The Washington Times - March 19, 2009, 10:56AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Time for the last rapid bracket rundown of the morning before making the five-block walk to the Sprint Center.

This qualifies as a mostly chalky experience – a few psuedo-upsets in the first round, but mostly a sensible approach the rest of the way.

SEE RELATED:


Purdue never loses first-round games. Maryland hasn’t lost a first-round game since 1997. Mike Montgomery hasn’t lost a first-round game since the early 1990s.

So lots of steadiness, and that’s what this regional should be about.

SECOND ROUND

(1) Connecticut
(9) Texas A&M

(5) Purdue
(4) Washington

(11) Utah State
(3) Missouri

(10) Maryland
(2) Memphis

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

(1) Connecticut
(4) Washington

(3) Missouri
(2) Memphis

REGIONAL FINAL

(1) Connecticut
(2) Memphis

REGIONAL CHAMPION

(2) Memphis

So that leaves a Final Four of Pittsburgh, Louisville, Gonzaga and Memphis. Two non-power conference schools? What am I thinking.

Anyway, here’s how things might just go from there:

SEMIFINALS

(1) Louisville
(2) Memphis

(1) Pittsburgh
(4) Gonzaga

FINAL

(1) Louisville
(1) Pittsburgh

CHAMPION

(1) Louisville

I insisted well before the season started that if someone other than North Carolina would win the national championship, the best bet would be Louisville. It hasn’t changed. The Cardinals are loaded with big men, and forward Terrence Williams is the sort of do-everything player who can win a game in a pinch. Pittsburgh’s really good, too, but ultimately Rick Pitino’s team should be considered the favorite to snip down the nets in Detroit.

Patrick Stevens