- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009


“I’m sure in the summertime I’ll look back and say what a historic battle it was. Right now, it’s a loss.” — Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun after losing in six overtimes to Syracuse in the Big East tournament

TAKE YOUR PICK: Which No. 1 seed is the least likely to reach the Final Four?

Louisville The Cardinals might be the hottest team in the nation. Their 10-game winning streak includes a sweep of the Big East regular-season and tournament titles. Two concerns remain, though: frontcourt experience and free throw shooting.

Pittsburgh The Panthers have a seasoned core of stars in DeJuan Blair, Sam Young and Levance Fields, but Pittsburgh always seems to bow out early. This will be the Panthers’ eighth consecutive trip to the tournament, but they have yet to outplay their seeding in this stretch.

North Carolina As long as the status of ACC player of the year Ty Lawson remains uncertain, so does the future of the Tar Heels. As Florida State proved in the ACC tournament, North Carolina isn’t even a No. 3 seed without its star playmaker.

Connecticut Like North Carolina, the Huskies are missing a key performer: shooting guard Jerome Dyson. Unlike the Tar Heels, Connecticut has been coping with Dyson’s absence for some time. Still, the Huskies are a suspect shooting team.

Our take It’s all about TBT — or “The Big Toe.” In theory, Lawson should have another week to rest up while the Tar Heels feast on Radford and the LSU/Butler winner. But he better be ready if the Tar Heels face Gonzaga. If not, North Carolina is the obvious flop. If Lawson returns at 100 percent, the can’t-shoot Huskies don’t inspire much confidence in the West Region. Louisville is rolling. And Pittsburgh’s past? It’s just that.


Updated Rivals.com college football recruiting rankings after Tennessee signed consensus No. 1 high school player Bryce Brown on Monday:

School Signees 4/5 stars Avg. stars

1. Alabama 28 18 3.68

2. LSU 24 15 3.79

3. Ohio State 25 17 3.76

4. Southern Cal 19 15 3.89

5. Texas 20 14 3.85

6. Georgia 20 15 3.80

7. Florida State 21 12 3.62

8. Michigan 22 14 3.59

9. North Carolina 29 14 3.34

10. Tennessee 21 11 3.62



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