If last year's NCAA Tournament was the Year of the Upset, with George Mason making its magic carpet ride to the Final Four, this year is the Year of the Opposite. All four of the semifinalists of this year's tourney are 1 and 2 seeds, proving how remarkable the 11th seeded George Mason's run was. But the lack of a Cinderella team doesn't make this Final Four any less exciting. All of the teams have a shot at cutting down the net on Monday Night. Only one will. Here are my picks for this year's Final Four and Championship Game.
No. 2 Georgetown vs. No. 1 Ohio State (Saturday, March 31, 6:07 p.m.)
Both of these teams have extremely talented centers, OSU's Greg Oden and Georgetown's Roy Hibbert. I give Hibbert, who has had a double-double in all of his five tournament games, the edge in this matchup. Ohio State had a relatively easy road to the Final Four, playing Central Connecticut, Xavier, Tennessee, and an overrated Memphis team. However, if it wasn't for Ron Lewis' desperate three with 2 seconds left against Xavier, which was made with more luck than skill, the Ohio State players would be (gasp!) in class right now.
Georgetown had a tough stretch of games where they had to play Boston College, Vanderbilt and North Carolina. They did almost lose to 6 seeded Vanderbilt, but the Commodores upset Number 1 Florida earlier this season. Georgetown crushed North Carolina in overtime, scoring 14 straight points.
My Pick: Georgetown 81, Ohio State 76
No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 1 Florida (Saturday, March 31, 8:47 p.m.)
A rematch of last year's championship game. Aaron Afflalo is the main scorer for UCLA, and (say this name five times fast) Luc Richard Mbah a Moute grabs most of their rebounds.