NCAA tournament 2013: Top high school athletes make their picks

March 21, 2013

With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament field now narrowed to 64 teams, we asked a few of the area’s top high school boys’ basketball players for a look at their brackets. Some All-Mets in other sports weighed in, too. (You can as well with The Post’s B racket Challenge.)

Here’s how they see the tournament playing out:

Eleanor Roosevelt senior Malachi Alexander

Holy Cross recruit helped the Raiders first Maryland 4A title since 2002

FINAL FOUR: Kansas, Miami, Ohio State, Louisville.

CHAMPION: Louisville (“They just seem to be the popular pick.”)

Lake Braddock senior Natalie Butler

Forward signed to play at Georgetown

FINAL FOUR: Georgetown, Miami (Coach Larranaga has done a great job putting the Miami program on the map and the win over Duke earlier this season was quite impressive.), Gonzaga (They play great team ball, and it’s hard to bet against a 31-2 record.), Louisville (They seem to have flown under the radar a bit but also appear to be peaking at the right time.).

NATIONAL CHAMPION: Georgetown (Gotta back up my school. “We are Georgetown!” Coach John Thompson III will have the team ready to make a very strong run in the tournament. We all are pulling for Otto [Porter] to be “Otto-matic,” although we know the opposition will be keying on him.)

Damascus senior Zach Bradshaw

All-Met football player headed to Virginia

FINAL FOUR: Louisville, Florida, Ohio State, Indiana.

CHAMPION: Indiana (“My dad went to Michigan State, so I’ve grown up watching Big Ten basketball. I’ve got to root for the conference I’ve grown up with, and I just feel Indiana has the best chance out of anyone else in the Big Ten.”)

Magruder senior Nick Griffin

George Washington-bound guard led Maryland 4A runner-up in scoring

FINAL FOUR: Louisville, Ohio State, Miami, Kansas.

CHAMPION: Kansas (“I believe they are one of the most balanced teams in the tourney, and [Ben] McLemore is a very good player. Though they’re inconsistent at times, as of late, they’ve been playing good basketball, so I think they can keep it going.”)

Sidwell Friends senior Josh Hart

Area’s second-leading scorer who signed with Villanova

FINAL FOUR: Louisville (“They have a top point [Russ Smith] who can run the team. They are the hottest team in the country and during the tournament it’s about the hottest teams.”), Ohio State (“They have, in my opinion, the best point guard in the country [Aaron Craft] who can run the team, lead and is a winner. They hustle, go after everything and have a great coach.”), Indiana (“When they show up, they are the best team in the country, flat out. They have talent and depth, but it depends which Indiana team shows up.”), Florida (“Kansas hasn’t been consistent all year, Georgetown is a good team but if you are able to slow down Otto Porter, they are done. Florida has the firepower but has to be consistent and play D.”).

CHAMPION: Indiana (“I think Indiana will beat Louisville because they have players that are hard-working and hungry for a title, and they have a great coach who can get the best out of his team.”)

Gonzaga senior Kris Jenkins
All-Met senior forward who signed with Villanova
FINAL FOUR: Louisville, Florida (“They are well-coached, have a lot of veteran guys and are solid at every position on the floor.”), Indiana (“They are possibly the best team in the tournament and have the best chance to win out of everyone because they are well-coached and skilled at every position.”), Ohio State (“The Big Ten tournament champs are playing great basketball at the right time and possibly have the easiest route to the Final Four.”).

CHAMPION: Louisville (“I believe they are the hottest team going into the tournament and have great experience.”)

North Point senior Naim Muhammad

Helped the Eagles to three Maryland 4A East titles in as many seasons

FINAL FOUR: Duke (“They’re a complete team. It’s hard to match up with them. Quinn Cook’s been representing the DMV well.”), Gonzaga, Kansas, Indiana.

CHAMPION: Indiana (“Victor Oladipo. The way he’s been playing lately, his defense and athleticism [are] the best in the country.”)

Friendship Collegiate junior D’Andre Payne

All-Met football player with more than 30 major college offers

FINAL FOUR: Indiana, Miami, Duke, Ohio State.

CHAMPION: Indiana (“[Victor Oladipo] is going to play big in the tournament.”

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes senior Carly Reed

Reigning All-Met girls’ lacrosse Player of the Year committed to North Carolina

FINAL FOUR: Louisville, Ohio State, Miami and Kansas. (“I’d like to pick UNC but that may have to wait a year.”)

NATIONAL CHAMPION: Louisville (“They’re a really fast, quick team, and I like their coach, Rick Pitino.”)

Theodore Roosevelt junior Johnnie Shuler

Point guard led the Rough Riders to 26 victories

FINAL FOUR: Wisconsin, Louisville, Indiana, VCU (“It’s always one of them schools that make it to the final. March Madness is crazy.”).

CHAMPION: Indiana

Good Counsel junior Kyle Snyder

Last year’s All-Met Upper Weight Wrestler of the Year headed to Ohio State

FINAL FOUR: Louisville, Florida, N.C. State, Ohio State.

CHAMPION: Ohio State (“I’m going to be a Buckeye, so I’m a little biased, but they’re coming off a Big 10 [tournament] title, so I think they’re playing great basketball right now.”)

Good Counsel senior Lindsay Spann

Penn State recruit averaged 15.9 points per game for the WCAC runner-up

FINAL FOUR: Louisville (“I think Coach Pitino has done a great job this year, and Siva is a good point guard.”), Indiana, Kansas (“Ben McLemore is the best freshman in the country and is supported by other key players.”), Ohio State (“Winning the Big Ten tournament will give them momentum and confidence going into the NCAA tournament.”)

CHAMPION: Indiana (“Two of the best players in the country in Oladipo and [Tyler] Zeller.”)

O’Connell junior Melo Trimble

WCAC and Alhambra tournament MVP who has orally committed to Maryland

FINAL FOUR: Duke (“I just think they really have a strong team.”), Kansas (“They don’t really have a tough matchup on their side besides Georgetown, and they’re not ready for Kansas.”), Miami (“They are the hot team and they seem to play well together.”), Indiana (“They are strong at all five positions.”).

CHAMPION: Duke (“I feel like they are going to make a god run and get back to playing the way they did at the beginning of this year.”).

Montrose Christian senior Ishmail Wainright

Second-leading scorer for No. 2 Montrose and Baylor recruit

FINAL FOUR: Duke, Louisville, Kansas, Indiana.

CHAMPION: Kansas (“I want my KC family to win a ring, and Ben McLemore has through so much, so I got Kansas winning.”).

Gonzaga senior Jack Slater

Led the Eagles hockey team to the area’s No. 1 ranking

FINAL FOUR: Louisville, Wisconsin, Miami and Michigan

CHAMPION: Louisville (“One of my buddies on the basketball team said them, and I always do terrible with brackets, so I just listened to him. We’ll see how it works out.”)

Locals in the NCAA tournament: Men (30) | Women (25)

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