Blog Entry

10 Teams most likely to make it to the Final Four

Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:53 am
Week 13
I will post my rankings here every week or so. I will submit my poll to the UTEA and OSUBuckeyeFan is going to put together an accumulative ranking of teams based on everyone's rankings. Just go here and you can learn about the rankings and start doing your own! Thanks!

1.Pittsburgh - I'm done ignoring how good this team really is. I picked them to win the tournament earlier in the year, and I pick them now.

2.Ohio State - There are so many good teams this year, and the truth is I think this team would have won the Championship last year. It will be more difficult this year with the amount of talented teams near the top.

3.Texas - I think they are the best team in the Big 12. What is crazy is that they could go undefeated in that conference... WOW!

4.Notre Dame - They don't have as much talent as the Top 3, but they have more experience. Sometimes that is the most important thing.

5.Kansas - I think the loss to Kansas State was just the typical upset loss against a rival.

6.Brigham Young - Jimmer Fredette is unbelievable. If he gets really hot in the tournament, I don't know if anyone will be able to stop him.

7.Duke - I'm not giving up on them yet. Like Notre Dame, experience can do wonders...

8.Wisconsin - They have to figure out how to win on the road or it will be another great season lost in disappointment because of a early tourney exit.

9.Florida - Those 3 bad losses seems to be behind them, but it still concerns me.

10.Louisville - They look really, really good right now. 

Teams to Watch:
West Virginia
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:22 am

10 Teams most likely to make it to the Final Four

1) DUKE - There are few teams that I like less, but they are the defending champions and they return  two senior starters. Personally I think they are soft, but their coach’s record is unassailable and the selection committee always seems to make up for their deficiencies by giving them an easy path. Unless they lose to North Carolina or are upset, they finish with two losses and win the ACC championship perhaps earning the overall #1 bid. Plus the chances of  Kyrie Irving returning increase with every day that passes.

2) OHIO STATE - They are probably the most talented team in the country, but their coach scares me in big games. I seem to remember this same team with a similar personnel makeup(freshman Greg Oden at center) getting to the championship game and losing.  Ohio State is probably THE MOST LIKELY TEAM TO MAKE THE FINAL FOUR, but they are not the most likely team to WIN IT IMHO.

3) KANSAS - This team is loaded with talent. What worries me is it’s the same talent that went out second round last year.  Bill Self has won an NCAA championship, but he did it by out coaching John Calipari, not exactly a ringing endorsement for me. Still, the teams has everything going for it. Size, speed, talent, a hunger to make up for last year and a likely #1 seed if they get revenge on an overrated TEXAS team in the Big 12 tourney.

4) PITTSBURG - I still can’t figure out why so many people wanted to rank TEXAS ahead of PITT. PITT is 6-2 vs. top 25 RPI, better than ANY OTHER TEAM, they have a better overall record than Texas, AND THEY BEAT TEXAS ON A NUETRAL COURT!!!!!  Yesterday’s loss at a white hot St. John’s on a controversial last second basket is probably a wake up call, not an alarm. Still the best team in the most brutal conference in America, they will only improve as they adjust to Ashton Gibbs’ return to regular play.

5) TEXAS - They have two losses to teams ranked outside the top 50 RPI and are only 2-2 vs. teams ranked top 25 in RPI, neither statistic being particularly impressive. Missed their chance to move to #1 yesterday with a bad loss to #63 Nebraska. Texas is as talented as any team in America, but I have seen Rick Barnes coach teams this talented out of the Sweet Sixteen before. Odds are that even he will have to reach a final four given enough chances with this much talent so maybe this is the year.

6) GEORGETOWN - A loss at UCONN that was closer than the score indicated as UCONN as GTOWN actually led 70-69 with 4 minutes left but UCONN scored the last 9 points of the game on a series of amazing shots by Kemba Walker and free throws is nothing to be embarrassed about. Still the hottest team in the Big East over the last month, they have a relatively easy schedule to finish the season and likely finish up 25-6 and second in the Big East. Seniors on this team were in the Final Four just three years ago providing much needed leadership.

7) PURDUE - I’ll feel better about this pick if they win at home today vs. Ohio State as I suspect they will. No team has been the team that late season bad luck injuries have denied obvious Final Four potential as much as Purdue the past two years. This year, the bad luck happened before the season and they have had time to adjust. Percentages say this is the year they get over the hump.

- Still the soundest team west of the Rockies though they lack the dazzle of Jimmer or the Cinderella attraction of San Diego State. I still don’t trust any western team to emerge from a western bracket likely to be Big East and Big Ten heavy, but of all the teams natural to the Western bracket, only Arizona has the pedigree to emerge. Early season loss @BYU does not reflect the progress made by this team since Jan. 1.

- I still have little faith in the Gators, but they are the class of the SEC, for whatever that’s worth. Billy Donovan does possess two NCAA rings and he finally has another team with some experience. But mostly, Villanova’s swoon caused me to replace them with somebody and Florida gets this spot by default.

- Still my dark horse and HOMER pick in one. This team is much more impressive as a whole than when examined as pieces. They definitely have that elusive CHEMISTRY that carries teams farther than anyone has a right to expect. They have overcome numerous injuries and are healthier now than at any point in the season. The plus side of that is that they go ten deep easily as subs have had to step up and play major minutes. Pitino’s final four record is as good as any coach’s in the NCAA and he is the ONLY coach to take 3 different teams to the Final Four. Louisville is likely to finish fourth in the Big East, no small feat considering the injuries they have had to overcome. Could they be the TEAM OF DESTINY this year where the ball always bounces their way all the way to  the Final Four?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or