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Our March Madness picks: A prelude to humiliation...

A photo-illustration from the University of Pittsburgh website.
A photo-illustration from the University of Pittsburgh website.

Each year, I sit down with my daughter Lora -- a rabid sports fan with strong opinions about 9News' Susie Wargin -- to fill out NCAA tournament brackets for both the men's and women's basketball championships as part of a friendly contest organized by my wife's peers in the Archdiocese of Denver school system. We usually do pretty well, although our track record in the women's tourney is better than it is with the men's version. If we bottom out in 2009, however, we'll have company. After filling out our brackets, I discovered that we picked the same men's Final Four teams as President Barack Obama.

As usual, we let sentimentality dictate a few picks. For instance, Lora loves the Kansas Jayhawks, and even though they're probably a year away from making a legit run, we've got them reaching the Elite Eight anyhow. And while UCLA is a favorite pick for a first-round ouster, we've got them beating VCU because, well, I went to grad school at UCLA, and I can't pick against the Bruins in the friggin' first round. And on the women's side, both of us are probably guilty of putting too much faith in Notre Dame. Still, we feel pretty good about our championship selections: Connecticut in the women's contest (it's gonna be a coronation) and Pitt in the men's.

We'll update our success, or lack thereof, throughout the tournament. In the meantime, take a gander at our prognostications below.

NCAA Tournament Bracket 2009: Men's

MIDWEST BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Louisville over Morehead State

Siena over Ohio State

Utah over Arizona

Wake Forest over Cleveland State

West Virginia over Dayton

Kansas over North Dakota State

USC over Boston College

Michigan State over Robert Morris

WEST BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Connecticut over Chattanooga

BYU over Texas A&M

Purdue over Northern Iowa

Mississippi State over Washington

Marquette over Utah State

Missouri over Cornell

Maryland over California

Memphis over Cal. State Northridge

EAST BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Pittsburgh over East Tennessee State

Oklahoma State over Tennessee

Florida State over Wisconsin

Xavier over Portland State

UCLA over VCU

Villanova over American

Texas over Minnesota

Duke over Binghamton

SOUTH BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

North Carolina over Radford

Butler over LSU

Illinois over Western Kentucky

Gonzaga over Akron

Arizona State over Temple

Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin

Clemson over Michigan

Oklahoma over Morgan State

MIDWEST BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

Louisville over Siena

Wake Forest over Utah

Kansas over West Virginia

Michigan State over USC

WEST BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

Connecticut over BYU

Purdue over Mississippi State

Missouri over Marquette

Memphis over Maryland

EAST BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

Pittsburgh over Oklahoma State

Florida State over Xavier

Villanova over UCLA

Duke over Texas

SOUTH BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

North Carolina over Butler

Gonzaga over Illinois

Syracuse over Arizona State

Oklahoma over Clemson

MIDWEST BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

Louisville over Wake Forest

Kansas over Michigan State

WEST BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

Connecticut over Purdue

Memphis over Missouri

EAST BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

Pittsburgh over Florida State

Duke over Villanova

SOUTH BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

North Carolina over Gonzaga

Syracuse over Oklahoma

MIDWEST BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

Louisville over Kansas

WEST BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

Memphis over Connecticut

EAST BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

Pittsburgh over Duke

SOUTH BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

North Carolina over Syracue

FINAL FOUR:

Memphis over Louisville

Pittsburgh over North Carolina

CHAMPIONSHIP:

Pittsburgh over Memphis

NCAA Tournament Bracket 2009: Women's

TRENTON BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Connecticut over Vermont

Florida over Temple

Virginia over Marist

California over Fresno State

Arizona State over Georgia

Florida State over North Carolina A&T

Notre Dame over Minnesota

Texas A&M over Evansville

BERKELEY BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Duke over Austin Peay

Michigan State over Middle Tennessee State

Tennessee over Ball State

Iowa State over East Tennessee State

Texas over Mississippi State

Ohio State over Sacred Heart

San Diego State over DePaul

Stanford over UC Santa Barbara

RALEIGH BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Maryland over Dartmouth

Utah over Villanova

Kansas State over Drexel

Vanderbilt over Western Carolina

Wisconsin Green Bay over LSU

Louisville over Liberty

South Dakota State over TCU

Baylor over UTSA

OKLAHOMA CITY BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Oklahoma over Prairie View A&M

Georgia Tech over Iowa

Xavier over Gonzaga

Pittsburgh over Montana

Purdue over Charlotte

North Carolina over UCF

Rutgers over VCU

Auburn over Lehigh

TRENTON BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

Connecticut over Florida

California over Virginia

Florida State over Arizona State

Notre Dame over Texas A&M

BERKELEY BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

Duke over Michigan State

Tennessee over Iowa State

Ohio State over Texas

Stanford over San Diego State

RALEIGH BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

Maryland over Utah

Kansas State over Vanderbilt

Louisville over Wisconsin Green Bay

Baylor over South Dakota State

OKLAHOMA CITY BRACKET, ROUND TWO:

Oklahoma over Georgia Tech

Pittsburgh over Xavier

North Carolina over Purdue

Auburn over Rutgers

TRENTON BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

Connecticut over California

Florida State over Notre Dame

BERKELEY BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

Duke over Tennessee

Stanford over Ohio State

RALEIGH BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

Maryland over Kansas State

Baylor over Louisville

OKLAHOMA CITY BRACKET, SWEET SIXTEEN:

Oklahoma over Pittsburgh

North Carolina over Auburn

TRENTON BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

Connecticut over Florida State

BERKELEY BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

Duke over Stanford

RALEIGH BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

Baylor over Maryland

OKLAHOMA CITY BRACKET, ELITE EIGHT:

Oklahoma over North Carolina

FINAL FOUR:

Connecticut over Duke

Baylor over Oklahoma

CHAMPIONSHIP:

Connecticut over Baylor