2008's Final Four
Memphis: Add Chicago high school star Derrick Rose, who is Rivals.com's No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2007, and 6-foot-6 swing man Jeff Robinson to a lineup featuring Chris Douglas-Roberts that reached the Elite Eight, and John Calipari's crew may transition from their Paper Tigers' status to a formidable Final Four contender.
Louisville: Two Edgar Sosa free-throw misses away from upsetting Texas A&M in this year's second round will make the freshman and his young team hungry. Rick Pitino will feed off the bitter taste deep into March and early April next year.
UCLA: Enter Naismith award-winning recruit Kevin Love into the back-to-back Final Four Bruins' lineup and Ben Howland may finally have an offensive player that can complement the tough defense.
USC: The Trojans made an unexpected run into March this year, but top-ranked recruit O.J. Mayo's circus act will bring attention aplenty to the fact that USC is growing into a powerful basketball program.
Which schools do you think will be in the 2008 Final Four? Let's hear from you.
OJ Mayo is a one-man-show. IF he stays out of trouble, he will give some good highlights. But don't expect him to play well with others or listen to coaching advice. And a one-man team will not go very far. (See Texas 2007.)
Trojans baby. provided Gabe doesn't leave and Mayo is as good as advertised we will have one of the best back courts in the nation. And Taj Gibson is a beast, no one really noticed him early except us, but he is a man. And Rousean Cromwell is incredibly talented if he gets to see the floor. But one key is, no Keith Wilkinson.
I love the Memphis pick. Coach Calipari did a great thing by sticking around.
USC is overrated. UCLA is on the slide.
I think Duke has a great shot as well. Three top freshman and the best coach in the land.
UCLA, which made it to the Final 4
last year without a dominate post player inside, with the addition of Kevin Love they will be a force to be reckon'd with
How can you not have KU in your final four predictions for 2008? They made it to the elite eight this year and, barring a foolish and unlikely decision to leave early by Rush, they lose NO ONE. Also they have another solid big man, Cole Aldrich, coming in next year to compliment the fantastic guard play they already have. Honestly, there is no good reason they should not make it and that a team like Louisville should.
The IU Hoosiers will have the potential of being Final Four material as long as DJ White comes back and Eric Gordon plays up to his billing.
Kansas State: Senior Leadership with David Hoskins and Clent Stewart along with young guns Bill Walker, Michael Beasley and Jacob Pullen. It is a LOCK!!
My Final Four for 2008 is:
With Tyler Hansbourgh coming back and its backcourt returning UNC will be a force.
Memphis add on Rose who will be an insant star to a elite 8 team
Kansas which will probably lose Julian Wright can still be a great team with Rush and all the other stars it is finally there time.
Providence with everyone returning exepct center herbert hill in a year where the big east will down it can be there year
Louisville should be very talented next season. Add a very good George Goode to a class of freshmen that will improved by leaps and bounds under Pitino this summer, and T-Will, Louisville is primed to make another Final Four run next March! Here comes the Ville Baby!
I would have to say the Kansas Jayhawks have a legitimate shot at making the final four (barring any deptartures to the NBA). They will be a year older, and they will have shaken off the stigma of losing in the first round. The way they beat themselves in this years tourney will only make them hungrier. Also, they are one of the deepest teams in the NCAA and with the addition of Cole Aldrich they now have a major upgrade over Sasha Kaun, who has the post moves of a 6 year old girl. If you look at their lineup, they could actually start 5 Mcdonald's All-America's...thats pretty sick. Finally, Bill Self better produce something more than an elite 8 appearance in the next couple of seasons or Lawrence will be calling for his head.
What about the Hoosiers? This team pushed Wisconsin and Ohio State in the Big Ten in Kelvin Sampson's first year. They only have 1 key senior leaving (Roderick Wilmont). Now that Sampson has changed the identity of the team to play D, hustle, and rebound they should improve with all but one of their core players returning. DJ White will be back and better than ever with a full summer to work out and hone his skills, and add super-recruit Eric Gordon to the mix and Indiana should push for a second Final Four birth in the last 6 years and bring the program back to prominence. Just imagine if Kelvin got there 2 years earlier and Indiana had Oden and Conley to go with DJ and Wilmont, that team would have destroyed Florida this year.
