THE BRACKETS

March 21, 2005

[First Round]

CHICAGO

1 ILLINOIS 16 FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON

8 TEXAS 9 NEVADA

5 ALABAMA 12 WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE

4 BOSTON COLLEGE 13 PENNSYLVANIA

6 LSU 11 UAB

3 ARIZONA 14 UTAH STATE

7 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 10 SAINT MARY'S

2 OKLAHOMA STATE 15 S.E. LOUISIANA

ALBUQUERQUE

1 WASHINGTON 16 MONTANA

8 PACIFIC 9 PITTSBURGH

5 GEORGIA TECH 12 GEORGE WASHINGTON

4 LOUISVILLE 13 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE

6 TEXAS TECH 11 UCLA

3 GONZAGA 14 WINTHROP

7 WEST VIRGINIA 10 CREIGHTON

2 WAKE FOREST 15 CHATTANOOGA

SYRACUSE

*OAKLAND WILL BEAT ALABAMA A&M IN NCAA PLAY-IN GAME

1 NORTH CAROLINA 16 OAKLAND*

8 MINNESOTA 9 IOWA STATE

5 VILLANOVA 12 NEW MEXICO

4 FLORIDA 13 OHIO

6 WISCONSIN 11 NORTHERN IOWA

3 KANSAS 14 BUCKNELL

7 CHARLOTTE 10 N.C. STATE

2 CONNECTICUT 15 CENTRAL FLORIDA

AUSTIN

1 DUKE 16 DELAWARE STATE

8 STANFORD 9 MISSISSIPPI STATE

5 MICHIGAN STATE 12 OLD DOMINION

4 SYRACUSE 13 VERMONT

6 UTAH 11 UTEP

3 OKLAHOMA 14 NIAGARA

7 CINCINNATI 10 IOWA

2 KENTUCKY 15 EASTERN KENTUCKY

[2nd Round]

[CHICAGO]

ILLINOIS Knights are gallant but are run through

NEVADA Longhorns too shorthanded to advance

WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE In this shootout, McCants bests Winston

BOSTON COLLEGE Outside Ivy, Quakers get taken to school

LSU Bass and Big Baby Davis douse Blazers

ARIZONA Wildcats sprint past poky Aggies

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS Experience pays for Brooks and friends

OKLAHOMA STATE Lions overmatched versus Sutton's vets

[ALBUQUERQUE]

WASHINGTON Huskies' onslaught leads to grisly result

PITTSBURGH Taft wins battle inside against Yango

GEORGIA TECH Jackets again hit their stride in March

LOUISVILLE Tiras Wade can't pull a Dwyane on Cards

TEXAS TECH Raiders bid good Knight to Bruins' babes

GONZAGA Zags love to run too--and are better at it

CREIGHTON Threes aplenty, but Jays shoot straighter

WAKE FOREST Deacons' might makes mockery of Mocs

[SYRACUSE]

NORTH CAROLINA Play-in winner Grizzlies end week 1--1

MINNESOTA One-man show Grier too much for ISU

VILLANOVA Granger can't beat 'Nova guards alone

FLORIDA Surging Gators have new gig: defense

WISCONSIN UNI can't handle Badgers' swing offense

KANSAS Simien's size thwarts Bison's upset bid

CHARLOTTE Princeton offense won't faze 49ers

CONNECTICUT Huskies press huge height advantage

[AUSTIN]

DUKE Despite nationwide support, Hornets fall

MISSISSIPPI STATE Thin Cardinal overachieved to get here

OLD DOMINION Aussie Loughton sinks Spartans in post

SYRACUSE Orange zone puts clamps on Coppenrath

UTEP Bogut beware: O. Thomas has mad game

OKLAHOMA Eagles can't keep up with Sooners inside

IOWA Hawkeyes' treys trump Bearcats' brawn

KENTUCKY UK alum Ford doesn't have horses to win

[Sweet 16]

[CHICAGO]

ILLINOIS Fazekas will score 30 and keep the game close, but Illini have more talent and a friendly crowd in Indy

WIS.-MILWAUKEE Eagles' Smith and Dudley can bang with Tucker and Tigert, but backcourt tips the scales to Panthers

ARIZONA Wildcats will need best game of season from Frye; transition attack will feast off Tigers' turnovers

OKLAHOMA STATE In matchup of similar personnel and styles, difference is provided on wing by Cowboys' Joey Graham

