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Question of the Day: Which are your final two NCAA men's teams? [Updated]

March 21, 2011 | 10:06 am


Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in concerning this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel

Kansas_250 After a first week of upsets and disappointments, thankfully, my Final Four bracket remained intact with Ohio State, Duke, Kansas and Wisconsin ... yes, Wisconsin.

That means the two teams that I have in the title game are still alive: Ohio State and Kansas. It's not a stretch for either of these two to make it to Houston, but I think the Jayhawks might have the easier stretch of road.

The Buckeyes looked impressive, defeating their two opponents by an average of 30 points. However, the road gets a bit tougher with a match-up against a young Kentucky team, followed by possible meetings with North Carolina and then Duke in the Final Four.

Kansas, on the other hand, will be playing the role of evil stepsister to some of this year's Cinderellas. The Jayhawks face Richmond and possibly Florida State or VCU. With the winner of BYU-Florida or Wisconsin-Butler waiting in the wings.

Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune

The nation's bracket sheets are torn to shreds or in ashes after a frustrating first three rounds. But the three No. 1 seeds have relatively easy roads to the Final Four, and it will be top-seeded Kansas and Ohio State meeting for the NCAA tournament title.

The Jayhawks could not ask for calmer seas while the rest of the bracket has been through a hurricane of upsets. They have three double-digit seeds in the Southwest Region, needing to beat No. 12 Richmond in the Sweet 16 and then either No. 11 VCU or No. 10 Florida State. Ohio State looks like the most dominant team in the tournament. It has the size and athleticism to take down No. 4 Kentucky in the East Region, and then will face either No. 11 Marquette or No. 2 North Carolina.

Ohio State and Kansas are the two more impressive teams remaining in the tournament. It would take a monumental upset to derail either from meeting in Houston.

Jeff Otterbein, Hartford Courant

Well, it's much easier picking the final two teams now that there are only 16 left. Still, plenty of room to get it all wrong. In the beginning, I had Pitt winning it all on one bracket, and on another I have Ohio State being crowned the champion. So I'll stick with Ohio State on one side of the bracket, which means beating Kentucky and could mean beating both North Carolina and Duke to get the title game.

On the other side of the bracket, it's either Kansas or Florida. The Gators are back on the national stage and playing well, so what the heck. Let's put them in the title game. I have a feeling but don't know exactly what's behind it, other than I once lived in the Sunshine State and they've looked good so far. Of course, after all that, it's probably Marquette-Butler. You know we're in for more upsets.

[Updated at 10:44 a.m.:

Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times

It’s going to be Florida versus Ohio State in a rematch of the 2007 national championship game — and an 18-point Buckeyes victory over the Gators in November on Florida’s home court.

Florida has improved significantly since then, and the Gators will reach the title game by continuing to play with an edge to show up those who believe they were undeserving of a No. 2 seeding in the Southeast Regional.

But once they reach Houston, they will have a problem now that Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer have been relegated to Gator bystanders. Ohio State’s inside duo of Jared Sullinger and David Lighty packed a 52-point wallop in the teams’ first meeting, and guards Jon Diebler and William Buford are capable of neutralizing Florida counterparts Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton.

By halftime at Reliant Stadium, the only thing left to accomplish on the way to the Buckeyes’ title will be for the Ohio State band to take the court so it can dot the i and cross the t’s.]


2011 NCAA tournament interactive bracket

San Diego State will try to make itself at home in Anaheim

Upper photo: William Buford, left, and David Lighty celebrate near the end of Ohio State's 98-66 win over George Mason on Sunday. Credit: Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Lower photo: Kansas' Marcus Morris celebrates during second-half action Sunday. Credit: Rich Sugg / Kansas City Star / MCT