My favorite time of year is finally here. The NCAA Tournament has arrived. I’ve been watching every college basketball game I possibly can in hopes of perfecting my bracket this year.
Sadly, I realize my pursuit for perfection will probably fall flat on its face. No matter how much basketball I watch and how much information I obtain, I won’t be able to predict the upsets. That’s the beauty of the annual tournament. No matter what, there will always be the upsets that no one saw coming. In this article, I will go through each region and give my predictions.
The south is arguably the toughest region in the entire tournament. In the first round, I can’t see Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, Indiana and Duke losing. Notre Dame and Xavier could be a close one, but I think the Irish will prevail to take on Duke.
Wichita State was a team I thought had the chance to make a run for the Final Four. Sadly the Shox got stuck in a tough bracket, and I see them losing to Kentucky after beating Indiana. UNLV, a team that has run under the radar all season after beating North Carolina, has a fast perimeter and can beat Duke. The Blue Devils have poor perimeter defense, and I see UNLV exploiting it.
In the Elite Eight, I see Kentucky beating the Runnin’ Rebels and advancing to the Final Four. Kentucky is too balanced a team not to make it out of their region.
The west is what I believe to be the weakest region in the tournament. Michigan State is the No. 1 seed, and they barely accomplished the feat. In the first round, I don’t have any upsets besides Long Beach State beating New Mexico. I also see the 49ers beating Louisville to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The 49ers played five ranked teams this season, losing to four of them. Even in the losses, the 49ers played close and showed their team was right on the edge.
I have Michigan State taking on Marquette with Marquette moving on to the Final Four. All but one of Marquette’s losses came to tournament teams, and the Golden Eagles flew under the radar in the Big East all season. Plus, Marquette’s coach’s name is Buzz. That’s just awesome. I hope he “buzzes” over the competition.
Earlier in the week, I felt like Syracuse had a pretty easy ride to the Final Four. Then I found out about the Orange losing Fab Melo. Besides having an awesome name, the Big East defensive player of the year is a huge loss for the Orange. I have Kansas State beating Syracuse in the second round. I think the Wildcats will be able to out rebound the Orange, without Fab, and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Other than K-State advancing to the Sweet Sixteen, the only other upset I have is Vanderbilt beating Wisconsin in a 4-5 matchup. Vanderbilt will come in hot off an SEC championship win over Kentucky.
Florida State is another school that is coming off a conference championship that will come into the tournament hot. I think Florida State will be able to ride that streak into the Final Four.
This is by far my favorite region, mainly because of the possibility of North Carolina playing Kansas in the Elite Eight. The game might be a repeat of the 2008 Final Four game that Kansas won. I think Roy will have Kansas’ number the second time around and advance to yet another Final Four.
This bracket is pretty boring to me, and I don’t have any upsets. Looking at my bracket, I’m mad that I don’t have any, but it was seeded nicely, and I just don’t see a lot of upsets.
Like I said earlier, I think Kentucky is just too good to stumble. I think the Wildcats will advance to the National Championship only to play a rematch with North Carolina.
I see North Carolina winning its third meeting of the season against Florida State. The Tar Heels lost the first two meetings to the Seminoles, and it’s always hard to beat a team three times.
In the National Championship, I see North Carolina winning the rematch from earlier in the season. The first time the two teams met, Anthony Davis, the man with the infamous unibrow, blocked a shot from John Henson in the final seconds of the game to give the Wildcats a one-point win.
The Tar Heels have the best point guard in the country and the best frontcourt, and I just can’t see them being slowed if they play to their abilities. I look for Roy Williams to cut down the net for the third time in his nine seasons at Chapel Hill.