By Paul M. Banks, Peter Christian, David K.
Elite Eight: Wisconsin, Villanova, UNLV, USC
Final Four: Marquette, UNC
National Champion: UCLA
Sleepers: Wisconsin, UNLV, Baylor
Overrated: UCONN, Davidson, Gonzaga
All-American First Team:
Tyler Hansbrough F UNC, Luke Harangody F Notre Dame, Stephen Curry G Davidson, Darren Collison, G UCLA, Ty Lawson G UNC
All-American Second Team:
Chase Budinger F Arizona, Patrick Patterson F Kentucky,Â Hasheem Thabeet C UConn, AJ Price G UConn, Scottie Reynolds G Villanova
Player of the Year:
Tyler Hansbrough F UNC
Jrue Holiday G UCLA, Kemba Walker G UConn, Samardo Salmons F Louisville, Delvon Roe F Michigan St., B.J. Mullens C Ohio St.
Freshman of the Year:
Jrue Holliday G UCLA
For David K.â€™s picks (which are quite a bit more in-depth) click here
PAUL M. BANKS
Elite Eight: UCLA- Randy Newman may â€œLove L.A.â€ but they seem to have trouble lately on the last weekend of the tourney, Purdue- because one Big Ten team has to make it, right?, Syracuse- donâ€™t sleep on them, UConn- a very balanced team
Final Four: Notre Dame (ugh! unfortunately), NORTHWESTERN they will win 40 games this year and run the table in March Madness. Ok, seriously Texas (because everythingâ€™s bigger in Texas, including expectations when you have solid post-perimeter balance like the Longhorns do.
Runner-up: Louisvilleâ€¦â€œsluggingâ€ their way to the title game,.
National Champion: North Carolinaâ€¦â€raise up! Take your shirt off, spin it round your head like a helicopterâ€
Sleepers: Any newly recruited big white oaf on Wisconsin, Georgetown, a middle-of-the-road Big East team that none of us have mentioned yet.
Overrated: Brian Butch, I know heâ€™s gone now, but I hated him so much that I had to take one last shot at him. Wiscoâ€™s tournament chances will be overrated again come Selection Sunday. Iâ€™m not sold on Marquette either. Call me a F.I.B. if you want to cheeseheads!
All-American First Team: Juice Thompson, Craig Moore, Kevin Coble, Northwestern, Demetri McCamey and Trent Meacham, Illinois. Ok, you know Iâ€™m not serious about that. I donâ€™t know why Iâ€™m so punchy with my picks tonight!
My real picks are Carolinaâ€™s Hansbrough, Curry the Davidson kid, Thabeet the big oaf on UConn, Budinger from Arizona who will dominate the NIT in March, and Texasâ€™ A.J. Abrams, not to be confused with J.J. Abrams co-creator of ABCâ€™s â€œLostâ€
All-American Second Team: Iâ€™m skipping this category this year, because I canâ€™t, in good conscience, put any Illinois or Michigan St. players on it this year.
Player of the Year: Tyler Hansbrough F UNC. Just please come up with a new celebratory â€œgestureâ€ that attempt at dancing or imitating a baby T. Rex or whatever that was in the ACC Tourney last year has got to go.
All-Freshman Team: See Daveâ€™s list. Or Peteâ€™s. they know a lot more about this category than I do. But of course I agree with the choice of Spartyâ€™s Delvon Roe.
Freshman of the Year: B.J. Mullens, Ohio St. Lately, they havenâ€™t been rebuilding at the post position, just re-loading!
Toughest Conference: The Big East by far! It certainly isnâ€™t the Big Ten who will regale us for the fourth year in a row this March with a conference tournament composed of many 55-50 final scores. These telecasts will be ambien in college basketball form