I warn you…while I may talk about sports for a living, and probably watch more college basketball than anybody you know…I’m terrible at picking the brackets. I’ve only won ONCE in my life (thank you Maryland in 2002) But…here we go!
SOUTH REGION (the one with Florida)
I’ve got the #1 Florida Gators coming out here. They’re just so good at EVERY position. New Mexico to the elite 8 is my sleeper here with TWO 7 FOOTERS. UPSET CITY: Stephen F. Austin to the sweet 16, Dayton over ohio state.
EAST REGION (the one with Virginia)
I’ve got Iowa State coming out here. LOVE Fred Hoiberg & what his team can do. TONS of inside/outside talent. I was on the Cyclones last year to get to the Sweet 16 but an Aaron Craft 3 with 1 second left kept me from my genius. UPSET ALERT: Connecticut over Villanova.
WEST REGION (the one with Arizona)
I’ve got the WISCONSIN BADGERS coming out here. THIS is Bo’s best team and their path is nice. I worry about a S16 matchup with Creighton, but they should AT LEAST get to the Elite 8. UPSET CITY: Nebrasketball over Baylor, North Dakota State over Boomer Sooner
MIDWEST REGION (the one with Wichita State)
I’ve got the Michigan Wolverines going to their 2nd straight Final Four. John Beilein is a PHENOMENAL coach & like Trey Burke last year, I expect Big Ten Player of the year Nik Stauskas to come up BIG. UPSET CITY: Kentucky crushes Wichita State’s dreams.
After splitting the 1st 2, Michigan will knock out Wisconsin in their 3rd meeting this season. Florida takes out ISU.
Can't say ANYONE saw this one coming. The 5th seeded Panthers won FOUR games in the Horizon League tournament (Detroit, Valpo, Green Bay, Wright State) and now they're dancing. UNREAL. This is MADNESS. But then again, this IS March.
What now? The Horizon League champ was a 14 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament (Valpo). They also won the regular season crown. UWM was 5th and i can't see the NCAA selection committee rewarding their great late-season run with a number that high. Had Green Bay won the tournament? They'd be a 14 or a 13 but these Panthers? They may just have to play in the "first four" AKA: Play-in games.
But so what? This was a great run for a team that was picked to finish DEAD LAST in their league. One "writer" in this city said the University should "throw in the towel and move on". GIVE UP BASKETBALL?? NO WAY.
Good for you, Coach Jeter. Good for you, Panthers. Good for you, UWM Alumni.
You may get Florida. You may get Wichita State. Who knows? But I know this: This was a great run for Milwaukee. The city is behind you, hoping for some March magic once again.
I’m a day late, but here’s my latest final four blog…
Last week I picked Florida/Louisville/North Carolina/Creighton to go the final four…of course, Louisville & Creighton lost during "Upset Saturday". And as we sit less than 2 weeks from Selection Sunday, I’ll update my picks…again, I have the right to change until I turn in my bracket.
Florida – No reason to change this pick. #1 keeps on winning. 21 in a row as I type this with South Carolina this week…then they close with Kentucky!!!!
North Carolina – also keeps on winning. 12 in a row. I know they EEKED out a win over Notre Dame…and don’t look now – Tobacco Road round Two is this Saturday night.
Virginia – Yep, I’m jumping on the UVA bandwagon…for now. NO ONE is talking about the Cavaliers but THEY (not duke or unc) won the regular season ACC title and with a win over Maryland, could finish 17-1 in the ACC. Their SMOTHERING defense & outside ability could push Tony Bennett’s team to the F4.
Arizona – It’s taken me a while to jump on the Wildcats bandwagon but this week, I’m in. Nick Johnson & Aaron Gordon are a lethal 1-2 punch. (Gordon should stay at AZ, btw). And did I mention the size of this team? They are HUGE at every position.
Sorry to Wichita State (I’m not a believer), Syracuse (something has changed lately) and Duke ( I just hate Duke)…
Until next week…ooooohhh baby – CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT WEEK!!