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Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 8:01 pm  |  21 responses

SLAM’s Elite 8 Predictions

Even on February 15th Kansas and Kentucky were the best bets.

by Ben Osborne/@bosborne17

Those of you who have bought (or received in the mail) your copy of the beautifully timed (thus far, at least) new issue should have noticed that we’ve continued our annual tradition of making our esteemed staff members and contributors look like idiots by asking them to make Elite 8, Final 4 and NCAA Champion predictions in mid-February. We wanted to add a twist this year and get a sentence from each person about why they chose who they chose, but didn’t have room to get those sentences in the mag. Well, they can live on here.

Behold SLAM’s 2010 Tournament picks, and note that the most popular selections then remain the most popular selections now. I haven’t filled out any brackets yet, but trust that I’m riding with a Kansas-Kentucky Final. Could be even more exciting than the Kansas-Memphis joint two years ago…

Jake Appleman, Senior Writerwesjohnsonforweb
Elite 8: Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova, Texas, UNLV, Purdue, Michigan State, Syracuse
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Villanova
Champs: Syracuse
Why? Hey grandpa, can you tell me about the time you played for LeMoyne and you guys beat Syracuse in the same season that they won the NCAA championship?

Russ Bengtson, Contributing Editor

Elite 8: Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Villanova
Final 4: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse
Champs: Kentucky
Why? John Calipari and John Wall didn’t come to Kentucky to finish second. They won’t.

Michael Bradley, Senior Writer
Elite 8: Butler, Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Syracuse, Villanova
Final 4: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse
Champs: Kansas
Why? The Jayhawks have too much depth, a strong point guard and the power inside to succeed.

Cub Buenning, Contributor
Elite 8: Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova, West Virginia
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Syracuse
Champs: Kansas
Why? Along with their talent, depth, experience and commitment to defense, no other team in the nation can hurt you offensively from all five positions quite like the Jayhawks can.

Franklyn Calle, Contributor
Elite 8: Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova, West Virginia
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Villanova
Champs: Kentucky
Why? I think this is the year John Calipari finally wins the whole thing. Calipari has always had one superstar on his team but this year that’s not the case as he has John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.

Adam Fleischer, Editorial Assistant
Elite 8: Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Kentucky, Michigan State, Purdue, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova
Final 4: Kansas State, Kentucky, Purdue, Syracuse
Champs: Kentucky
Why? Their youth (read: lack of experience) makes me a little nervous, but pure talent and coaching will help them overcome that.

Men's Basketball vs. BelmontRyan Jones, Contributing Editor
Elite 8: Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, New Mexico, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova, Wisconsin
Final 4: Kansas, Michigan St, Texas, Villanova
Champs: Kansas
Why? Vets like Collins and Aldrich know what it takes. Ballers like Morris and our man Xavier put them over the top.

Ryne Nelson, Online Editor

Elite 8: Duke, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Michigan State, Purdue, Syracuse, Villanova
Final Four: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova
Champs: Villanova.
Why? ‘Nova’s offense is better than anyone else’s in the Big East and, arguably, across the nation as well.

Ben Osborne, Editor-in-Chief
Elite 8: Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Texas, Villanova, West Virginia
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Villanova
Champs: Kentucky
Why?
Um, they’re on our cover!

Dennis Page, Publisher
Elite 8: Georgetown, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky Purdue, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova 
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Villanova
Champs: Kentucky

Susan Price, Managing Editor
Elite 8: Butler, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova, West Virginia
Final 4: Butler, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia
Champs: Kentucky
Why? Cause Coach Cal said so.

Khalid Salaam, Contributing Editor
Elite 8: Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova, West Virginia
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia
Champs: Kansas
Why? This year’s Jayhawks squad has the perfect balance of talent, heart, intelligence and experience. The only team in that nation that can claim all those things.

Tzvi Twersky, Assistant Editor
Elite 8: Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Purdue, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Texas
Champs: Kansas
Why? Kansas has the jockey (Self) and the horses to outlast Kentucky and all other comers in this derby.

Joey Whalen, Contributor
Elite 8: Baylor, Georgetown, Kentucky, New Mexico
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Wisconsin
Champs: Kansas
Why? The Jayhawks have the best combination of talent, balance and depth in the country, it doesn’t hurt that Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich have won a national championship already either.

