- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 10, 2009


“The great Socrates said, ‘When an elephant is down, even an ant will try to kick him.’ ” - Shaquille O’Neal on his recent war of words with Stan Van Gundy

TAKE YOUR PICK: Who should get the four top seeds in the NCAA tournament?

North Carolina (27-3, 13-3 ACC) - Barring a flameout short of the ACC tournament final, the Tar Heels are a lock.

Connecticut (27-3, 15-3 Big East) - The Huskies have looked invincible against every team they have faced… except Pittsburgh, which swept them. Another loss to the Panthers in the Big East tournament likely would cost the Huskies a top seed.

Pittsburgh (28-3, 15-3 Big East) - If the season ended today, Pitt would be a No. 1. But in the Big East tournament, the Panthers could face a third game against Connecticut with a No. 1 seed possibly at stake.

Oklahoma (27-4, 13-3 Big 12) - The Sooners stumbled down the stretch, in large part because of Blake Griffin’s concussion. Anything short of a Big 12 tournament title likely costs them a No. 1.

Louisville (25-5, 16-2 Big East) - The Cardinals are arguably the hottest team in the land. The bad news is that they will need to win the Big East tournament to clinch one of what likely will be two No. 1 seeds awarded to the conference.

Memphis (28-3, 16-0 Conference USA) - It’s impossible to argue with a 22-game winning streak, but the Tigers need to win their conference tournament and have things break right to swipe a No. 1.

Michigan State (25-5, 15-3 Big Ten) - The Spartans are probably fighting with Oklahoma for the last No. 1 - if they take care of business in the Big Ten tournament.

Our take - North Carolina and Pittsburgh should be locks. The Big East should get a second No. 1 if Connecticut or Louisville wins the league tournament. Oklahoma and Michigan State should be fighting for the final No. 1. Memphis is not No. 1 seed material and should only get one if Oklahoma and Michigan State both come up short in their tournaments.

TWT THREE: Bryce Brown suitors

Bryce Brown, the nation’s top high school football prospect, is expected to announce his college choice Thursday. Brown is considered the best tailback prospect since Adrian Peterson. Here are the finalists from his services:

1. Miami - Brown’s brother Arthur plays linebacker for the Hurricanes. He verbally committed to the Hurricanes more than a year ago but seems to have cooled on Miami.

2. Tennessee - New coach Lane Kiffin and his recruiting dream team have made up the most ground.

3. Oregon - Brown reportedly loves the Ducks’ facilities and is intrigued by the idea of playing for Nike’s unofficial flagship school.

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