Projected Sweet 16

men's basketball

November 09, 2008|By DON MARKUS

Top seeds

North Carolina: : The return of Ty Lawson, Danny Green and Wayne Ellington from their NBA draft flirtation makes the Tar Heels a prohibitive favorite to win it all - if Tyler Hansbrough's shin holds up.

UCLA: : Ben Howland has led the Bruins to three straight Final Four appearances. They just haven't quite figured out how to finish the deal.

Florida: : Billy Donovan isn't rebuilding - he's reloading. If he can find a big man to take over for Marreese Speights, the Gators could be back again.

Louisville:: With the addition of Samardo Samuels, the Cardinals should get further than last season (Elite Eight).

The rest of the best

Connecticut:: If A.J. Price is back to form after knee surgery, the Huskies will give Georgetown a run in the Big East.

Georgetown: : The Hoyas lost three key seniors, but the addition of Greg Monroe might help John Thompson III make a longer run than last season.

Gonzaga: : If Austin Daye can get onto the court for more than 19 minutes a game this season, the 'Zags could assume their role as Cinderfellas.

Kansas: : With the pressure off after winning the title, Bill Self won't be looking over his shoulder.

Michigan State:: Kalin Lucas will take over for Drew Neitzel at the point, and his steady ballhandling should help the Spartans win the Big Ten.

Purdue: : Five starters return from a team that went 15-3 in the Big Ten.

Tennessee: : The Volunteers will need to find a successor to Chris Lofton, but Bruce Pearl will find a way to rule the Southeastern Conference.

Texas:: The Longhorns did surprisingly well without Kevin Durant last season, so losing D.J. Augustin won't be that big a deal.

Nevada-Las Vegas: : The Runnin' Rebels might not run as much under Lon Kruger as Jerry Tarkanian, but they could make a decent run in March.

Villanova: : The Wildcats are nearly intact from last season, and Scottie Reynolds is one of the best guards in the country.

Wake Forest: : One of the nation's best recruiting classes will fill in the gaps for Dino Gaudio's team.

West Virginia: : The loss of Joe Alexander could hurt early, but Da'Sean Butler will be a breakout star.

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