Wednesday, March 15, 2006

NCAA: Oak-town Region

1. MemphisMemphisDukePittPitt
16. Oral Roberts
8. ArkansasBucknell
9. Bucknell
5. PittsburghPittPitt
12. Kent St.
4. KansasKansas
13. Bradley
6. IndianaSDSUZagsZags
11. San Diego St.
3. GonzagaZags
14. Xavier
7. MarquetteMarquetteUCLA
10. Alabama
15. Belmont

Pitt has been hot, it's that simple. They may have lost the Big East Tournament to Syracuse, but they were playing an even hotter 'Cuse team. Part of me picking them has to be the strength of this region; the only team I think can beat Pitt is UCLA, and I just have a feeling they'll run out of steam when they face Adam Morrison and Gonzaga (though I did pick UCLA out of this region in my secondary pool).


Only one predicted upset in this region, and that's SDSU over Indiana, mainly because I am wholly unimpressed with the Hoosiers. San Diego State isn't a powerhouse by any means, but I think they can eek out an upset over a deflated Indiana squad.

I thought about taking Bradley over Kansas, but chose against it in both pools. As much as I dislike the Jayhawks, I don't see them dropping in the first round two years in a row. They have a more consistent team this year, and although Bradley may be on a relative hot streak, Kansas should take this one with ease. However, I don't see them beating Pitt in any scenario.

Memphis may have been impressive this year, but not impressive enough in my mind to warrant them a Final Four berth. Once again, Pitt seems like the tougher team. Gonzaga could make a run here, and I would actually give them a fighting chance to take down the Panthers in the Elite Eight. Their biggest obstacle, however, is UCLA, who are as hot as hot can be.