Final Four: A weekly projection of the Final Four teams will continue to be a part of Sully's Court. Here's the first one. What do these teams have in common? Experience, unselfish play, and a commitment to defense.
Kansas: Deservedly the nation's top-ranked team. Everyone returns, most notably center Cole Aldrich and point guard Sherron Collins.
Purdue: Injuries detrailed the Boilers last season. This is a group of players that thrive because they play together and guard enthusiastically.
West Virginia: Coach Bob Huggins will push and prod this team to success. Replacing graduated guard Alex Ruoff will be a key factor.
Cal: The Bears were a disappointing first-round loser in the NCAA's last season but they should learn from that with just about everyone returning. Guard play wth Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher is the Bears' strength.
Two other projections:
Breakthrough team: Seton Hall. The Pirates have a coach, Bobby Gonzalez, with a will to succeed and two really talented transfers, forward Herb Pope (New Mexico State) and guard Keon Lawrence (Missouri).
Most overrated team: Kentucky. Coach Cal has in incredible freshmen class but the best of them, point guard John Wall, isn't even eligible yet. Meanwhile, the returning players weren't good enough to make the NCAAs.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell