Monday, March 17, 2003

Tips for filling out your bracket

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Midwest Regional

Top four seeds: 1. Kentucky, 2. Pittsburgh, 3. Marquette, 4. Dayton.

Early upset pick: Sixth-seeded Missouri knocks off third-seeded Marquette in the second round.

Noteworthy: UK fans are salivating at yet another potential date with Utah, this time in the second round. The Utes are a good omen for the Cats. When UK won the national title in 1996, it beat Utah in the third round. When UK reached the title game in 1997, it beat Utah in the fourth round. And in 1998, UK beat Utah for its most recent national title.

Final Four pick: UK.

West Regional

Top four seeds: 1. Arizona, 2. Kansas, 3. Duke, 4. Illinois.

Early upset pick: Central Michigan, the 11th seed, uses 7-foot center Chris Kaman to upset Kyle Korver and Creighton in the first round.

Noteworthy: If the seeds hold, Arizona and Kansas will get a rematch of the Jan. 25 game Arizona won 91-74. The Jayhawks want revenge - after all, they led by as many as 20 before faltering.

Final Four pick: Arizona.

South Regional

Top four seeds: 1. Texas, 2. Florida, 3. Xavier, 4. Stanford.

Early upset pick: No. 10 Colorado, which battled through a tough Big 12, tops seventh-seeded Michigan State of the Big Ten, which seems to get five teams in no matter what.

Noteworthy: Maryland at No. 6? Yikes! No respect for the defending champion. The guess here is the Terps make it to the Sweet 16 for a rematch with Florida, which beat them 69-64 Dec. 14.

Final Four pick: Florida.

East Regional

Top four seeds: 1. Oklahoma, 2. Wake Forest, 3. Syracuse, 4. Louisville.

Early upset pick: Resist the urge to pick Butler over Mississippi State! The first-round upset here is 10th-seeded Auburn of the Southeastern Conference over Saint Joseph's.

Noteworthy: A Louisville-Mississippi State second-round meeting would pit Cardinals big man Marvin Stone against Bulldogs center Mario Austin in a juicy head-to-head.

Final Four pick: Oklahoma.

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