George Mason vs. Florida
This is the end of one wild magic carpet ride. George Mason's impact on the NCAA Tournament will be felt for years to come (remember the Patriots, future selection committees), but its run ends tonight. Florida's frontcourt is more consistent, more physical and more athletic than Connecticut's overhyped front line. Joakim Noah and Al Horford won't allow Mason's Jai Lewis and Will Thomas to dominate the paint like UConn did. The Gators should do a better job on the perimeter against Lamar Butler than any of Mason's previous opponents.
Pick: Florida 71, George Mason 61.
LSU vs. UCLA
First one to 60 wins for sure. And neither might get there in what figures to be a defensive battle that will evoke memories of Michigan State's 53-41 slugfest win over Wisconsin in Indy in 2000. Friday's injury to UCLA center Ryan Hollins turns the tide in LSU's favor, especially with the 6-foot-9 tandem of Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Tyrus Thomas suddenly leaping into the national spotlight in this tournament. It's going to be an all-Southeastern Conference final.
Pick: LSU 58, UCLA 52.
-- MIKE HARRINGTON