[ALBUQUERQUE]

PITTSBURGH Huskies' sole weakness is lack of size, and Panthers' musclemen Taft and Troutman exploit it

GEORGIA TECH With Jack controlling tempo and Schenscher parked inside, Tech topples Pitino's house of Cards

GONZAGA Wherefore goest thou, Raivio? To the Sweet 16, that's where, as point guard feeds Turiaf and Batista

WAKE FOREST No-D Deacs? Levy, Gray, Williams and Paul prove otherwise while collaring Creighton on perimeter

[SYRACUSE]

NORTH CAROLINA Talent gap is clear when Tar Heels race past Gophers, who never faced speed like this--even versus Illini

VILLANOVA How deep was Big East this season? Look for Wildcats to cool off hot Gators with three-point barrage

KANSAS Badgers' mystique disappears when they leave home, and Oklahoma City will be awash in crimson/blue

CONNECTICUT Closer-than-expected slugfest breaks Huskies' way thanks to precision passing of point guard Williams

[AUSTIN]

DUKE In battle of heavyweights, Shelden Williams shows Lawrence Roberts who's King of the Paint, circa 2005

SYRACUSE McNamara has penchant for huge games in NCAAs; look for G-Mac to drop 30-plus on awed Monarchs

OKLAHOMA Sampson's bruisers bludgeon Miners as Bookout and Gray use height and talent advantage inside

KENTUCKY Big Blue caravan rolls on as Wildcats bounce Hawkeyes with pressure defense and Sparks's timely threes

[FINAL 8]

[CHICAGO]

ILLINOIS Panthers will run, to no avail, against Illini, who'll rely on efficient shooting of Brown, Head and Williams for home-state win

OKLAHOMA ST. Stoudamire can't deal with stout D, and he'll see it aplenty against Lucas and mates; Pokes capitalize on open looks in transition

[ALBUQUERQUE]

GEORGIA TECH Point battle between Jack and Krauser goes to Jackets, who also play superior D, forcing Pitt into long stretches of cold shooting

WAKE FOREST Deacons can answer Turiaf with Williams, but Bulldogs have nobody to slow down streaking trio of Paul, Gray and Downey

[SYRACUSE]

NORTH CAROLINA Tar Heels avert upset by relying on good hands people: namely May, whose maturing inside game has no 'Nova match

KANSAS Experience counts. Just ask Jayhawks, who combined have played more NCAA tournament games than anyone else in field

[AUSTIN]

SYRACUSE Orange's supporting cast (read: McCroskey) provides the bang Boeheim has been waiting for as zone shuts down streaky Redick

OKLAHOMA Sooners present all sorts of matchup problems for Wildcats, who don't have nimble talent inside to hang with OU big men

[FINAL FOUR]

ILLINOIS A quality center is the only thing that frightens Illinois, and the Cowboys don't have one. Powell grounds J. Graham, and Illini fly on

WAKE FOREST Déj√† vu: Jack always gives Paul trouble, but Wake guard's mates pack more offensive punch, allowing Deacs to land knockout blow to ACC rival

NORTH CAROLINA Feared "worst moment" not so bad for Coach Williams, facing former team; improved D and long-awaited McCants offensive show turn Roy's frown upside-down

SYRACUSE Hak attack: Orange's Warrick adds to tournament scrapbook (see '03 title-game block) by running over Sooners, who have no match for his athleticism

[2005 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME]

ILLINOIS Count on a closer game than the Illini's 18-point win over Wake in December, but look for the same result thanks to Illinois's superior passing and defense

NORTH CAROLINA Williams avenges '03 title-game loss as tenacious Heels reduce Orange's scoring options to Warrick and G-Mac-- who can't win playing two-on-five

WINNER

ILLINOIS Perfect? Not quite, but the Illini have the grit, teamwork and poise to beat the Tar Heels in St. Louis on April 4

COLOR PHOTOBOB ROSATOCHRIS PAUL, WAKE FOREST COLOR PHOTOBOB ROSATORAYMOND FELTON, NORTH CAROLINA COLOR PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHOOTIS GEORGE, LOUISVILLE COLOR PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHOROGER POWELL JR., ILLINOIS COLOR PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGHMIKE JENSEN, WASHINGTON COLOR PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGHCHANNING FRYE, ARIZONA COLOR PHOTOGREG NELSONCHUCK HAYES, KENTUCKY COLOR ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)