Gavin Campbell Jr.Contributor IOctober 2, 2008

1) North Carolina

Key Players: Wayne Ellington, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson

Fact is: The Tar-Heels are loaded from top to bottom as usual.  So Chapel Hill won't tolerate another Final Four meltdown.  So expect what you always do from North Carolina a solid season followed by a strong run in the tournament but once again they will fail to reach there goal of cutting down the mesh come late March.

2) Oklahoma

Key Players: Tony Crocker, Blake Griffin, Taylor Griffin

Fact is:  Brotherly love will be the key to any success in Norman this year.  Blake Griffin is projected by many to be the top pick in the 2009 NBA draft lottery.  If things get off to a good start in the Sooner state I do believe the Sooners are a Strong candidate for a final four appearance.

3) Connecticut

Key Players: Jeff Adrien, AJ Price, Hasheem Thabeet

Fact is:  If AJ Price's wonky knee stays healthy and the Huskies manage to develop some of that chemistry from last year they should be more than just an alright team expect these kids to reach the sweet 16.

4) Duke

Key Players: Kyle Singler, Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer

Fact is:  Duke is once again a pretty small team and a bit slow on top of that.  But there not many teams out there that have the regular season intensity that Duke shows year in and year out.  Hopefully all of that energy can be carried over come tournament time.

5) Pittsburgh

Key Players: Dejuan Blair, Sam Young, Levance Fields

Fact is:  The Panthers have one of the Nations rising stars in Dejuan Blair and have great defensive chemistry.  Expect this year version of the Panthers to not only win the the big east but advance to the final four in Detroit.

6) Louisville

Key Players: Terrence Williams, Jerry Smith, Earl Clark

Fact is:  The Cards have a deep team.  And when Earl Clark decided to for go the NBA draft the Cardinals got Even deeper.   Louisville should give Pittsburgh some great competition come Big East play and make a run come tournament time.

7) Memphis

Key Players: Antonio Anderson, Tyreke Evans, Robert Dozier

Fact is:  Memphis still plays in Conference USA  and that alone should give them 17 to 20 wins.   Expect Memphis to fall off from last years Final Four team I give them the benefit of a weak Conference Sweet 16 here comes Memphis once again.


Key Players: Josh Shipp, Jrue Holiday, Darren Collison

Fact is:  The Bruins lost alot from last years squad to the NBA Draft.  But they did have the strongest recruiting class and have the Nations best Point Guard in Darren Collison.  Expect the Bruins to reach the Final Four once again.  And yes they will be knocked out yet again.

9) Purdue

Key Players: E'Twuan Moore, Robbie Hummel, Jajuan Johnson

Fact is:  Purdue remains one of the youngest teams in all of college basketball but also boast the most talent in the Big Ten.  Watch for these kids to turn a few heads this year.  The window is closing for Purdue to capture a Big Ten title cause Ohio States Recruiting class for the 2010 season is gonna be one of the best in recent history.

10) Texas

Key Players: Connor Atchley, Damion James, AJ Abrams

Fact is:   Texas is solid all around and if DJ Augustine would have returned to Austin they would have had Final Four written all over them.  Look for Texas to turn a few heads this year and give Ohklahoma a run for the Big 12 title.


My Predictions for the 2009 Final Four in Detroit are:

  1. North Carolina
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. UCLA
  4. Oklahoma

What are you're predictions about this years college basketball season?  Let me know.