NCAA Tournament expected to be unpredictable

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The NCAA Tournament will not have a repeat champion for the sixth consecutive season. Kentucky made sure of that by failing to make the field of 68.

Indiana's Cody Zeller  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Indiana's Cody Zeller

Beyond that, nothing’s for certain after a season a parity that saw the top teams swap positions like it was a hoedown.

TOP TEAMS

Louisville: Coach Rick Pitino is one of the best minds in the game, and Peyton Siva and Russ Smith are capable of taking over any game.

Gonzaga: The Zags are big up front, love to play defense and have few weaknesses.

Kansas: Bill Self led the Jay­hawks to the Final Four last year and has them in position to make another run.

Indiana: Will be hard to beat with its size, talent and depth.

Duke: Return of forward Ryan Kelly makes for a tough matchup for anyone.

Florida: It has one of the nation’s best backcourts, some beef up front and love to play defense.

POSSIBLE UPSETS

No. 11 Belmont over No. 6 Arizona. The Bruins are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. Get hot, Belmont could pull it off.

No. 12 Oregon over No. 5 Oklahoma State. The Ducks have a chip on their shoulder after winning the Pac-12 Tournament and being dropped to a 12 seed.

No. 11 Saint Mary’s over No. 6 Memphis. The Tigers have failed to get out of the first round the past two tournaments and Saint Mary’s is scrappy.

No. 11 Minnesota over No. 6 UCLA. The Gophers are athletic and should give UCLA fits.

No. 16 Western Kentucky over No. 1 Kansas. OK, it’s probably a stretch, but 16 will eventually beat a 1 and after this season of surprises, we decided to throw one in there.

TOP PLAYERS

Cody Zeller, Indiana. The 7-foot sophomore center can be unstoppable.

Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga. The long-haired, long-armed 7-footer is long on talent.

Mason Plumlee, Duke. Was big reason it survived Kelly’s injury.

Jeff Withey, Kansas. Shot-swat­ting 7-footer is a difference-maker.

Trey Burke, Michigan. Big Ten Player of the Year in the running for national player of the year.

OBAMA PICKS INDIANA TO WIN

BRISTOL, Conn. — President Obama is picking Indiana to win it all the way. ESPN revealed Wednesday Obama picks. He predicted Louisville, Ohio State and Florida would round out the Final Four.

Obama has only correctly picked the winner once – North Carolina in 2009.

On the women’s side, Obama selected Baylor, California, UConn and Notre Dame to advance to New Orleans.

– Associated Press

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