All I can say right now is what a tournament!! This is the very reason they call it March Madness with all these upsets. Now that we’re in the round of 16, one of my Final Four picks has been eliminated in Duke. In one of the many surprises we saw the South Carolina Gamecocks defeat Duke to advance to the Sweet 16. Out of all the teams in the Sweet 16, I picked 8 of them correctly to advance to this point. Speaking of a #7 seed beating a #2 seed, we also had Michigan upset Louisville on Sunday also. The big upset by seeding had to be Wisconsin, who’s the 8th seed upset the overall top seed and defending champion, Villanova. This all happened during the first weekend, so let’s see what this coming weekend has in store and see how I’ll fare.
To say this region got the best of me is definitely an understatement. None of the teams I picked to advance to this point remain in the tournament. For the first game I had Villanova taking on Virginia. In the second game, I had SMU taking on the Duke Blue Devils. Instead, we have the 8th seed Wisconsin Badgers facing the 4th seed Florida Gators. For the second game, we have the #3 seed Baylor facing the 7th seed in South Carolina. In the first game we have a battle of a pair of really good teams that’s on a roll at the right time. With the game in New York, the Badgers could have more fan support which will help them win this one. In the second game, Baylor should take care of the Gamecocks in a tough game and play the Badgers for the right to go to the Final Four. I’m taking Wisconsin over Baylor to advance to the Final Four!!
In this region, originally I had Arizona advancing to the Final Four and winning it all. In the first game, we have the top seed, Gonzaga taking on the 4th seed West Virginia. For the second game, we have Cinderella in Xavier, who’s the 11th seed taking on Arizona, which is my original pick to win it all. In the first game, we have the athletic West Virginia, who press is the best in the nation against a fundamentally sound Gonzaga team that’s had a great season. The athleticism will be too much as I believe the 2nd #1 seed will fall as the Mountaineers move on. In the second game, I’m still riding the Arizona wave as I believe they will edge out Xavier and advance to play West Virginia. I’m still a firm believer in the Wildcats and think they will advance to the Final Four out of the West Region.
In the Midwest Region, we have the top seed Kansas battling a really good #5 seed in Purdue. The second game will have the 3rd seed Oregon Ducks facing the red-hot #7 seed Michigan Wolverines. In my original bracket, Kansas came out of this region to advance and play in the Final Four, but I had them facing Iowa State in this round. Purdue will give them all they can handle, but they should prevail in the very end. The second game is a toss-up because both teams have been playing good basketball, but in the end, Oregon will barely win. This region championship game should be a really good one between Oregon and Kansas as both teams are very talented. For most of the season I thought Kansas was the best team and I think they’ll advance to the Final Four.
This is the only region that had the top four teams advance to this point. The first game will have top ranked North Carolina taking on the Butler Bulldogs. In the second game we have the #2 seed Kentucky taking on #3 UCLA. North Carolina barely escaped Arkansas so they’ll have to play much better against Butler. In the end, I’m still riding with the Tar Heels to advance in this one. The second game should be an instant classic and the game I’m looking forward to the most when Kentucky meets UCLA. This game will feature several future NBA players and I think Kentucky will prevail. The championship game will feature two of the best college programs when the Tar Heels face the Wildcats. This will be another close game and I think the Tar Heels will advance to the Final Four.
2017 Final Four
Wisconsin vs. Arizona
Kansas vs. North Carolina
What do you think about my updated bracket? How does your bracket look after the first weekend? Are your Final Four picks still alive? Head to the comments section below and give me some feedback.