BY Todd Dybas 03:36PM 03/16/2011

NCAA Tournament picks: From SPNW to you

Who will hold things up for the Pac-10? How about the Final Four? How far will Washington go? Answers to those questions.

Which team will carry the Pac-10 in the NCAA Tournament? Washington or Arizona? / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The NCAA Tournament starts in earnest Thursday. The First Four money-making gimmick now behind us allows for focus on the future.

To prepare, here are two presents: Picks from SPNW and a link to the Gus Johnson Soundboard which will hopefully be updated soon with “Cold-blooded!”

Let’s rise and fire to the picks:

Art Thiel
Which Pac-10 team will go the farthest?
Washington beats Georgia. Georgia is a one-man team that barely made the field.

How far will Washington go in the NCAA Tournament? Against North Carolina, Washington will hang, but in Charlotte? No more ball for y’all.

Who will make the Final Four? Ohio State, UConn, Notre Dame and Pitt. Jared Sullinger is like a healthy Greg Oden; Kemba Walker is a big Isaiah Thomas; should be the best game of the year; take the big man. The Irish is the Big East’s biggest surprise and Pitt is brutally tough. Take the mean guys.

Who wins the championship game? Ohio State. Really went out on a limb, didn’t I?

Seth Kolloen
Which Pac-10 will go the farthest?
Oregon. They’ll still be playing in the CBI when everyone else is done.

How far will Washington go? Let’s put it this way–you can probably feel safe making plans the weekend of the 24th.

Who will make the Final Four? If history is any guide, none of the teams I have picked in my bracket.

Who wins the championship game? Kansas. Not sure against whom. They had bad luck to lose last year, things are bound to even out.

Steve Rudman
Which Pac-10 team will go the farthest?
No Pac-10 team is going to go very far, but Washington will get at least one victory by handling Georgia. Arizona has a chance to make it to the second round, and so does UCLA, but that’s it.

How far will Washington go? The Huskies will be lucky to reach to reach the Sweet 16. At the beginning of the year, we thought they might be an Elite Eight team, but we thought wrong. Given injuries, especially to Abdul Gaddy, Washington doesn’t have enough depth, although the Huskies earned a measure of redemption in the Pac-10 tournament.

Who will make it to the Final Four? Kansas, Pittsburgh, Duke and Ohio State. Of all of the previous, Duke has the best chance of making the Final Four. History says so.

Who wins the championship? Most favor Kansas. I favor Ohio State in the title game over Pittsburgh by six points or less.

Bob Sherwin
Which Pac-10 team will go the farthest?
The Huskies, for sure. They’ll handle Georgia and play Sunday. The best Arizona and UCLA start their games earlier, so Huskies outlast them. USC, with its thin roster, will be severely challenged. The Trojans could play three games by Sunday, one more than expected.

How far will Washington go? The Huskies will make it to the third round but won’t get past North Carolina. Impossible, you say? Not this year. The four play-in games are considered first-round games. Thursday/Friday games are part of the second round.

Who will make the Final Four? Ohio State, Duke, Pittsburgh, Louisville. Virtually no one refers to the Buckeyes without saying “they are the most complete team in the country.” So you have to take them over all the incomplete ones. Pittsburgh has an easier path, Louisville will knock off a one seed Kansas, and Duke has the experience, talent and the referees.

Who wins the championship game? Ohio State beats Pittsburgh, 72-68 to complete a spectacular season.

Todd Dybas
Which Pac-10 team will go the farthest?
Washington, Arizona and USC all win the openers, but lose on the second day. Tie goes to the runner.

How far will Washington go? Kind of gave it away. The Huskies should handle Georgia, but the go-go Gadget arms on North Carolina players will be too much. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar talked the past couple years about how you need a big man in the tournament. They have Seven Feet of N’Diaye, but North Carolina is 6-8, 6-10, 7-0 across its frontline. Though its thin bench makes one wonder …

Who will make the Final Four? Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pitt, San Diego State. Notre Dame is undersold for some reason, Ohio State is the most balanced, San Diego State “will run you off the boards” as Wilbur “Shooter” Flatch told us about Cedar Knob in Hoosiers, and Pitt, well, you don’t want to deal with Pitt. Plus, you can’t just go around picking No. 1 seeds all the time like the other weaklings making selections in this post.

Who wins the championship game? Ohio State beats Notre Dame 68-64. It’s such a slugfest, Rocky cringes.


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