BigXII steps out next year with three teams in the final four.
UNC, Louisville, Kansas, and Arizona. UNC wins it all.
Are you guys drunk or something? How can you not have UNC in there? OJ Mayo won't do USC any good when he gets suspended every other game for showboating or off-court misconduct. Meanwhile UNC will probably return everyone except Brandan Wright, Reyshawn Terry and Wes Miller. UNC has to go in over USC.
How about the wildcats being coached by BD its a sure thing
depending if kevin durant stays and if he does texas will be in the final four
oj mayo isnt a kevin durant or a greg oden. usc wont get past the sweet 16
kansas should be bitter about their elite round loss to ucla so brandon rush an company should be back to take the whole thing.
duke should return to greatness next season after this embarrasing season with the recruites they have coming in they should be in the finals.
louisville also should be in the final four
I believe that the 2008 Final Four will be: Louisville, Indiana, USC, Memphis.
I can already see where this will be going: USC!?!? What!? They Suck! One hit wonder! OJ this, OJ that...he's this and that. Seriously, OJ's a pretty good player and is adding to a nice core of guys who gel. Chemistry will be the only thing that will stop USC from making a good run (Elite 8 is my prediction), especially if Nick Young returns, I could see some conflict between these two guys who'll want to take big shots. Tim Floyd can coach he had UNC on the ropes but got outbenched by a talented and crazy deep UNC team, yet everyone points to his NBA experience and his charged emotions; he took ISU to the tourney,ISU, come on! Finally, back to OJ for the closing remarks, he's been in the news recently but gets criticized heavily. That ref flopped, that weed wasn't his, he shouldn't have been in the game to drop that crazy dunk in the final minute, and he got too trigger-happy in trying to lead the EAST over the superior WEST. Give this kid a break, he didn't create this hype the media did.
If, and it is a big one, Durant comes back you can pencil Texas in the Final Four.
Could not agree more on UCLA and Louisville. Memphis most likley.
Not ready to advise on the 4th team but N Carolina would seem to be a strong candidate along with Duke.
Wisconsin has to be included. Sure, Alando and Kammron are gone, but with Butch going into his senior year, Michael "The Phenom" Flowers at the point, and juniors Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft in the starting lineup, who can deny the Badgers!
UCLA- old team + Kevin Love = Final 4
North Carolina- even if 1 or 2 of the freshmen/hansbrough go pro, they have enough depth to make a good run
Kansas- loaded with talent
Connecticut- very young team that went 17-14 last year. Poised for breakout year. All freshmen and sophomores except for 1 walk-on upper classmen. A.J. Price, Jeff Adrien, Jerome Dyson, Curtis Kelly, and Hasheem Thabeet are all underrated, and any Calhoun-led team can take the Huskies very far.
Agree on the Trojans. They'll be awesome.
North Carolina, Memphis, UCLA, and Kansas
my sleeper pick: Georgia Tech
People will laugh...but I expect big things from Maryland. This years exit in the tournament was premature, however I feel that every year that Grievis Vasquez and Eric Hayes are together, they will get better. This year they were a top 20 team, and each year after they will progress up the hill. The scary thing is that they team with James Gist, and his athleticism. Incoming recruit, Braxton Dupree, will start in Gary Williams offense as a low post man. His hands are second to none. This next years group has the makings which remind me almost flawlessly of the national championship winning team of Steve Blake (Eric Hayes - he even looks like him), Juan Dixon (Grievis Vasquez), and Lonny Baxter (Braxton Dupree). Next years Maryland might not have a genuine scorer like Juan, but an assist (which Grievis is incredible at) is worth twice as much as a bucket in the flow of the game. I won't say national championship, i'm not dumb enough, but they're game could very well resemble teams of that caliber in the near future.
Good call with Louisville making their 9th Final Four in 2008. They only lose 7 points per game off this year's team. Everyone will know the name Derrick Caracter next year. I don't see two teams from LA in the FF, but who knows....I can see Memphis there; good picks.
