This is an annual post: see also 2006, 2007, 2008.
Which college is most likely to have both their men's and women's teams advance to the Final Four? There are 26 such candidates this year (compare to 20 in 2006, 23 in 2007, and 22 in 2008), but numbers don't quite tell the whole story. Of those 26, only two -- East Tennessee State and Virginia Commonwealth -- are mid-major programs. The rest are from BCS or BCS-adjacent conferences.
In my opinion, there is a tie for first place, because I picked two schools to make both Final Fours this year.
1. Louisville. Men are a #1 seed; women are a #3 seed. Both teams have been a bit overshadowed all season; I say it's their time. The men are certainly peaking when it counts the most, and their region's path is very navigable. The women may have to upset Baylor and Maryland if they want to match the feat.
1. Oklahoma. Men #2; women #1. Courtney Paris said she would forfeit her scholarship if the Sooners didn't win the title. Tall order, considering that Connecticut is undefeated and unchallenged. But anyone who supports the downfall of the Huskies is aces in my book. Speaking of...
3. Connecticut. Men #1; women #1. A pair of top seeds, and a prohibitive favorite on the women's side. But I'm not seeing the men winning the regional final against Memphis or Missouri. And I'm staying true to my year-in-advance pick of California, who would face the UConn women in the 3rd round.
4. Duke. Men #2; women #1. Put it this way: the women could face 8 seed Michigan State in East Lansing, and 2 seed Stanford in Berkeley. And maybe Tennessee in between. Hard to imagine, but the men may have the easier path. So why did I pick only the women to get there? Contrarian tendencies, I guess.
5. Pittsburgh. Men #1; women #4. In a season where the Big East reigned supreme in men's hoops, I wonder if the conference will make an equivalent dent in both tournaments when all is said and done. I don't know much about the women's team, but I'm expecting good things from the men.
The other 19 schools are Arizona State, California, Florida State, Gonzaga, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Purdue, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Utah, Villanova, and Xavier.