Wednesday, March 19, 2008
These picks are for entertainment purposes only, so don't come crying on our sweater if you listened to us and didn't win the office pool. We will offer a brief capsule of our rationale after each squad. Remember, it is the people who pick the horses by name who win money at the track.
In the East the Clarion has...
North Carolina -- led by the national player of the year, Tyler Hansbrough, they are the favorites to win the whole kit and caboodle.
George Mason -- this pick is one part nostalgia, and two parts returning senior leading scorers from a club that slayed UNC and UConn on its way to the Final Four.
Lousiville -- Rick Pitino's teams play defense and win. We may not like the guy, but at the college level he wins.
Butler -- The Clarion's first dragon slayer, says here their fundamentally sound, don't turn it over, guard-oriented style gives Tennessee fits.
In the Midwest bracket we like...
UNLV -- Yes, UNLV. We road that horse last year, when we predicted the Rebs run to the Sweet Sixteen, and this year we are back on it. UNLV plays good defense.
Clemson -- Okay, we know they can't shoot free throws, and that might come back to bite them on the ass, but we can't help but be impressed with their recent gutty play.
USC -- They are more than freshmen sensation O.J. Mayo, note our anti-Michael Beasley sentiment might be coloring our opinion here.
Georgetown -- They were our early national champion pick. We are sticking with them.
Our bracket in the South looks like this...
Memphis -- By default, we aren't enamoured with anyone in their sub-regional.
Pitt -- Winners of the Big East tournament, the Panthers have looked great every time the Clarion has seen them, including a big early season comeback against Duke in the Garden.
Stanford -- a team of tall trees, whose mascot is a tree?? Right up our alley, Palo Alto.
Texas -- How can they be this good with Rick Barnes, but without Durant? Guard D.J. Augustin must be sick nasty.
Finally out West our Sweet Sixteen teams are...
UCLA -- We have been behind the Bruins and this year's best NBA prospect, Kevin Love, all year.
Drake -- We have always liked their cakes.
Purdue -- Gritty Matt Painter's kids don't look like much on paper. Scott Drew's Baylor bunch could be a tough first round draw, but Purdue is battle tested.
Duke -- Coach K. fall before the Sweet Sixteen two years in a row? The Clarion thinks it is pretty unlikely, despite how poorly Duke has played down the stretch.
Our Final Four, with the brackets set, now looks like...
Our final game is Georgetown-UCLA. It is a coin flip, good coaches, good big men, good defense, good systems, lots of experience for both squads. Earlier this year we picked Georgetown, let's stick with that today.