Only a frustrated Carolina hater would be ignorant enough to not put the Tar Heels in the Final Four next year!! They will be the unanimous preseason #1!! If not for the greatest fluke breakdown in UNC history,the Heels would have been playing Florida for the title Mon. night!! Quit trying to be cute with your opinions! It just shows how biased you are!!!!
Memphis still can't shoot. OJ is overrated. I see Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and UCLA.
North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas, Memphis. UNC should start next season #1 (but not if Hansbrough and Wright leave), but will get a good chase by those 3 teams. Some other potentials are the ones this article mentioned (USC, Louisville), while not forgetting Ohio St again. Sleeper team could be Duke - odd to hear them as a sleeper, but with Singler and Smith as more scoring, and King a spot-up shooter, and the strong rumor that Patterson is gonna be a Dukie, they shouldn't miss McRoberts.
usc? pleeease....oj mayo is just gonna bring more trouble to that athletic program in south central la
TEXAS- with highly tauted recruits Augustin and James returnig, along with AJ Abrams, the 'horns should have a very atletic offensive attack. Augustin, who was greatly overshadowed by Durant this year, will be a top three guard while the high flying James will benifit from more touches. They also have a MONSTER coming in at center.
I agree with Memphis, Lousville, and UCLA, but I think that O.J. Mayo will distract the Trojans too much, so UNC will be in instead.
How about Tennessee, they went 2 and 1 in the last two years against Florida and were 3 combined points from beating OSU twice this year. Dane Bradshaw is the only player leaving and he hardly contributed on offense. They'll have 9-10 players getting significant playing time and of course they'll have one of the favorites for Player-of-the-Year in Chris Lofton.
Georgetown would be a NO BRAINER!! also UCLA, North Carolina,Louisville.
It is clear that someone does not have a HIGH b'ball IQ
It's not decided that all the UF players are going to leave, and while I think Brewer will definitely leave after he maximized his stock in the tournament, Noah might stay around for his senior year given the fact that he doesn't need the money. Horford will most likely go as well because of his great play this year, but you never know. If those guys come back, Donovan stays, Green improves, and Calathes (incoming freshman) takes the place of Lee Humphrey (he's actually supposed to be the next Brett Nelson, who had a little bit better all-around game), then you certainly can't rule out a third final four in a row for the Gators. Maybe I'm dreaming. But it's worth a say!
I think the Gator Nation will surprise everyone, once again. Look for a strong recruiting class plus a junior from this years team to stay another year.
How about Georgetown. Though Green is leaving, they will have a lineup of Wallace, Sapp, Summers, Macklin (McDonalds AA) and Hibbert, to go with Pat Ewing Jr. and star recruits Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. The Hoyas will be loaded next year.
I also think that Louisville, Kansas, and Memphis will make it. They are all deep, athletic, well-coached, and ready to make a deep run.
Who can deny the Badgers? Let's start with Texas A&M Corpus-Christi and then move to UNLV, for starters.
Given that everyone returns for UNC, they are as close to a lock as they come. This freshman class will no longer lack the experience that doomed them this year. The question is, who leaves.....
4 teams that won't make the final 4 next year: louisville, maryland, usc, wisconsin (are you f'ing kidding me? the badgers were a joke this year with tucker and chris rock). oh yeah, kentucky won't be a contender next year even if they pulled the miracle and landed billy d. worst talent i have seen on a ky team in years.
I think that there will some surprise teams, but it all depends on whether who leaves for the NBA and who stays. If the players that are ready to go the NBA actually go (Oden, Durant, both Wrights, etc.) I say that UNC, Tennessee, Kansas, UCLA. If Oden stays, then I place Ohio State in place of UCLA.
HOW BOUT THE ORANGE??? Syracuse definitly should've made the tourney this year and if they were playing their best basketball they could've upset a few teams. They are also adding two Mcdonalds All AMericans including Donte Green. They will also still have Eric Devendorf, Andy Rautins, and Paul Harris. You should be ready to be surprised in the tournament next year because here comes the orange.
