Thursday, March 14, 2002

JOHN'S FINAL FOUR PICKS
Duke, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Florida
Championship Game: Duke over Maryland

I think that in the 15 or so years that I've filled out a bracket, I've probably picked Duke to win about 10 times. There are less effective stategies, as Duke has actually won the tournament three times in that time, but I can't help but think I'm slipping into Chirs Berman type predictability ("This year's Super Bowl prediction: Bills over 49ers" -- Funny thing is he was half-right for about 8 straight years).

Duke's late losses notwithstanding, I think Jason Williams is head and shoulders above all other college players. Plus, he plays the most important position on the court for this tournament, and is surrounded by other great players like Boozer and Dunleavy. Duke's ability to attract NBA-quality players who want to stay for more than two years is a tremendous competitive advantage in today's college basketball environment, where the best players usually jump to the NBA after little or no time in college.
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