Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Still can't fill in your brackets?

Here's my over-thought tips to success in March Madness:

South Region: #1 Florida over #7 New Mexico.

Florida's path: Florida wins over Albany, Pittsburgh, UCLA and New Mexico.

New Mexico's path: Solid, strong Mountain West team, under ranked, hungry after being upset by Harvard last year. New Mexico beats Stanford; upsets over-ranked Kansas and Ohio State.

Upset specials: Stephen F. Austin over VCU. VCU may have tournament experience, but this team limped into March, losing the Atlantic 10 final. Meanwhile SFA hasn't lost since November 23rd. You better believe in this 5-12 matchup. The other special in the "3rd round" is Ohio State over Syracuse. No game has shown Cuse's shooting problems of late than the ACC quarterfinal between Cuse and NC State. The Orange missed their final SIX shots on ONE offensive possession.

West Region: #4 San Diego State over #6 Baylor.

SD State's path: Aztecs win over NM State, ND State, OK State and Baylor.

Baylor's path: Bears win over Nebraska, Creighton (awful if McDermott doesn't shoot well like in the Big East final) and Wisconsin (March choke artists.)

Baylor lost in the Big 12 final, which I believe was the best overall conference this year. The only reason OK State was ranked so low was because Marcus Smart shoved a fan in Texas Tech and was suspended three games, all of which the Cowboys lost.

Upset specials: Even though Oklahoma also plays in the Big 12, they've never really impressed me as a basketball program and it's that magic 5-12 matchup again. Baylor can beat Creighton if either McDermott can't score or no one else can score around him. If you watched Providence's win over the Jays in the Big East final, there was the gaping hole.

East Region: #3 Iowa State over #1 Virginia.

Iowa State's path: Cyclones win over NC Central, Providence, St. Joe's and Virginia.

Virginia's path: Cavs win over Coastal Carolina, Memphis and Michigan State.

Upset specials: I'm going with Harvard over Cincinnati...see a path here with the 12's? Providence is WAAAAAY under-ranked at #11...they're flying high as Big East champs, and I easily see the 6-11 matchup with Carolina going their way. No such luck the next round against Iowa State though. Villanova's another team that's over-ranked and limping into March. St Joe's meanwhile, beating an experienced-in-March VCU in the A10 final, could make a run over their crosstown foes in the 3rd round.

...and finally, the Midwest Region.

The toughest region of all will see #4 Louisville soar over #3 Duke in a rematch of last year's Midwest final in the same city.

Louisville's path: Cardinals win over Manhattan, NC State, Wichita State and Duke.

Duke's path: Blue Devils win over Mercer, Iowa/Tennessee (hasn't been decided yet) and Michigan.

Upset specials: All 12 seeds will win in this tournament. NC State has been a solid ACC team with TJ Warren as their leader and while the game against Saint Louis will go down to the wire, the ACC team will prevail. If you want to call a #4 over a #1 an upset, Wichita State has an unblemished record to protect against a hotter-than-hot Louisville team (did anyone else see their game against Rutgers?) The pressure is enormous.

Final Four: Louisville over Florida 76-71.

Yankee fans love March Madness, 'cause we all know once the tournament's over, it's baseball season!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)