Tuesday Question - The Tourney Picks
Connecticut's Haseem Thabeet
Connecticut's Haseem Thabeet
Posted Mar 17, 2009

Tuesday Question ... Who will get to the Final Four and who'll win the national title?

Past TQs
- Bowden's Samford wins & the record book
- The BCS Champ Will Be ...
- If Missouri beats OU, who should play for the national title?
- Your Heisman Top 3
Favorite college football rivalry
- One change to the BCS
- What one-loss team should play for NC?
- The No. 2 team is ...
- The BCS sleeper is ...
- Midseason Stuff
- OU - Texas, LSU - Fl, PSU - Wisc.

- Where should BYU, Bama, USC & Penn State be ranked?
- Is the MWest better than the Pac 10?
- If USC is No. 1, who's No. 2?
- The best unknown storyline
- Will the week 1 duds rebound?
- Top Week 1 Games
- Predict the 2008 Season
- Does Sean Lee's injury change your view of spring ball?
- Is a CF Final 4 a good idea?
- How good will Terrelle Pryor be?
- 2008 March Madness Picks

- What can college football learn from March Madness?
- Three Big Spring Storylines
- The Combines are missing ...
- Best & Curious Coaching Hires

- 2008 Wish List
- The 3 Big Bowl Questions

- What are you most looking forward to from the bowls?
- Did the BCS get it right?
- Who deserves a spot more, OSU or WVU?

- What BCS matchups do you want?
- 10 Greatest Quarterbacks of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Defensive Players of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Regular Season Games of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Playmakers of All-Time
- 10 Worst Heisman Winners
- 10 Greatest Bowl Games
- All-Time Offensive Team
- All-Time Defensive Team

Pete Fiutak     

Q: The Final Four and national champion will be…

A: East: Pitt ... The East is awful. Duke is as soft as they come and will get eaten for lunch by Villanova, and maybe Texas. If the Blue Devils do get to the Elite Eight, they'll get pounded by a Pitt team that's tough enough to pound its way for four wins. The early exit in the Big East tournament is a plus for the rested Panthers.

Midwest: Michigan State ... The storyline is obvious: Michigan State playing in Detroit to give the crashing city and state something to get fired up about. Louisville will get upset by a strong Wake Forest team that's better than it showed in the ACC tournament, while the Spartans will need to battle West Virginia in a war just to get to the regional final.

South: North Carolina ... I don't really believe in the Tar Heels after getting to the Final Four, but they'll be guaranteed to get to the Sweet 16 with two games in Greensboro before dealing with Gonzaga. Ty Lawson's toe will flare up as the weeks go on and he'll be less than 100% in Detroit.

West: Connecticut ... Jim Calhoun's clubs love the West winning two national titles coming out of the region. The Huskies will get through a Big East regional final after a sleeping Marquette wakes up in time to reel off three wins including two thrillers against Missouri and Memphis.

National Championship: Connecticut over Pitt. MSU will be red hot, but playing in Detroit come Final Four time isn't necessarily a home game considering the neutral crowd. Even if there is an advantage, that'll be negated by Hasheem Thabeet. Pitt would beat up North Carolina to get to the national title, but will be outgunned by the Huskies in a classic.

Richard Cirminiello      

Q: The Final Four and national champion will be…

A: East: Pittsburgh…from start to finish, no school had a better season than the Panthers. And few programs have a better inside-outside scoring presence, a real plus this time of year.

Midwest: Michigan State…Obviously, coaching plays a huge in who thrives and who dies in March, and there are few better than Tom Izzo. Izzo vs. Rick Pitino would be a dream match up in the regional final.

South: Oklahoma…Every so often, one very special player is capable of putting a program on his back and carrying it to the Final Four. Blake Griffin can be one of those players for the Sooners, provided he gets enough help from his supporting cast.

West: Memphis…The Tigers will have a chip on their shoulders after getting snubbed for a No. 1 seed in favor of Connecticut. Based on recent history, don’t you just expect the Huskies to lay an egg at some point after the first weekend?

National Championship: Pittsburgh over Michigan State … Late in the final quarter, Bill Stull will find Nate Byham on a crossing pattern for the winning…oops, old habits are hard to break. After coming close a number of times, the Panthers are finally ready to break through under Jamie Dixon. Losing to West Virginia in the Big East championship will keep this veteran team hungry for all six games.   

Matthew Zemek

Q: The Final Four and national champion will be…

A: Final Four: Louisville (Midwest), Connecticut (West), North Carolina (South), Pittsburgh (East).
Champion: Pittsburgh.
Unlike past seasons, there's no clear-cut favorite. Louisville's defending well, but Terrence Williams and Earl Clark aren't shooting very confidently right now. Connecticut will be without Jerome Dyson, and Memphis isn't nearly as good as last season's loaded juggernaut. North Carolina is tied to Ty Lawson's toe (memo to Roy Williams: keep him on the bench against Radford; you should be able to squeak by and win by 20 instead of 45 in that one), and Pittsburgh, though imposing, has never made the Elite Eight (let alone the Final Four) in the Ben Howland-Jamie Dixon years.
Purdue could knock off UConn, but the Boilermakers lack the dribble penetration that can make Hasheem Thabeet uncomfortable. Gonzaga could bump North Carolina, but the ultra-talented Zags seem to shrink in the spotlight, and should not be trusted to win a heavyweight showdown. The way the brackets work out, chalk simply figures to thrive for a second straight season. The questions about Lawson's health and the absence of Dyson from the UConn camp should give Pittsburgh and Louisville slight but real edges in the national semifinals. In the title game, Pitt--who got smoked at Freedom Hall--would stand a very good chance of gaining revenge.