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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 1, 2004
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Justin St. Germain
Sports Editor

Georgia Tech vs. Oklahoma State

Saturday, 4:07 p.m.

After going .500 last week, I'm still five games behind just about everybody, including the Wildcat newsroom monkeys. I need some upsets, and I refuse to root for a team that beat St. Joe's, so I'm taking Tech. It's hard to argue with a team as deep as the Ramblin' Wreck. Will the Thrill's been known as a sharpshooter ever since his days as a dorm sniper here at the UA, and he'll keep hitting the big shots.

Tech 68, OSU 67

Connecticut vs. Duke

Saturday, 6:47 p.m.

Between admitting my love for Duke last week and referencing the Palestine/Israel conflict in a sports column this week, I've been getting more than my share of hate mail lately. Well, (offensive crack about Middle East deleted), but I'm not backing down on the Duke thing. The perimeter game wins it for the Devils.

Duke 87, UConn 79

Men's National Champion

Wondering what Gary Barnett was doing at UA football practice the other day? Me too. But I'm more concerned about what's going to happen next week, when Rick Neuheisel shows up to help out with drills and collect all the money for Pac-10 sports editors' tournament pool. Duke's the only Final Four team I got right (thanks, Stanford), so I need them to come through.


Women's National Champion

Quick quiz: Who is Geno Auriemma? If you said "my bookie," "a mobster" or "Andy Garcia's character in 'The Untouchables'," you're wrong ("Stone. George Stone"). Actually, you might be right about the first two, but he's also the UConn women's coach best known for berating a student reporter in a press conference a couple years ago. I bet Pat Summitt doesn't pull that kind of crap.


Shane Dale
Assistant Sports Editor

Georgia Tech vs. Oklahoma State

That the Yellow Jackets were able to overcome a second-half deficit to Nevada and beat Kansas in the regionals minus B.J. Elder is impressive. What's not impressive is that GT has struggled in each of its first four tourney games, including a five-point win over No. 14 seed Northern Iowa. The Cowboys, on the other hand, have been put through the wringer in the tourney. OK St. has been battle tested.

Oklahoma State 71, Georgia Tech 54

Connecticut vs. Duke

Speaking of being put through the wringer ... you can't speak of these two. Duke hasn't faced anyone higher than a 5 seed so far in the tourney, and UConn's highest-seeded opponent has been a 6 - and a weak 6 at that. The difference: The Huskies have blown out all four tourney foes, winning by 17, 17, 20 and 16 points. The Dukies haven't been as dominant in the regionals.

Connecticut 81, Duke 70

Men's National Champion

Following the Sweet 16 - after my pick, Kentucky, decided to embarrass me - I went with Oklahoma State over UConn in the championship. Can't change that now. The Cowboys have lost three games all season and could have easily been a 1 seed (right, Mr. Packer?). They just find ways to win. They'll find a way to beat the Huskies.

Oklahoma State

Women's National Champion

If you're not a women's hoops fan, here's the deal: No. 7 seed Minnesota got its best player, Lindsay Whalen, back from an injury just in time for the tourney. Since then, the Gophers have run through everyone, routing second-seeded Kansas State by 19 and knocking off 3 seed Boston College and top-seeded Duke in the regionals. Diana Taurasi and Connecticut are next. In more ways than one.


Tom Knauer
Staff Writer

Georgia Tech vs. Oklahoma State

On paper, Georgia Tech has a snowball's chance in San Antonio this weekend against Oklahoma State (or the Okie-Dokies, as they should be called). But like Miami's wretched Marlins proved last fall, there's something to be said for a team that plays stronger than its roster would suggest.

Georgia Tech 60, Oklahoma State 57

Connecticut vs. Duke

As much as I'd love to see UConn make an intergender sweep of the NCAA Tournament (and put a big grin on the faces of those smarmy Sports Illustrated types in the process), the Huskies are five years overdue for a Blue Devil beatdown. J.J. Redick and Duke's solid sophomore core should be enough to overtake Connecticut and a formidable but balky Emeka Okafor - Ben Gordon notwithstanding.

Duke 77, UConn 70

Men's National Champion

The Marlins won the World Series last fall, remember?

Georgia Tech

Women's National Champion

Trust me, people: UConn coach Geno Auriemma probably has hits set up for the teams with an eye on upsetting Princess Diana and the rest of his Huskies.

Here's to hoping Ms. Taurasi is in Phoenix come WNBA time this summer.


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