Congratulations to top seeds UNC, Kansas, UCLA, and Memphis, who all made the Final Four. While I don't think this is a great story, I do believe that next weekend could feature some outstanding basketball.
Kansas and UCLA stayed true to form, and took advantage of their comparatively easy brackets. (Davidson and Xavier were worthy Elite 8 opponents, mind you, but the Midwest and West regions never looked that daunting.)
Memphis was unfairly perceived as having no discipline or finesse, and changed a lot of minds when beating Michigan State and Texas -- and hitting their free throws in the process.
UNC, in my opinion, was the weakest of the top seeds based on the regular season -- their highest profile games were against BYU, Kent State, Davidson, and Kentucky. (I could criticize Duke as well, but at least they played Marquette, Wisconsin, and Pittsburgh in addition to Davidson.) But in adding big wins against Arkansas, Washington State, and Louisville, Carolina deserves to be where they're at right now.
How did I do with my year-in-advance picks? Same as last year.
April 2006 picks:
Ohio State, UCLA, UNC, Georgia Tech
Ohio State: Final Four, lost in final
UCLA: Final Four, lost in semis
UNC: Elite 8
Georgia Tech: lost in 1st round
April 2007 picks:
Kansas, Memphis, Louisville, USC
Kansas: Final Four, ?
Memphis: Final Four, ?
Louisville: Elite 8
USC: lost in 1st round
To complete the pattern, next Monday's championship must have UCLA beating Kansas or UNC beating Memphis. I mention this now to try to ensure that the latter does not happen.