game and why?

I think this game can go either way but I do think that North Carolina has played the best overall of anyone in the tournament. Their seed is not indicative of their team. They have been playing great basketball over the past size weeks. I will take North Carolina.

Do you have any traditions for the Final Four?

Every year during the Final Four, the National Association of Basketball Convention takes place simultaneously at the Final Four site. A large majority of college basketball coaches will go down there for clinics, networking opportunities, and socializing with friends within the industry.

When I was younger, I attended every year, but as I have started to have young children I have mostly decided to use that as a weekend to spend time with them. Ironically, I took my whole family to St. Louis this weekend to spend time with my family here instead and was able to watch the games right from my parents’ couch!