If you know me, you know I watch a fair amount of college basketball.
Some of you read that sentence above and laugh cause you know I watch entirely too much basketball, some may consider it an unhealthy amount of college hoops. Hey the Sun Belt and Horizon League need love too!!
Anyway, the reason I say that is having watched hours upon hours of college basketball this season, I still have no clue who will be cutting the nets down in Houston come the night of April 4th 2016. However it is tradition that I hop on this here blog and give you my picks for the national championship.
Last season I picked Duke to win it all and well….
So I’m looking to go on a winning streak of sorts when it comes to picking the NCAA Tournament however this year’s tournament will be much different. As compared to last season there is no true “Elite” team there is just a large group of “really good” teams. So here we are, just hours before the tournament kicks off in Dayton, OH with the first four games and I still have no idea who’s gonna win this damn thing. But I guess I’ll try and pick this thing correctly.
Instead of picking game by game, I’m gonna fast forward through the first two rounds for the most part and start in the Sweet 16 but will offer games that I think will have an impact on the bracket along the way.
This kinda feels like the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where they can’t open their eyes….
There won’t be too many surprises here in this region although you will see some narratives being busted. OK, just maybe one. Yes Villanova, you will see the 2nd weekend of the NCAA Tournament so congratulations. Aside from that this may be the strongest region from top to bottom, no favors were done for the Jayhawks who enter as the No.1 overall seed. In order to reach his third Final Four, Kansas head coach Bill Self will have to defeat talented freshman and tons of rosters with top NBA talent.
Round of 32
(5.) Maryland over (4.) California
(2.) Villanova over (10.) Temple (Yes Villanova, the 2nd weekend does exist!)
(5.) Maryland over (1.) Kansas (Don’t worry guys….KU fans already hate me but Maryland has NBA dudes, a lot of NBA dudes.)
(2.) Villanova over (6.) Arizona
South Regional Final
(5.) Maryland over (2.) Villanova (Terps headed to the Final Four.)
Was Oregon a surprise pick as the No.1 seed in the West Region? Hell yeah it was, but like with Kansas they were given very few favors in this region. When Duke is the least of your worries, I’d say that this region is pretty stacked.
Round of 32
(5.) Baylor over (4.) Duke (Duke can’t play defense or rebound, giving them Baylor is equal to Duke’s version of hell in 2016.)
(3.) Texas A&M over (6.) Texas (Varsity’s horns get sawed off, in the second round.)
(5.) Baylor over (1.) Oregon (The 2016 season was strange and yes, that will carry over in March.)
(2.) Oklahoma over (3.) Texas A&M
West Regional Final
(2.) Oklahoma over (5.) Baylor (Sooners become first Non-KU school from Big 12 to reach the Final Four since 2004)
This might be the strangest region of the Tournament. Virginia looked to be headed east or South but is the top seed in the Midwest because that makes the most sense in the world (that was a joke guys, this is where you laugh). However, the Cavaliers road to it’s first Final Four since 1984 is not fun and I’d venture to say that the Michigan State Spartans are the class of this region, not Virginia.
Round of 32
(9.) Butler over (1.) Virginia (Like I said, 2016 was strange. That and I don’t trust Virginia)
(6.) Seton Hall over (3.) Utah (Take a team with good mojo or juju right now, that’s Seton Hall)
(4.) Iowa State over (5.) Purdue
(2.) Michigan State over (6.) Seton Hall
Midwest Regional Final
(2.) Michigan State over (4.) Iowa State (Death. Taxes. Plots to Madea Movies. Tom Izzo Final Fours.)
There’s something nostalgic about seeing Kentucky, North Carolina, Providence and Indiana in the East Regional. Maybe it’s because I’m an old college basketball soul, in fact I’m sure that’s what it is. This region is filled with a lot of fun match-ups and contrasting styles that should be worth watching, well except that 7-10 game with Wisconsin facing Pitt. Yuck.
Round of 32
(4.) Kentucky over (5.) Indiana
(7.) Wisconsin over (2.) Xavier (Death. Taxes. Bo Ry-Oh, he’s not there? Still applies!!!)
(4.) Kentucky over (1.) North Carolina (No No.1 seeds reach the Final Four, that just happened.)
(3.) West Virginia over (7.) Wisconsin
East Regional Final
(4.) Kentucky over (3.) West Virginia
My Final Four…..
(2.) Oklahoma over (5.) Maryland
(4.) Kentucky over (2.) Michigan State
(2.) Oklahoma over (4.) Kentucky (Buddy Hield cuts down the nets in Houston)