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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Staff Picks

    Which teams are No. 1 seeds, and which will fail to make the Final Four?


    Roman Veytsman / assistant sports editor

    Duke, UConn, Villanova, Gonzaga: Give the West Coast some love, please. The Zags’ three losses came at Washington, at Memphis, and against UConn on a neutral floor. That’s tougher competition than “”American Idol.”” If Duke’s not a No. 1, Dick Vitale might have a heart attack. UConn reminds me of the 2004 Lakers: A lot of talent, but they think they can turn it on and off any time they please. Villanova has more guards than 50 Cent and they can shoot like him too. JJ Redick is averaging 14.8 points and 38 percent shooting in NCAA tournament games. Not exactly great numbers, and he hasn’t exactly played Player of the Year caliber basketball of late. Duke is out first.


    Michael Schwartz / assistant sports editor

    I’ve got to agree with my boy Joe Lunardi over at Bracketology: Duke, Villanova, UConn and Memphis. Even with the loss to Syracuse (more on that later), UConn along with the Dukies and ‘Nova have been the best three teams all year. It’s a toss-up between the Zags and Memphis, but the Tigers get it based on their win over Gonzaga earlier in the year. The Zags will do better as a No. 2 anyway. Memphis will lose to the Zags in the regional final and ‘Nova will run into a dominating big man in the Sweet Sixteen.


    Adam Gaub / sports editor

    UConn, Villanova and Duke are easy locks. Ohio State gets in to the fourth slot if they win the Big 10 conference tournament. The Zags would be my other pick, except that Memphis shook them up earlier this year. I think Duke and the Buckeyes flame out early in the Sweet Sixteen, still a year away from anything deeper, and JJ Redick’s poetry won’t sweet-talk the Dukies past the team that beats them in the Elite Eight.

    Who is your sleeper team that could make a run?


    Roman Veytsman / assistant sports editor

    West Virginia: You’ve been Pittsnogled. I just wanted to write that, so I picked them. But seriously, this team can get hotter than the girls on “”8th and Ocean”” (I promise I’ve only seen the promos). They play smart, they spread the floor and five of their top six are seniors, which is unheard of in this day and age. They’ll backdoor you to death, and if you sag, they knock down threes. Plus they’ve been tested in the mighty, mighty Big East.


    Michael Schwartz / assistant sports editor

    It’ll be the very same Syracuse Orangemen that used a couple miraculous 3-balls from Gerry McNamara to take down Cincinnati and the No. 1 team in the land. Sound familiar? Last year it was West Virginia that caught fire in the Big East tourney and stunned the conference’s top seed in the second round, propelling them to an Elite Eight run. G-Mac has national championship experience and is playing his best ball of the year. With G-Mac going off, look for the ‘Cuse to fall just short of the Final Four.


    Adam Gaub / sports editor

    Northern Iowa. The Panthers have been hovering just beneath the radar all season long, as the runners-up in the Missouri Valley Conference are primed to get it going. The MVC is loaded with tougher-than-usual teams this season, and that “”other”” school from the state of corn and cows is ready to show the big bad majors just exactly how basketball is played down on the farm. These boys are headed for the Big Sadie Hawkins Dance in their khaki pants, and I fear for the team that has to come a-calling.

    Where does Arizona get seeded, and how far will they go in the Tournament?


    Roman Veytsman / assistant sports editor

    No. 16 and they pull the first-ever No. 1 vs. No. 16 upset. All right, Arizona’s not as bad as Prairie View A&M, but I don’t see the Wildcats getting anything above a No. 10 seed. If this doesn’t remind you of the team of two years ago, you were probably one of those kids sleeping on your tickets in your dorm room while half of the blue section in McKale Center was empty. One and done for Arizona.


    Michael Schwartz / assistant sports editor

    It all depends on what happens this weekend, so I’ll five you the complete breakdown. If the Cats fall today, it’s a No. 8 seed, beat the Bruins and get a No. 7 seed and win the whole championship and Arizona is a No. 6 seed. Arizona will get out of the first round because they are Arizona (except for two years ago, that doesn’t count). I can’t see them getting much farther unless they get a great matchup. But then again, who would have thought they would blow a 15-point lead with four minutes to go?


    Adam Gaub / sports editor

    It’s all about Ivan. With Arizona knocking off Stanford yesterday, the Wildcats locked up at least a spot in the 8-9 game. However, they would be better served getting into a 7-10 game, in either seed, because it would give the Wildcats the best shot to reach the Sweet Sixteen, which is where I like the Cats ending up, unless they have to take on their biggest enemy: holding on to a decent-sized late lead against, well, anybody.

    Who wins it all?


    Roman Veytsman / assistant sports editor

    Maybe I’m not going out on a limb here, but if UConn plays even its “”B”” game, it’s going to win. Forget about the Syracuse game; the Huskies just wanted to give the rest of the nation some confidence. Plus Gerry McNamara, who’s ridiculously overrated, (take that, Jim Boeheim), had the game of his life. Any time you have the best player in the country (Rudy Gay), the best true point guard in the country (Marcus Williams), one of the best true shooters in the country (Rashad Anderson) and big men who average more blocks than Mos Def in “”16 blocks,”” you have a distinct advantage.


    Michael Schwartz / assistant sports editor

    It’s looking like the Zags. I see Adam Morrison having a Carmelo Anthony-esque tourney. Is there anything the guy can’t do offensively? The Zags played a tough nonconference schedule against schools like UConn, Memphis, Washington and Michigan State and have a nice supporting cast in JP Batista and Derek Ravio. We’ve seen how a superstar can own a tournament, so look for the 2006 NCAA tourney to become the Adam Morrison Invitational.


    Adam Gaub / sports editor

    UConn. They are the No. 1 team in the country, heading for a top seed, having played in a tough league, loaded with a lineup of tough guys underneath in Josh Boone and Hilton Armstrong as well as certain point guards who have a tough time understanding the finer points of the law (See Marcus Williams’ theft of some laptops last year). The Huskies have it all, and short of a tough break in the tourney, they’ll be hoisting the National Championship trophy at the RCA Dome in April.

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