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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | March 20, 2009

Who’s ready for some March Madness?

By Airman 1st Class Patrick McKenna Capital Flyer sports writer

East Region
Villanova - The Big East is sending powerhouses Louisville, Connecticut and Pittsburgh to the big dance as No. 1 seeds, so Villanova is most certainly flying under the radar as a No. 3 seed. The team is led by upperclassmen Dante Cunningham and Scottie Reynolds, who were a part of last year's Cinderella team and know what it takes to do damage in this tournament. This team is battle tested and has already defeated their region's No. 1 seed, Pittsburgh, earlier this season. Pittsburgh is a great team, but sometimes to have the best bracket you have to take chances, and Nova is one of mine.

South Region
North Carolina - The Tar Heels began the year with enormous expectations. They certainly did not disappoint finishing with a record of 28-4, including a 13-3 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The only thing that stands in their way of a trip to the Final Four in Detroit is Ty Lawson's injured right big toe. If Lawson is unable to perform up to his capabilities, this team will not make it past the Elite Eight. In the end, Roy Williams will be able to rest Lawson enough in the early games so that he's fresh enough to turn it on and lead them to Detroit.

West Region
Memphis - It seems that Memphis is the trendy pick to win this region, and if you look at their record it would make sense. Look deeper and you'll see they have an incredible defense and are led by a coach who knows how to get to the Final Four. Their main roadblock, the UConn Huskies, went 9-4 against ranked opponents, including a 17- point victory at Louisville. Had the Huskies not lost guard Jerome Dyson to a season-ending knee injury they'd be the pick here. In the end, Memphis' tough defense will carry them through to Detroit.

Midwest Region
Louisville - This is a typical Rick Pitino team. They play a ferocious press defense, love to launch three pointers and definitely do not bow under pressure (16-2 record in the toughest conference in college basketball). The Cardinals have the easiest road of all No. 1 seeds with their "main challenge" coming from an extremely overrated Michigan State team. They will have the least trouble making it to Detroit out of these Final Four.

Final Four Predictions
Memphis def. Louisville
North Carolina def. Villanova

Championship Game Prediction
Memphis          66
North Carolina 57