Why Pittsburgh over Kentucky? The Panthers match up very well with UK; both
teams defend like maniacs and use smart passing to get the best shots available.
In the West, I like Wisconsin-Milwaukee (over Illinois) and Creighton (over
Duke) to reach the Sweet 16, proving the value of surviving the underrated
Horizon and Missouri Valley conferences.
The South will be wide open after Texas (by LSU) and Xavier (by Maryland) get
bounced in Round 2. LSU has the experience and the cojones (ask Arizona and
Florida) to reach the Elite Eight, where Maryland wins a close one. In the East,
Oklahoma's toughest test will come in the regional semis against Mississippi
State. I like Saint Joseph's to upset Wake Forest and Syracuse (the Orange are
just too young).
My Final Four is comprised of the only teams in the tournament that have 1)
at least three senior starters, 2) a senior point guard and 3) a senior finalist
for the Wooden or Naismith awards. Look for Pittsburgh's poor free-throw
shooting to finally come to roost against Arizona, while Oklahoma's superior
toughness breaks down Maryland. Then watch as Arizona avenges last year's
tourney loss to Oklahoma in a hard-fought battle of athleticism versus