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Knight, Packer Break Down D.C.'s Hopes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A couple of March Madness professors talk about George Mason's and Georgetown's chances in the NCAA Tournament.

    They look like two curmudgeonly old men.

    And they are.

    Seventy-one-year-old Billy Packer and 70-year-old Bobby Knight have been involved in college basketball for a combined 105 years, and here they are extolling the virtues of prostate exams while breaking down the brackets of the NCAA Tournament.

    Neither looks like they have left the couch, but they know the game and know it well.

    Packer has broadcast numerous Final Fours; Knight has coached in them. So when they talk about Georgetown's chances in the NCAA tournament and whether George Mason can beat Villanova, we listen.

    "I think it'll be interesting to see Georgetown get back a key player (Chris Wright)," Packer said. "This is true around the country when you lose a key player, this takes away from your situation. They're always a well-conditioned club and I think what Georgetown has faced throughout the course of the year will serve them well in this year's NCAA Tournament because they won't see any better competition than what they've already seen."

    Knight added this interesting thought: "Getting a guard back of this kid's quality. There's an interesting facet, too. He hasn't been busting his tail for the last 3-4 weeks. He's been rehabbing, and now he's ready to go. He may have a lot more energy than many of the players he's playing against."

    There's been so much talk about this year's George Mason team being comparable to the 2006 Final Four team. Packer said the Patriots could beat Villanova on Friday in Cleveland, but he's pretty sure that the Big East is the conference to beat in this year's tournament.

    "With all the different styles among teams like Syracuse, UConn and Louisville, I think the Big East is going to have a real advantage in this year's NCAA Tournament in the fact that nothing should surprise them,"  Packer said.