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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Staff Picks

    How far will Arizona go in the NCAA Tournament?

    I’ve heard the question about which Arizona team will show up more often than Paris Hilton says, “”That’s hot.”” This Jekyll and Hyde group is as unpredictable as ever, and at this point in the season you can’t blame the shooting on the new uniforms. Sure the Wildcats still have the talent, but being asleep at the switch for two years isn’t a good sign. Unless they go back to Philadelphia, don’t be surprised if Arizona is back in Tucson before spring break is over.

    Out in first round

    Roman Veytsman, sports editor

    In getting dominated by Oregon yesterday, the Wildcats really shot themselves in the foot as far as getting out of the first weekend of the tournament. Despite an RPI of 13, Arizona appears to be headed for an 8 or 9 seed, with an outside chance at a 7, so the only way they get out of the first weekend would depend on getting a favorable matchup, like Wisconsin without Brian Butch or Memphis. I say the team from the start of the season and the first half against Stanford re-emerges for the upset.

    Sweet 16

    Michael Schwartz, assistant sports editor

    The ‘Cats aren’t just sleeping this year, they’re in a coma, and they’re not likely to snap out of it in time for the NCAAs. No team as inconsistent as Arizona, which somehow fell in the rankings from No. 7 to no-man’s land over the course of the season and seems to get a kick out of blowing leads in the last couple minutes, is going to get further than a couple of rounds, although I wouldn’t complain if I’m wrong.

    Out in second round

    Nina Conrad, staff writer

    Who’s your sleeper team?

    Granted Butler has been in the top 25 for much of the year, but if you’re telling me you expect the Bulldogs to go past the Sweet 16, you’re probably named George O’Leary. The team that plays in the same building as the Hoosiers will be this year’s Cinderella story with A.J. Graves sporting the slippers.

    Butler to the Final Four

    Roman Veytsman, sports editor

    Although we won’t see another George Mason for at least a decade, Winthrop will keep dancing into the second weekend. The Eagles have played a tough schedule, with competitive losses to Wisconsin, UNC and Maryland, and beat every non-ranked team they played. With seven upperclassmen and close calls the last two years in the tournament, the Eagles are primed to burst through.

    Winthrop to the Elite Eight

    Michael Schwartz, assistant sports editor

    Sure, the Ducks recently had the rare pleasure of losing to the Wildcats. But they also had that incredible, last-second victory Jan. 14 and another pathetically easy 69-50 win yesterday. Consider their recent close wins against guaranteed high seeds like UCLA and Washington State and it’s clear that the Ducks know how to keep their cool in the final minute, which will get them far in the tournament.

    Oregon to the Final Four

    Nina Conrad, staff writer

    Who will win it all?

    Will Kevin Durant be this year’s Carmelo
    Anthony? Will Greg Oden and the Thad Five do what the Fab Five couldn’t? Will UCLA be the first team from the Pac-10 to win the crown since Arizona in ’97? I’ll go with none of the above. In this era of parity, it will be the team who’s hottest going in, and that’s Rock Chalk, Jayhawk. Kansas has won its last eight and 21 of its last 23.

    Kansas

    Roman Veytsman, sports editor

    Not since Duke of 1991-92 have we seen
    repeat champions in college basketball. The Florida Gators are about to change that. Look past that ugly three-losses-in-four-games streak in late February, as last year’s squad lost three in a row late in the year and it didn’t phase them much. With the most talented team in the nation and an experienced starting five all with national championship rings, the NCAA Tournament field is about to become Gator Bait once again.

    Florida

    Michael Schwartz, assistant sports editor

    The Bruins can probably still taste the trophy they got so close to last year, and they’ve been drooling for another taste all season. If anything, their embarrassing 61-51 loss to Washington going into Pac-10 play – not to mention a 76-69 Cal upset yesterday – will give them extra momentum going into the postseason. Add into the mix first-team All-American Arron Afflalo, who has only improved since he led the team to the championship game last season, and you have yourself a champion.

    UCLA

    Nina Conrad, staff writer

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