Lang Whitaker, Executive Editor
Elite 8: Georgetown, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Tennessee, West Virginia
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, West Virginia
Champs: Kentuckyukfor8
Why? Because they’ll want to make our cover look good

DeMarco Williams, Senior Writer
Elite 8: Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State, Syracuse,  Villanova
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Villanova
Champs: Michigan State
Why? With a healthy Kalin Lucas on the court and Tom Izzo on the sideline, I like the Spartans’ chances as well as anybody’s in Lawrence or Lexington.

By the way, intern Colin Powers had just started when we made the picks, and he formatted this post for me, so I let him make his picks today. No excuses if you don’t do best of anyone here, CP!

Colin Powers, Editorial Intern
Elite 8: Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Pitt, Syracuse, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Villanova
Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Pitt, Villanova
Champs: Kansas
Why? Too tough, too deep.

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  • caleb

    How many of you have both Kentucky and Texas in week two obviously haven’t been a bracket

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Read my intro, Caleb. Except for Colin’s, all these picks were made Feb. 15.

  • Logues

    no slamonline bracket contest? winner gets a “dope prize from the SLAM vault?” no?

  • http://slamonline.com Mo Money Bizzes

    Caleb needs to get those glasses checked.

  • john rose

    how are you gunna put unlv and kansas in the elite eight…they will meet in the second round fellas.

  • http://www.yougotdunkedon.com LilKDub503

    I think Kentucky will lose to WVU in the elite eight. The Mountaineers beat Syracuse a lot easier than Kentucky beat a team that isn’t in the tournament. Good team, just not there at all. Any team teetering on that brink should not give UK any problems. But they did. KU should win it all, because they simply Deebo’d their way through the cutthroat Big 12. Think about it: Kansas St. is probably going to the Final Four. Just saying a few cents worth.

  • http://www.twitter.com/retepadam Peter Nygaard

    Man, whoever issued this assignment really does hate the staff.

  • richieboy

    LilKDub – When did West Virgina beat Syracuse. SU beat them in Morgantown. SU’s only losses were to Ville (2X0, Georgetown (BET) and PITT.

  • http://slamonline.com d.j.

    wow for people that work with basketball i would think yall would know better than having these stupid picks.. picking Kentucky gtf outta here lol lucky if they make it to the final 4…. Kansas all day….

  • Wendallt

    There’s no way u guys watch college basketball if u think that Purdue (w/o Robbie Hummel due to injury) is going to make it to the final four…they might not even get out of the first round against Siena!

  • Wendallt

    I agree with LilKDub503, Kentucky WILL lose to West Va.

  • http://slamonline.com MooButter

    Props to Joey Whalen for being the only one to give Baylor any credit. Gotta say, it’s dissappointing how many of you had Texas in the elite eight. Even if the picks were made 2/15. They were already headed downhill and struggling in conference.

  • K Clark

    Why do people choose NOT to read the entire article? Not only the entire article, but choose to skip over the very FIRST sentence!

  • TyMo

    I see you with the obligatory UGA Elite 8 pick, Lang. Sucks that Kentucky and West Virginia are in the same region. Would have loved to see them play in the Final 4.

  • Jahi

    I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a replay of the 2010 Big East championship game. I think that West Virginia vs Georgetown is a very real possibility. Kentucky and Kansas seem to me, to be teams that are going to be upset sooner than later.

    Right now, I argue that West Virginia is the hottest team going into the tournament, and somewhat under the radar. Either way, I see Georgetown winning the whole thing.

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi Twersky

    Guys, these picks were made before Hummel got hurt, and about 5 weeks before the brackets were announced. These were our picks as of mid-February.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com/madlib Michael NZ

    Butler! Props to you Susan. Gangsta how Joey Whalen has four picks for the Elite 8.

  • Dallas

    Nova best offense in Big East?? pretty sure they lost to Cuse by like 18. CUSE wins it all. Good prediction Jake Appleman. I think it Syracuse – Kstate will be a great match up if they both make it to the Elite 8

  • TwinParadox

    No love for UNC?!
    Oh right…wrong tournament…

  • chris robinson

    what happened to the florida gators none of you guys picked them i mean no where

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