Okay, here's our stab at the Sweet Sixteen. Like everyone else, we'll
be nuked about an hour or so in. But here goes:
- Oklahoma State vs. Pitt: We really admire this Oklahoma State team.
They're tough, they play great defense, John Lucas III is making a lot of
people wish they had recruited him, and they are a very tight-knit group. We
like them to move on.
- St. Joe's vs. Wake Forest. Like a lot of people, we had our doubts
about St. Joe's and still do. But they have earned our respect. Their
inside game is still suspect, and Wake can hit them with Eric Williams, Kyle
Visser, Vytas Danelius, and, improving by leaps and bounds, Jamal
Levy. Chris Paul is growing before our very eyes. We'll take
- Vandy vs. UConn: We'd love to think Vandy could be dandy, but UConn is too
handy. Not gonna happen.
- Alabama vs. Syracuse: Wow, this is a tough call. We'll take
Syracuse, since they have been there before, and since Gerry McNamara
(note to cranky correspondent - we kept our promise to spell it right!) is
so remarkably tough, we'll take the 'Cuse.
- UAB vs. Kansas. UAB essentially beat Kentucky on defense and with superior
depth. Bill Self has had time to prep, and he's a pretty solid
coach. Plus the Jayhawks have more depth than Kentucky (who doesn't
- Nevada vs. Georgia Tech: Nevada and UAB have amazed us. Usually so-called
Cinderellas are just barely there, you know? They are strong teams,
united, but not usually overwhelming. Nevada in particular has been
stunning. It doesn't shock us that they beat Michigan State and
Gonzaga, but they did it with ease, and that was shocking. Still, Tech
has the potential to play ruinous defense, and Tech can run a lot of people
at Kirk Snyder. Actually, they can run a lot of players, period.
We'll take Tech.
- Texas vs. Xavier. Another tough call...Xavier is 15 out of their
last 16, or something like that. When they blew out St. Joe's, we thought,
okay, St. Joe's is overrated. Never occurred to us that Xavier could
be underrated. After that win, they knocked off Louisville and crushed
Mississippi State. These guys are good. Plus they have excellent
guard play. So: Xavier. Or Ex-Zavier, as Rick Stansbury calls it.
- Duke vs. Illinois: Illinois has bought into Bruce Weber's system,
and they are about as hot as anyone. Duke is vulnerable because of
Duhon's injury, and have struggled at times with physical teams. But
we think they can pull this game off, and will play Xavier for the regional