While I have been down on UCLA, especially of late, they should get by VCU, and looking at the match-ups, give Villanova a tough game. As good as ‘Nova is, they do not out-size the Bruin frontcourt, and Aboya should have some measure of success guarding the slightly shorter Wildcat top scorer, Dante Cunningham. Scottie Reynolds is a very similar player to Collison, but despite both being seniors, you can’t discount Collison’s three final fours of experience. The winner of this game will likely have little chance again a Duke team that has peaked just as the tournament begins. I think Duke will defeat Pittsburgh for a Final Four berth.
In the West, I’m picking Missouri to upset Memphis and then Connecticut, and get to the Final Four, and to beat Louisville in the Final Four semi.
To me, the South bracket was the toughest to complete, with tough second-game match-ups between Western Kentucky and Gonzaga, and Arizona St. and Syracuse. I think a great player will carry a “surprise” team pretty far this year, the way Stephon Curry did with Davidson last year, and that player is Blake Griffin who will get Oklahoma to a Final Four match-up, and loss, to Duke.
Less surprises in the Midwest, where Louisville will defeat West Virginia in the regional final.
So, in a year where every commentator says the Big East is the greatest conference ever, my Final Four has one Big East team, Louisville, and they will lose to Missouri. Duke will take Oklahoma, and defeat Missouri for the title.