March Madness: Teams to watch for Final Four

Three People’s Weekly World writers give their take on the 2009 tournament.

“Enjoy the ride, but be ready for surprises. Is there a better event in sports? Don’t say the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl or the World Series or the NBA playoffs and championship, all pale in comparison to March Madness!! Who’s buying the beer and soda?” they say.

John Rummel: Michigan State: The NCAA finals will be in Detroit and shouldn’t something positive happen to this city and state?

Pittsburgh: Early exit from Big East tournament will give this team needed rest

Memphis: Won my coin toss with North Carolina

Louisville: Have to go with the coach – and the team isn’t too bad either

Erica Smiley: As per usual, UNC-Chapel Hill will be the team to beat. After last year’s embarrassing tournament loss, they have a lot to prove. If Hansbrough’s gonna set himself up for pro-ball, they have to make up for that loss.

Pittsburgh will obviously have a good team…exchanging 1st and 2nd rankings with Carolina.

Memphis always brings the heat.

And a team to watch coming up from the lower ranks is Kansas. A good tournament bracket has a good prediction of upsets, and the Jayhawks will provide.

Sam Webb: Louisville: Peaking and deep team; pressure defense is formidable; watch out for Ohio State in second round, a young team that is finding its stride, and Michigan State. Everybody is healthy and Tom Izzo is a good tournament coach.

Connecticut: An easy pick to win it all had they not lost guard Jerome Dyson; watch out again for another Big Ten team, Purdue and don’t be surprised by Missouri.

Pittsburgh: A talented, experienced team; DeJuan Blair, its center and imposing force who eats up a lot of space in the paint, has to stay out of foul trouble; keep an eye on Villanova in bottom half of eastern bracket; could send coach K’s Duke team home earlier than they would like; great guard play and you need talented guards to make a deep run.

North Carolina: A talented team, but only if point Ty Lawson is ready to go at 100 percent; without him team play drops off markedly; Syracuse could make a big run; very talented team with outstanding point guard, but not much senior leadership.