We’ve arrived at a Final Four, both here in the what-if world of 4-year college stars and in reality. Here are the voting results from the Elite Eight:
- #1 Ohio State over #3 Pittsburgh, 100% of vote (no love for Blair & Co.?)
- #1 UCLA over #2 USC, 65% of vote
- #2 Kentucky over #1 Memphis, 56% of vote (only upset of Elite Eight)
- #1 Texas over #3 Carolina, 72% of vote (not even the droves of Carolina fans could stop Durant)
Here’s the Final Four bracket, matchups and polls for voting (polls open until Wednesday night). Have at it:
#1 Ohio State
The Buckeyes are our #1 overall seed. They haven’t had as much tournament success as I’m sure their fans would like, but most of that can be attributed to a plethora of early exits. When you see this lineup, it’s clear that Thad Matta is doing a hell of a job recruiting. They’ve got 5 guys who have left early the last few years, including three 7-footers in Greg Oden, Kosta Koufos, and B.J. Mullens.
Greg Oden* – Center, 7 ft, 285 lbs. Despite being plagued by injuries during his NBA career, Oden had a tremendous one year run in college. It’s hard to imagine him not being incredibly dominant as a college senior.
Evan Turner – Forward, 6 ft 7 in, 205 lbs.
Mike Conley* – Guard, 6 ft 1 in, 185 lbs.
Daequan Cook* – Guard, 6 ft 5 in, 195 lbs.
William Buford – Guard, 6 ft 5 in, 185 lbs.
Key Reserves: B.J. Mullens*, Kosta Koufos*.
This season was disappointing for UCLA, but the talent they’ve sent to the NBA over the last few years earns them a #1 seed. Guard Jrue Holiday left after only one season this past spring, and teammates from the 2008 Final Four team, Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook, went 4th and 5th in that year’s draft.
Kevin Love* – Forward, 6 ft 10 in, 260 lbs. Love had an impressive run at UCLA in ’07-08 and probably could have continued to be dominate, although you can’t blame him for taking $3 million a year to head to the pros a couple years early.
Nikola Gragovic – Forward, 6 ft 9 in, 225 lbs.
Jrue Holiday* – Guard, 6 ft 4 in, 199 lbs.
Russell Westbrook* – Guard, 6 ft 3 in, 187 lbs. Developing into a solid point guard for Oklahoma City and would have been a fantastic college player had he decided to hang around.
Michael Roll – Guard, 6 ft 5 in, 200 lbs.
This year’s team has only lost 2 games and is looking like the favorite to win it all. That alone makes them a strong contender here, even though the addition of Jodie Meeks doesn’t have quite as big an impact as the boost some of the other teams receive from having their underclassmen NBAers back.
DeMarcus Cousins – Forward, 6 ft, 11 in, 270 lbs.
Patrick Patterson – Forward, 6 ft 9 in, 235 lbs.
Eric Bledsoe – Guard, 6 ft 1 in, 190 lbs.
John Wall – Guard, 6 ft 4 in, 195 lbs.
Jodie Meeks* – Guard, 6 ft 4 in, 211 lbs. Excellent scorer to go alongside Wall. Had 30+ points 7 times his junior season before being drafted in the second round.
This was a down year for the Longhorns, but if they still had Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin, things would be a little different. Augustin has been solid after leaving before his junior season, and Durant is an MVP candidate who is averaging almost 30 points per game in Oklahoma City.
Dexter Pittman – Center, 6 ft 10 in, 290 lbs.
Damion James – Forward, 6 ft 7 in, 225 lbs.
Kevin Durant* – Forward, 6 ft 9 in, 230 lbs.
D.J. Augustin* – Guard, 6 ft, 180 lbs.
Avery Bradley – Guard, 6 ft 2 in, 180 lbs.
Thanks for reading/voting. See you Thursday for the championship game.