When the tournament brackets were released on CBS two weeks ago, CBS analyst Clark Kellogg made what I thought was the stupidest possible prediction, as he prognosticated that all four No. 1 seeds would advance to the Final Four. With only one more day left before the Final Four is set, Kellogg may be right.
With the two No. 1 seeds, UCLA and North Carolina, winning Saturday and two more No. 1 seeds, Kansas and Memphis, favored today, Armageddon may happen. Usually two or less of the top seeds make the Final Four, as Florida and Ohio State last year were joined by No. 2 UCLA and No. 2 Georgetown. In fact, only one year, 1993, saw three No. 1s make the Final Four, with North Carolina, Michigan and Kentucky doing the trick. That seems likely to repeat itself this year.
But will all four make it? Read below to find out.
No. 10 Davidson vs. No. 1 Kansas
Cinderella is still shaking her thing, as the Wildcats destroyed Wisconsin on Friday to keep their remarkable story. At this point, we have to consider that Davidson, with super sophomore Stephen Curry, is for real. They have taken out the Big East and Big Ten champions in this tourney and came extremely close to beating North Carolina, Duke and UCLA in the pre-conference season. It’s a cute story, but if Kansas treats Davidson as cute, it’ll be sorry.
I still think a Final Four that involves Bill Self would be bizarre. Self is king of losing in the Elite 8, doing it with three different teams in Tulsa (2000), Illinois (2001) and Kansas (2004, 2007). Is the fifth time the charm. It darn well better be, as Self will have a hard time rationalizing a loss here.
Unless you live in Kansas, you’ll be cheering for Davidson. But I think Cinderella finally hits curfew.
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 1 Memphis
Now that I’ve picked Kansas to advance, only Texas can prevent the tournament board from being completely chalk. They’ll have a heck of a time doing that against the Tigers, who made a good Michigan State team look completely slow and incompetent in the first half of Friday’s game.
If Memphis comes out like that against Texas, or whoever it plays from here on out, its holding the championship trophy next Monday. They have an awesome point guard in Derrick Rose, who I was completely impressed and enthralled by Friday, as he dissected the Spartans with ease. They also can go 10-11 deep off their bench.
The coolest matchup of the day, and maybe of the tournament from here on out, will be Rose against Texas point guard D.J. Augustin. Augustin was similarly spectacular against Stanford and can hang with Rose. In fact, I guarantee you he will. If that happens, then I think the pro-Longhorn crowd in Houston will guide Texas to the Final Four.