University members predict Final Four winners

Bob Reynolds, Sports Editor

The Daily Eastern News sports staff asked coaches and professors around the country to predict who they believe will win the men’s basketball National Championship Monday in Indianapolis.

13 of the 19 coaches and professors asked chose Kentucky as the predicted winner.

The selected coaches included men’s and women’s basketball coaches from around the country, who submitted their predictions through email.

Coaches from sports such as cross-country, hockey, gymnastics, soccer gave their perspectives of why they think a certain team will win the National Championship.

Eastern professors from the English, and kinesiology and sports Studies departments also gave their predictions.

The Kentucky Wildcats are 38-0 this season and haven’t shown many signs of slowing down their high-powered offense.

The Wildcats are averaging 74 points per game, while holding their opponents to 53.9 points per game.

Kentucky had a scare in the Elite 8 against Notre Dame. The Irish were leading late and had a chance at the buzzer, but fell short.

Addtionally, three coaches chose Wisconsin, two coaches chose Michigan State and one chose Duke.

University of Wisconsin women’s basketball coach Bobbie Kelsey said Wisconsin is going to win the title because they have the poise and toughness to win it all.

“Hitting big shots and different players stepping up is what we do,” she said. “And on top of everything, we have one of the best coaches in the game in Bo Ryan.”

Wisconsin has had to garner comebacks in its last three games in the NCAA Tournament.

The men’s soccer coach at Northwestern University, Tim Lenahan, chose Wisconsin, because Bo Ryan is an old-school Philadelphia coach like  himself.

Kentucky will face Wisconsin Saturday at 7:49 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Michigan State will take on Duke in the other semifinal Saturday at 5:09 p.m.

Tennessee State softball coach Tom Opdenbrouw said Duke will win the national title for two reasons.

“One, they have the best coach in the country,” he said. “Two, Wisconsin will be so tired after beating Kentucky, that they wont have enough left to beat Duke.”   

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].