Well I’m pretty sure that most of you all are in the same boat as me when it comes to your brackets. Last year I predicted 6 of the teams that played in the Sweet 16 and this year I got 9 teams right for the Sweet 16. Those were some great games and there were a few stunners in the process and one of them being Villanova losing to N.C. State. If you followed my initial prediction, then you know I had Villanova facing Kentucky for the national championship. Heading into the 2nd weekend we still have three #1 seeds alive in Kentucky, Duke and Louisville. Let’s see how things play out and hopefully I’ll be able to get the correct teams for the Final Four.
#1 Kentucky vs. #5 West Virginia: I actually had Kentucky facing Maryland and thought it could be a pretty good game until the size of Kentucky would take over. Kentucky will play West Virginia in an intriguing game because one of the players from the Mountaineers is saying they will beat the Wildcats and also the history between Huggins and Calipari. No matter what storyline you stick here, Kentucky is still the dominate team and will move on. Kentucky Wins 79-62!!!
#3 Notre Dame vs. #7 Wichita State: This is a game that I picked correctly because I thought the Fighting Irish would be very confident after winning the ACC Tournament and I really think Wichita State is very underrated. My initial pick for this game was the Fighting Irish barely edging out the Shockers but I think I’ll change that pick because I truly think Wichita State is a really good, veteran team. Wichita State Wins 75-71!!!!
#1 Kentucky vs. #7 Wichita State: Kentucky will be looking to go 38-0 heading to the Final 4 and the Shockers will look to pull off one of the biggest upsets ever. The veteran team will give the young Wildcats fits throughout the game and I don’t think this will be a big blowout either. In the end, I believe the Wildcats size will prove to be too much and they will advance to the Final Four. Wildcats Win 74-65!!!!
#1 Wisconsin vs. #4 North Carolina: This is another game that I picked correctly and going into this game I believe that Wisconsin is one of the most balanced teams in college. North Carolina will go as far as Marcus Paige takes them and he’s been called another Kemba or Shabazz, who lead UConn to championship with great tournament play. Originally I had the Badgers winning in a close game but I’m going with the upset and picking Carolina to win. Tar Heels Win 79-77!!!!
#2 Arizona vs. #6 Xavier: I had the Wildcats facing Baylor in this game, but I believe this game will prove to be better than what some expect. Xavier has an interior presence that can match the inside game of Arizona. I’m on the Arizona bandwagon though and believe they’re a team that could give Kentucky fits if they played each other. Wildcats Win 79-71!!!!
#4 North Carolina vs. #2 Arizona: This should be an epic battle between 2 great basketball programs to see who advances to the Final Four. Marcus Paige will still be leading the unexpected charge for the Tar Heels against a tough Arizona team. In the end, the Wildcats will prove to be too much for the Tar Heels and will advance to the Final Four. Wildcats Win 84-77!!!
#8 N.C. State vs. #4 Louisville: This isn’t the match-up I envisioned because I didn’t think the Wolfpack would upset Villanova because I had them going to the championship game. This is a battle between ACC teams to see who advance to the Elite 8. I don’t think the Wolfpack run is over and I think they will pull off the upset over the Cardinals. Wolfpack Win 80-76!!!!
#7 Michigan State vs. #3 Oklahoma: I honestly didn’t have Michigan State getting by Virginia because I thought their defense would be too much for the Spartans. Shouldn’t I be ashamed for going against one of the best coaches ever in college basketball in Tom Izzo? In their match-up against the Sooners, should I doubt Coach Izzo again? I don’t think so; I’m going with the Spartans to pull off another upset. Spartans Win 82-75!!!!
#8 N.C. State vs. #7 Michigan State: This is a battle of 2 surprising teams, well at least by their ranking for the chance to advance to the Final Four. Some predicted the Spartans would advance to the Sweet 16 but many didn’t have the Wolfpack beating Villanova. This should be a tough, scrappy game but I still can’t bet against Tom Izzo and I believe his Spartans will advance to yet another Final Four. Spartans Win 83-78!!!
#1 Duke vs. #5 Utah: Did you catch the performance by Okafor against San Diego State? That is the reason some believe he will be the first pick in the upcoming NBA Draft and he will be a tough guy to handle for Utah. Utah is coming off of playing an overall great game against Georgetown but the Blue Devils are a different team and I’m going with the Blue Devils to win. Blue Devils Win 85-75!!!
#2 Gonzaga vs. #11 UCLA: Gonzaga kind of reminds me of Wichita State how they play with veteran leadership also and that’s tough to beat in the tournament. UCLA is still riding that magical ride they’re on and hoping they can ride it to another upset victory. As much as I love cheering for that Cinderella team, I don’t think the Bruins can pull it off against the Zags. Gonzaga Wins 81-69!!!
#1 Duke vs. #2 Gonzaga: This would be the only 1 vs. 2 match-up in the tournament and this would be a really good game. Once again, I believe that Okafor is a beast as he carried them to the Sweet 16 and will continue to carry them. Gonzaga is one team that I could see pulling off an upset against Duke because of veteran leadership. This is one tough game to pick, but in the end I believe the Blue Devils will pull off the win and advance to the Final Four. Blue Devils Win 85-79!!!!
#1 Kentucky Wildcats vs. #2 Arizona Wildcats
#7 Michigan State Spartans vs. #1 Duke Blue Devils