Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Elite Eight Picks

With a few minutes to go before the first game, I can only hope the rest of the weekend's games are as good as the Division II Final (Barton defeating defending champion Winona State at the buzzer) and the recently completed women's game (Rutgers upsetting No. 1 Duke by one).

Ohio State over Memphis: It's time for Greg Oden to help carry his team instead of the other way around. In big games this year, Mike Conley has been the best freshman on the Buckeyes. This is a chance for Oden to shine. Memphis has the quickness to match up with Ohio State but the Tigers have no answer for Oden. The Buckeyes, who have played with a rabbit's foot in their pocket over the past two games, don't let this one go down to the wire.

Kansas over UCLA: It's a hot pick to take the defensive-minded Bruins, but Kansas has guards to handle the UCLA pressure, and athletic wings Brandon Rush and Julian Wright can attack the Bruins' defense much like Florida did in the championship game. Kansas can play a little defense as well, and they'll march on to Atlanta.

Florida over Oregon: While the Gators have needed to work two shake off two pesky squads from Indiana (Purdue and Butler), they are still the best team in the tournament. They will put it all together against a Ducks team that, amazingly, is the lowest remaining seed at No. 9 overall. Not exactly the type of Cinderella we were all expecting.

Georgetown over North Carolina: I'm questioning this pick more and more, but I picked the Hoyas to win it all at the beginning of the tournament, so I need to stick with that. In reality, North Carolina has better guards, including the hiccup-quick Ty Lawson, to disrupt Georgetown and wear them down as the Tar Heels did with USC. While there's no precedent for the chalk all advancing to the Final Four, this could be the year to make history.

It's often said that teams that win the national championship survive a scare early on. If that's the case, all eight teams can consider themselves in the running. While the favorites have largely moved on, they've been tested, and in passing those tests they deserve to be where they are.

Enjoy the games.



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