Ohio State will rise again! It is not given that Greg Oden is leaving, he actually enjoys college life and loves playing with Mike Conley Jr. Add in 6-10 transfer Kyle Madssen, 7-1 recruit Kosta Koufous, 6-7 swing man and scoring machine John Diebler (42 ppg, 14 rpg, 7 apg, 4 steals/game, and 4 blocks per game) with what OSU has coming back and the making are there for another long tourney run. Remember Ohio State won without Oden and with Oden. But if he comes back (50/50 chance)then watch out!
I HAVE NO IDEA!!! But if I had to guess, it would be UNC, UCLA, Texas A&M and a wild guess on Michigan State, but likely Louisville. And watch out for the Washington schools.
I agree with Dave! The Vols are loaded with Lofton and Co. They have to be the favorites in the SEC and a real threat to make it to the final 4.
I agree about Tennessee. Chris Lofton is All-American, plus 4 freshman contributed heavily to a sweet 16 team this year. Also, Unc, Louisville, and Texas.
UCLA, Ohio State, Kansas, and USC. UCLA because if Aron Afflalo stays (which he should) ad they bring in Kevin Love, they'll be unstoppable. No graduating seniors, and even without Afflalo, they also are getting SF Chace Stanback (Fairfax High) in.
Even without Oden, they'll have an even better Mike Conley who can already tear it up. Also, they brought in another 7 footer.
Kansas was great this, will have Brandon Rush back and a freshman center, which is what they lacked this year. They'll be back.
USC had a great team this year and will only lose Nick Young but gain OJ Mayo and another top 50 high school gaurd.
I would pick UCLA to win it all in the end.
Funny to already see the OJ Mayo haters but USC is not in my final four either. Louisville is my sleeper.
Barring anybody leaving early, UNC has the best shot of anyone to make the Final Four.
Last time I checked Oden hadnt declared yet. Even if he goes Conley will leas the way as the best pg in the land.
Washington Sate will win it all next year. They have everybody coming back and they are a very expirenced team.... Watch out for the Cougs
I still see Ohio State as a Final Four contender in 2008 with or without Greg Oden. The thing that gets overlooked is when Oden was on the bench in big games this year with foul trouble, we did just fine without him. Ohio State has a great recuiting class coming in next year,including the 7 footer Kosta Koufos. If Oden stays, there is no way Ohio State will not make the Final Four
I think the Pac-10 will rule next year, UCLA will make the finals only to lose to USC. Don't forget the Trojans lead the Bruins for 72 of the 80 minutes they played last yeasr. They add more and lose less than the Bruins, Memphis will be there also.
You all are kidding! Green is not leaving Gtown. Insider info stated he and his mother wants a degree more than anything, besides his money will be there after next year. He'll be selected #1 without a doubt! Top Five:
2- North Carolina
WISCONSIN?!?! Are you kidding me!!! They were one of the worst #2 seeds I have seen in years. Let's try to get past loyalty and make some reasonable predictions. UNC, Memphis, UCLA and Kansas.
The thing is USC won't be a one man team they have other players that can deliver. They won't be Texas'07 because if you recall from the Texas game that Taj Gibson 6'9" F and Daniel Hackett 6'5"G contributed big (17 and 20 pts, respectively) in addition to Nick Young 6'6"F (22 pts) who might be the only early departure. Not to mention that Gabe Pruitt will most likely run the offense. So, NO, USC will not be a one man show and as I mentioned earlier chemistry and working Mayo and Davon Jefferson into the offense will be key and should make a deep run though Final Four might be a stretch they will be an Elite Eight team barring any early round upsets in the tournament.
More than Mayo, USC brings in two bigger bodies with talent who can help spell Gibson. USC was beating UNC up until Gibson's fourth foul put him on the bench. If players had 6 fouls, SC would have been into the Elite 8. With these big men, SC now has more than one body capable of being under the basket. That was the critical lack of depth that hurt them this year. And the bonus is Mayo.
