Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009-10 Final Four Picks

For anyone that knows me well, it should be no surprise that my first blog is about what I think will happen during March Madness. I have never been correct with my predictions and don't expect to start now. And that is one of the many reasons I think college basketball is one of the two best sports in the United States (NFL).

Who Will Make It:

Kansas: This is the No. 1-ranked team in the nation for good reason. The 2007-08 champions have reloaded and are my pick to win it all again. They return two All-Americans In Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich. They add freshman star Xavier Henry to the mix, and have more depth at every position than anyone else in the country.

Kentucky: The Wildcats return last season's SEC Player of the Year Patrick Patterson and add five freshmen that will have a huge impact, with point guard John Wall being the most important. Coach John Calipari thinks he could be better than Derrick Rose from his Memphis squad that fell to Kansas in the national title game two seasons ago. This team is young, but they have the talent to overcome it.

Purdue: Despite the Top-10 ranking, not many people know about this team. Purdue has a loaded junior class of E'twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson, and Robbie Hummel. They can keep up with a high-scoring team and can grind one out with their defense. This is a team built for a strong postseason.

Tennessee: The Vols have had Final Four talent each of the past four seasons but haven't cashed in. Their shooting last year was atrocious but that has improved considerably early on. And Tyler Smith is a go-to guy that any team would take. This is the most athletic team in the nation and I expect them to be in Indianapolis (Final Four location) during the first week of April.


Gonzaga: The Zags have easily been one of the top 15 programs in college basketball over the last decade, yet were unranked at the beginning of this season. It doesn't make sense. They have the talent to play with anyone and have already proved it by winning the Maui Invitational and nearly upsetting Michigan State on the road. Matt Bouldin, Steven Gray, and Robert Sacre will be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.

Florida: The Gators are much better than I expected after losing guard Nick Calathes to the NBA. Guards Erving Walker and newcomer Kenny Boynton have filled his shoes nicely so far, and Florida is 7-0 with wins against Michigan State and in-state rival Florida State.


Michigan State: This is essentially the same team that reached the national championship game last season, hence the No. 2 preseason ranking. However, I don't believe they will repeat that success. I predicted them to lose in the first weekend of last season's tournament and watched them destroy my bracket. So I definitely won't bet against coach Tom Izzo and stars Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, and Raymar Morgan. But with losses against Florida and a completely different UNC team and a near-loss at home to Gonzaga, I am going out on a limb and saying the Spartans will not make the Final Four.

Butler: The Butler Bulldogs are a very good mid-major team, but they definitely did not deserve a preseason top-10 ranking. This team did not win its conference tournament and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year. They are a trendy pick by "experts" to reach the Final Four since the event is in their hometown and are one of the two best mid-major teams along with Gonzaga. Butler has already lost two games this season, against Minnesota and Clemson, and that makes me think they are unlikely to make it past the Sweet Sixteen.

Too Early To Tell:

Duke: I have no idea what to think about the Blue Devils. I could see them getting hot at the end and making a deep run or nearly losing to a team like Belmont in the first round. Forward Kyle Singler is one of the most complete offensive players in the country, and Duke improved much after shifting Jon Scheyer to the point last season. I just don't know what to expect from this team. They had a nice win over UConn last week but lost to an average Wisconsin team.

North Carolina: The ACC takes over this category. The Tar Heels lost their top 4 players from the national title team but are still loaded. Their frontcourt can match up with anybody plus they return Marcus Ginyard who was injured most of last season. UNC played great in a home win against Michigan State but I'm not sure how that will translate in March.

So there they are. My ten predictions for the 2009-10 college basketball season. And if you're not down with that, I got two words for ya.

Let me know what you think.


  1. I haven't watched any of these teams all that much besides a sportcenter clip here and there, so i guess the only thing i'll say is that it would be awful for kentucky and tennessee (pretty much my two least favorite teams) to both make the final four. The "Yee-Hawing" celebratory inbred sex would last at least a month. Of course i wouldn't be as pissed about kentucky's final four visit since the banner is more than likely going to have to be taken down in four years anyway. great first blog moegan, keep them coming.

  2. I guess you were glad to see Georgetown stick it to Butler last night.