Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2009 FDH NCAA Hoops Bracket unveiled

By Rick Morris

Well, here it is, the NCAA hoops bracket from your humble FDH Managing Partner.

During my original analysis of the tournament Sunday night, I indicated my unease with my initial instincts, which were to pick three top seeds to make the Final Four and to pick the overal #1 seed of Louisville to win it all. In a year in which the chalk figures to suffer greatly because of all the parity, I was hoping that I would change my mind in a few areas. I did.

Most importantly, I'm not even picking Louisville to win their regional anymore, notwithstanding the fact that I think that winning both the regular season and conference titles in that conference was an almost unprecedented feat of toughness. I was won over by the arguments of our college hoops analyst Nate Noy, who pointed out that West Virginia has made great adjustments in their rematches this year -- and that if I was picking them to make the Elite Eight anyway (I was), it might not be a huge stretch for them to knock off the Cardinals in the regional final.

So that's my token Big Stones pick for this year, #6 WVU to make the Final Four over #1 Louisville. My other three regional picks are much more along the lines of Chalky McChalkerson: #2 Memphis over UConn in the West, #1 Pitt over #2 Duke in the East and #1 UNC over Oklahoma in the South.

That gives me two #1s, one #2 and one #6 in the Final Four -- reasonable at least according to historical standards. From there, I've got Memphis over West Virginia in one regional semifinal and UNC over Pitt in the other one. In the national championship, I see Memphis coming up as the bridesmaid for a second straight year as this vaunted Caroline Blue team lives up to their billing in the very end and snags the schools' second national championship in five years.

Again, the entire bracket is available here; clip and save these predictions.

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