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Let's go ... Mountaineers!

March 16, 2010 - Neil Rudel

Nice to be in demand.

Cutting to the chase: I'm picking West Virginia.

Yes, I know most of the talking heads on TV are picking Kansas, but I've never picked the No. 1 seeds because, well, anybody can.

Take a chance, so here goes ...

I'm with WVU, a No. 2 seed. I haven't taken the time to watch all the round-the-clock coverage, but I haven't reached this by flipping a coin, either.

The logic goes this way, not necessarily in order of importance:

The Mountaineers got stronger as the season went on. They're a product of the best league in the history of the sport. They have veteran leadership in Huggy Bear -- does this guy at least wear a sport coat to funerals? -- and a guard in Butler who can drive or score from the perimeter when the shot clock winds down. And they probably have a chip on their shoulder from not getting a No. 1 seed.

Plus this pick is sure to curry favor with Mirror publisher Ed Kruger, a proud West Virginian.

Further, the 'Eers could beat Kentucky in the regional finals and it says here Kentucky, with Calipari now shilling for DirecTV and youth all over the lineup, could be fragile -- even if Dicky V. picked them to win it all.

My Final Four: Louisville vs. West Virginia, Ohio State vs. Syracuse.

Final two: WVU over Ohio State.

Upset alerts: Houston over Maryland in the first round. Houston is coached by Tom Penders, who has taken four teams to the Dance, and Louisville taking out Duke in the second round.

The Pitt watch: I see Pitt beating Oakland in the 3-14 game and then losing to lower-seeded Xavier in the second round. Ashon Gibbs is a shotmaker, but Pitt lacks a go-to player as Brad Wanamaker and Gilbert Brown have both been inconsistent.

Seeded higher than it should be: Still not sure not how Villanova got a No. 2 since Wildcats staggered to the finish line. 'Cats also landed in softest bracket.

So let's dance, eh, Mehno?







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