Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I was half right!

The Lady Vols of Tennessee won their second straight title; good for them. My year-in-advance prediction had Connecticut and Stanford in the Final Four, so at least I was half right. Rutgers made the Elite 8, but my champion, the Oklahoma Sooners, lost in the second round.

So the bad news is another title that cements the UConn-Tennessee rivalry as something we're supposed to care about. But I don't, and I never have. The lack of parity makes the sport boring.
There are more than two ways to win a title, and other powers need to step up and break the dual stranglehold. Unfortunately, everyone -- the media, the fans, and even the top girl recruits -- fail to realize this.

The good news is that seniors (and junior Candace Parker) graduate, so a change is unavoidable. While the 2008 Final Four -- Tennessee, Stanford, Connecticut, and LSU -- are reloading talent as usual, they've all lost the leadership and seasoned depth that will get them back to the Final Four in St. Louis next season.

So who'll crash the 2009 Final Four instead? One year in advance, I say California, Duke, Oklahoma, and Louisville. (Sooners, don't burn me a second consecutive year.) Berkeley's hippie fans will hit a new high -- ahem -- as Cal's sharp rise culminates in a national title for head coach Joanne Boyle.


Neel Mehta said...

Tracy Schultz of SI.com has posted her 2008-2009 Top 10 here, and my Final Four picks don't look so bad.

1. Connecticut
2. Stanford
3. North Carolina
4. Rutgers

7. Tennessee
9. Maryland

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