Predictions for the NCAA Tournament:
Ohio State. Always uneasy in picking a team that relies on a freshman point guard and freshman post man to make the final weekend. But OSU is experienced at all other spots.
Duke. Texas has the best talent of any team in the West Region, but Coach K's lads have the win-in-March know-how.
Never miss a local story.
Kansas. Louisville may be the most dangerous team to the top-seeded Jayhawks in the Southwest.
Kansas State. The Wildcats got hot late in the season, have tourney experience from reaching the Elite Eight last season and a star player (Jacob Pullen) playing really well.
Ohio State over Kansas. Teams starting freshmen haven't been winning national titles in recent years but I have a hunch it is Thad Matta's turn to break through.
■ No. 12 Richmond will oust No. 5 Vanderbilt in the Southwest.
■ No. 13 Belmont will beat No. 4 Wisconsin in the Southeast.
■ No. 11 Gonzaga will upset No. 6 St. John's in the Southeast.
Not sure Gonzaga really counts as a Cinderella at this stage, but the 11th-seeded Zags will beat No. 6 St. John's and No. 3 BYU en route to the round of 16.
■ Kentucky will beat Princeton, gain a measure of revenge on West Virginia then play the socks off East No. 1 seed Ohio State before falling in the round of 16.
■ Louisville will survive Morehead State and Richmond to earn a showdown with Southwest No. 1 Kansas. The Jayhawks will end U of L's feel-good season.
■ Morehead State has the star power (Kenneth Faried and Demonte Harper) and NCAA Tournament experience (from 2009) to be a giant killer in 2011. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they do not have the point-guard play to hold up against Louisville's withering full-court pressure.
There are years when I enter NCAA Tournament time with a strong feeling about particular teams. I felt that way about Syracuse in 2003, Georgia Tech in 2004 and Ohio State in 2007. All three reached the national title game; Syracuse won it all. This year, I have no such feeling about any team.
To explain why I don't believe Big East teams will fare well in the Big Dance, I offer two prime pieces of evidence: 1.) Kentucky 72, Notre Dame 58; 2). Kentucky 78, Louisville 63.
Teams that go on scalding-hot runs in conference tournaments generally are not able to recapture the magic in the NCAAs. For that reason, be skeptical of Connecticut, Memphis and Penn State.