Teel Time: Picking Final Four of Kentucky, Florida State, Marquette, Kansas

John Calipari and his Kentucky team, the No. 1 seed in the South Regional, land in the Final Four on David Teel's bracket.

Connecticut defeated Butler in last season’s national championship game. My bracket had the Huskies losing to Bucknell, the Bulldogs to Old Dominion — both one-and-done.

Suffice to say I had no pool winnings to report to the IRS.

In my defense:

Since both my godchildren played lacrosse at Bucknell, I was obligated to pick the Bison. Alas, UConn nudged them by 29.

And taking ODU over Butler wasn’t far-fetched. The Monarchs lost by two at the buzzer.

My projected Final Four — Kansas, Ohio State, Duke and Florida — came up empty as well, though at least the Jayhawks and Gators reached a regional final.

Moreover, the Daily Press archives — why did I torture myself by looking? — show my 2010 Final Four barren, too. Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse and Villanova seemed like good ideas at the time, but only the Wildcats survived beyond the Sweet 16.

The last time I had multiple teams in the tournament semifinals? Way back in 2007 with Georgetown and eventual champion Florida.

The only time I went 4-for-4: North Carolina, Oklahoma State, UCLA and Arkansas fattened my wallet in 1995 — thank you, Tyus Edney.

All of which gives you every reason to dismiss what follows.

Last year marked only the third time in 33 years of seeding that no No. 1 seed made the Final Four. A fourth would not surprise.

As dominant as Kentucky has been, the Wildcats’ abundance of freshmen makes them an annual risk; North Carolina becomes ordinary on defense if John Henson aggravates the left wrist that sidelined him at the ACC tournament; Syracuse has rebounding and 3-point shooting issues, especially with Tuesday's announcement that its top rebounder and shot-blocker, Fab Melo, is ineligible; Michigan State is skittish at the free-throw line.

Let’s go region-by-region.


Early upsets: Harvard over Vanderbilt, Texas beats Cincinnati and West Virginia bests Gonzaga (the Zags are higher seeds and have to play the Mountaineers in their Pittsburgh backyard?!)

Sweet 16: Syracuse, Ohio State, Florida State, Wisconsin.

Regional final: Florida State over Syracuse in a defensive classic, the Seminoles’ man-to-man against the Orange’s 2-3 zone.


Early upset: VCU over Wichita State.