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Grizzlies players 2011 NCAA Tournament champion picks

We tracked down a few of the Grizzlies players to get their NCAA Tournament champion picks, and we couldn’t help but notice some biases in their selections. After all, the Grizzlies are the only team in the NBA to have all four No. 1 seeds represented, with Kansas alums Darrell Arthur and Xavier Henry, Duke grad Shane Battier, Ohio State standout Mike Conley and Pittsburgh star Sam Young all on the roster. What’s more, O.J. Mayo (USC), Zach Randolph (Michigan State), Jason Williams (Florida) and coaches Henry Bibby (UCLA) and Damon Stoudamire (Arizona) all have a rooting interest this month. Here’s how they picked:

Zach Randolph

Pick: Michigan State! I like Kansas though.

Why?: They have an all-around team with strong players at every position.

Leon Powe

Pick: I think I’ve got Ohio State. No—I’m going to go with the Dukies, especially if they get their point guard back.

Why?: They’ve been playing good basketball, executing on both ends, playing pressure defense—and that’s what I like. That’s what you need in the tournament. The guard-play has been outstanding. (The selection committee) gave Ohio State a raw deal. Their bracket is a lot tougher than Duke’s.

O.J. Mayo

Pick: USC… USC or Kansas.

Darrell Arthur

Pick: You know I’ve got Kansas. Kansas all the way.

Why?: I can’t go against my boys in blue. They have an older team, more experienced. They went to the tournament last year, so I’m thinking that Coach (Bill Self) will have them prepared. He usually always has them prepared for the tournament. They had a great season and they’ve been playing well. The twins (Marcus and Markieff Morris) have been killing down-low. Tyshawn Taylor, (Tyrel) Reed and Brady Morningstar have been playing well. It’s going to be tough for them, but if they stay focused and stay ready and play with great energy every game, they’ll be all right.

Greivis Vasquez

Pick: Duke.

Why?: ACC!

Ish Smith

Pick: I’m leaning towards Kansas.

Why?: Kansas is so balanced. They’re the one team that I’ve watched where, defensively and offensively, they’re strong. It’s not just one guy that you can focus on. Their whole team is really good. Five or six of their guys could either come off the bench or start and give you 20 to 25 points. I’d probably say they’re the most balanced and the most consistent team. Teams have been going up-and-down, but they’re the most consistent team. You never know in the tournament, but I think Kansas. There are a lot of balanced teams in there. I think there are going to be a lot of upsets. I know Connecticut’s hot, but it’s all about seeding and who you play. It could be a dark-horse.

Mike Conley

Pick: Ohio State. Ohio State Buckeyes.

Why?: Because they’re the best!


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