One of the most exciting times of the sporting year is now upon us. That’s right; the NCAA Tournament has finally arrived and let the madness begin. Last year, I had North Carolina playing Oklahoma in the championship game. I was almost right because the Tar Heels battled Villanova, whom I had losing to the Sooners in the Final Four. We all know how that championship game. turned out as it was one for the ages. This year is sure to be just as exciting as the previous years because we have so many great teams that I believe could cut down the nets in April. Last year, I picked 3 out of the 4 Final Four teams with Oklahoma, Villanova and North Carolina as Syracuse had a great run eliminating my other pick, Michigan State in the first round. Let’s see how things will turn out!
Villanova comes in as the #1 seed and the overall top team coming into the tournament. They are the defending champions, but they’re in the same region with one of, if not the hottest team in the country, Duke. The only first round upset I have in this region is the 10th seeded Marquette team upsetting #7 South Carolina. In the round of 32, I have the 5th seed in Virginia stopping #4 Florida on the strength of their defense. In what may seem like a major upset, I have the 6th seed SMU beating Baylor, who’s the #3 seed. In the regional championship game I have Duke beating Villanova to advance to the Final Four.
We head to the West Region where Gonzaga is the top dog and hoping to prove that they’re one of the best teams in the nation. In the first round, I’m thinking Vanderbilt will beat Northwestern and Xavier upsetting Maryland. For the second round, the only upset I envision is the 5th seed Notre Dame beating the 4th seed West Virginia. In the region championship game I have Arizona beating Gonzaga to advance to the Final Four.
In the Midwest Region, Kansas is the top seed and has the easiest path to the Final Four. The question is, can they reach Phoenix? In the opening round in this region, the only upset I have is Michigan State, who’s the 9th seed beating 8th seed Miami. In the second round I have the 5th seed Iowa State beating 4th seed Purdue to advance to the Sweet 16. To advance to the region title game I have Oregon pulling off the upset over the 2nd seed Louisville. In the end, Kansas should advance to the Final Four from their region.
This is probably the toughest region as North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA are the top 3 teams in the region. In the opening round I have three upsets taking place. I have the 12th seed Middle Tennessee State beating Minnesota and Butler to advance to the Sweet 16. Kansas State, who’s the 11th seed, will upset Cincinnati and 10th seed Wichita State will beat Dayton also. In the region semi-final games I have the Tar Heels beating Middle Tennessee State and Kentucky beating UCLA to advance. In what should be a classic game, Carolina should beat Kentucky thanks to experience to advance to the Final Four.
In the first game we have two #2 seeds meeting each other with Duke taking on Arizona. This should be a close game throughout as both teams enter this tournament on a good run. Many people don’t realize how good the Wildcats are and I think they will prevail against Duke. In the other game, we have Kansas meeting North Carolina for the right to play Arizona in the title game. This should be another really good game, but I think the Tar Heels will escape with the victory against the Jayhawks.
National Championship Game
The Tar Heels return to the title game to take on the athletic Arizona Wildcats. The experience of the Tar Heels will have them leading for much of the game, but the Wildcats are going to rally using their athleticism. In the end, I’m picking Arizona to cut down the nets and Carolina on the losing end of another title game.