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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


NCAA tournament predictions

I'm sitting in the media workroom at the Pepsi Center right now waiting for the morning press conferences to get under way, and had a few minutes to finally put my NCAA tournament predictions on paper. Michigan State, the five seed in the South, tips off at 10:30 a.m. local time Thursday against No. 12 Temple.

MSU's region sets up about as good as could be expected. They have the most beatable No. 1 seed (Memphis), a No. 2 they already handled (Texas), a three they match up well against (Stanford), and a four I think already has played its best basketball (Pittsburgh). That said, I don't know emotionally how much MSU has left after its heartbreaking loss to Wisconsin in last week's Big Ten tournament semifinals.

The Spartans sunk a lot into that game and winning that tournament, they felt cheated when they lost, and down deep have some unresolved issues in big games against good teams. Since beating Texas in December, MSU is 1-4 against ranked opponents. It's a good sign that Drew Neitzel finally got going in Indianapolis last week, but I don't think this team has it in them to win twice in Denver. I see a closer-than-expected win against Temple and a grimy loss to Pittsburgh in the round of 32.

On a larger scale, there is a distinct gap between the No. 1 teams and the rest of the field but I can't go all chalk. North Carolina will come out of the East after playing four games in its home state. Kansas, the best team in the country, will win the topsy-turvy Midwest. In the West, I've got UConn taking out favorite UCLA in the Sweet 16 and beating Xavier for a Final Four bid, and Memphis is my pick in the South.

The Carolina-Kansas semifinal is essentially for the title in my mind, and I think Tyler Hansbrough is playing at too high a level to be stopped right now. The Tar Heels are my pick to cut down the nets in San Antonio.


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