Time for the PICKS OF DOOM (thanks, Greg) regarding the "Sweet 16" games this weekend. Again, upsets "by seed" are in boldface.
Semifinals: Pittsburgh over Xavier, Villanova over Duke
Final: Villanova over Pittsburgh
For 'Nova, familiarity (with a Big East opponent) breeds, if not contempt, then certainly confidence.
Semifinals: North Carolina over Gonzaga, Oklahoma over Syracuse
Final: North Carolina over Oklahoma
I'd love to see Gonzaga deck UNC, but I don't think it's going to happen. OU should have the semi-home-court advantage in Memphis over SU, but UNC's Hansbrough and Lawson will trump OU's Griffith Bros.
Semifinals: Louisville over Arizona, Michigan State over Kansas
Final: Michigan State over Louisville
Louisville wasn't at all impressive in the first weekend. MSU is tough-minded and hard-nosed enough to knock them out.
Semifinals: Connecticut over Purdue, Memphis over Missouri
Final: Connecticut over Memphis
The cheating scandal that has popped up this week regarding a UConn recruit certainly can't help the Huskies, but they're playing so well now that I can't see them losing until at least the Final Four.
Apropos of the F4, below is a reminder of an important 30-year anniversary in the history of college hoops, to be celebrated tomorrow. Sometime next week, I'll be posting a review of a book I recently read about this famous confrontation.