Interview with Grant Wahl

A year ago, Sports Illustrated hoops writer Grant Wahl spent a week on the road with Coach Williams and the Jayhawks. Recently Phog.net's Joel Cox got a chance to speak with Grant about the Big Dance, seedings, brackets, and of course, the Jayhawks.

JC: Grant, SI pays you to cover college hoops. Give us your expert opinion. What do you think about the Jayhawk #2 seed this year?

GW: They didn't deserve a #2. KU should have been a #1. Also, it's one thing to give Kansas a 2 seed, but they also put them in with Arizona. The treatment KU received could not be any worse.

JC: So which is the toughest bracket?

GW: I think the West is the toughest bracket. Creighton is a six seed? They should have been a 4 or 5. Illinois is an awfully tough 4 seed, and Memphis is a very tough 7. Memphis will not be an easy game for KU assuming Memphis wins. Even the 8-9 matchup is a big one with Gonzaga and Cincinnati. This bracket is loaded with programs that have been successful in the tournament. It should be interesting

JC: Let's talk the Jayhawks. National Champions?

GW: I've got the Jayhawks losing to Arizona in the elite eight. Arizona is just too good.

JC: So KU gets by Duke?

GW: Actually I have Creighton beating Duke. So KU will be facing Creighton. It's an interesting match-up. Collison and Michael Lindeman went to high school together in Iowa.

JC: Time to step up, Wahl. Give us your predictions. Who is coming out of the four regions? Start with the South.

GW: The South is a free-for-all. This is where everything will be all mixed up. I've got LSU beating Texas in the 2nd round. They have three seniors and they have proven they can beat top teams. As for the regional champion, I think Maryland is going to win the South region.

JC: We know you have Zona beating the Jayhawks out West. Who is your pick from the East?

GW: Oklahoma. They've improved a great deal. They have learned how to get it down low and score. Oklahoma wins the East

JC: Finally, the Midwest?

GW: I think Pitt beats Kentucky in the Midwest final. Pitt is a very good team and I think they can handle Kentucky

JC: So give us your final four picks and your national champion.

GW: Arizona beats Pitt and OU beats Maryland. In the final I think Arizona beats OU to avenge last year's loss. Arizona is your national champion.

JC: Any thoughts on who will be the new UCLA coach?

GW: Keep your eye on Mark Few.

JC: Thanks Grant.

GW: You bet


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