Whether Green comes back or not, Georgetown has to get some love. With one of the best big men in the country and the up and coming stars in Summers and Macklin, JT III has this team set up to compete for years. The dynasty is back.
If Kevin Durant stays with the lineup being Augustin, Abrams, Mason, Durant, and James.... TEXAS IS GOIN' all the way BAAAAAAAAAABY!
If no underclassmen leave : Florida, Unc, Ucla, Ohio St. If the players that I think will leave do leave : Unc, Ucla, Louisville, and Memphis.
Wisconsin will not make it to the Final Four next year... no chance... but this year they could have made it if they would not have lost Butch. Losing your 3rd leading scorer, leading rebounder, and vital cog in the offensive scheme really was underrated. Hard to adjust to that when it happens right before the NCAA tourney. Any team would have problems with that... not just the Badgers.
People will look at their exit in the round of 32 and say they were bad/overrated/etc.... but that is only the uneducated basketball fans who only saw them play in the tourney after Butch went down. They were ranked #1 for a reason this year, and it's not because the Big Ten was bad (5 teams in the round of 32... not bad! Just as good as the beloved ACC who only got one past the round of 32 also).
Call me crazy but I think Kansas State has a good chance at making the final four next year depending on how Bill Walker recovers from his injury. If he comes back at 100%, I don't see how any team can stop both Bill Walker and, Mcdonald's All-American MVP, Michael Beasly.
4. Kansas State (what team is going to stop a healthy Bill Walker and Michael Beasly)
Hansbrough is one of the most overrated players in College BB. He is only as good as the cast around him and UNC is deep in talent. But they will not make the final 4. SC worked them in their game but simply ran out of gas half way through the 2nd half.
UCLA ought to be a favorite, especially with Kevin Love coming in. North Carolina should be hungry for redemption. As much as I can't stand them (UAB fan), Memphis is going to be wildly talented. Derrick Rose can do it all, and will be able to get the offense gunning even quicker. Kansas, despite the egg versus UCLA, is probably the most talented team in the nation. If Brandon Rush becomes more assertive(He seems a perimiter Jeff Green), they become a virtual lock.
Freshmen will also make USC, KSU, Syracuse, and Georgetown big competitors(Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert could leave.)
Georgetown, Texas A&M, Kansas, UNC
How bout Tennessee? The Vols hammered the Gators in Knoxville and lost to the Buckeyes twice by 1 point. They are national contenders, and will be your 2008 national champs.
Gotta think about teams that aren't likely to lose players to the NBA.
Georgia Tech - Shouldnt lose Young or Crittenton, get back Clinch, add Gani Lawal
Tennessee - No losses
UNC - Should lose Wright, but still loaded
Kansas - If they lose Wright or Rush they are still the most talented
My sleeper pick is Florida since Noah, Horford, Brewer and Green might just come back again. It's just as ridiculous a thought as last year.
I agree with Washington State where did they come from? They looked good in the tourney and I think they will go really far
The Tenn Vols have a shot. Bring back everyone but Dane Bradshaw, and add 6'7 inch wing J.P Prince, a transfer from Arizona
i think alot pple forgot someone...Ohio State but thats only if oden comes back. i jus wanted to put them in cuz its unfair to completely rule them out unless oden is gone.
North Carolina, Kansas, SIU and you have to pick KState with the class they having coming in plus the ones that are coming back, 7'1" Bennet will get his chance.
washington state is to basketball what oregon state is to baseball - a good program with a great shot.
that being said, they've got elite eight talent next year, not final four material. they still need some fluency under the boards (and some big guys).
four programs with size and ability?
Kansas is a close fifth, but those should be the top four, without a doubt. There is always a Washington State lurking somewhere, and a Tennessee that has excellent shooting. What makes the difference is talent and chemistry. UNC and Memphis have it the most. UNC has it a little more. Tar Heels in '08? Safe bet.
Everybody expects memphis, ucla, and unc to be good, but everyone is overlooking NCSU they have the most underrated freshmen of 2007 in brandon Costner, a passing big man in Ben McCauley, and a great recruiting class including McDonald's All American J.J. Hickson. I don't know why we are being overlooked again
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