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EAST REGIONAL

Chris Dufresne | The Bottom Line

March 12, 2007|CHRIS DUFRESNE

Jump aboard the symmetry train here. Last year, No. 2 UCLA parlayed a first-round win over the Belmont Bruins all the way to a national-title appearance.

Could this be Georgetown's destiny?

Can we say "Yes!" and check back on Friday?

It's good to see the Hoyas back after all these years, with a coach named John Thompson and a Patrick Ewing on the roster. This edition of Georgetown, lead by the sons of the pioneers, seemingly lacks only the "Hoya Paranoia" that pervaded those Big East Conference powerhouse squads of the 1980s.

We see nothing, short of your garden-variety bracket miscalculation, preventing a North Carolina-Georgetown showdown in the regional final, and then it comes down to a coin-flip pick.

So we like Georgetown back in the Final Four. Unlike 1985, the Hoyas won't be joined by two other Big East teams, but when will it ever be like that again for the Big East?

Before we get to North Carolina-Georgetown....

USC, riding the momentum of a blowout loss to Oregon in the Pacific Life Pac-10 tournament final, lucked out with a No. 5 seeding but maybe not a first-round match-up against Arkansas. USC's football team has defeated Arkansas by the combined score of 120-31 the last two seasons -- no one's saying that's going to happen again.

We envision USC moving on to play another recent football partner, Texas, and Texas narrowly outscoring USC in both halves -- let's say by identical margins of 41-38.

A USC song girl, thinking the Trojans had won, will be caught on camera throwing up her pompoms. Texas star Kevin Durant will be likened to former Longhorns quarterback Vince Young and fans will nod.

Also in the East, Washington State will win two games before the hayride ends in the regional semifinals. Read more about it in the Pullman Daily Tattler.

NCAA administrators be warned: Texas Tech Coach Bob Knight is residing in this bracket, with a first-round game against Boston College in Winston-Salem, N.C. After Colorado pulled off a first-round upset against Knight's Indiana team at this site in 1997, Knight was so miffed he walked several miles to the team hotel.

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