It’s that time of the year again. Cue up Future’s March Madness or One Shining Moment. It doesn’t matter which one but it is March Madness time! Time for upsets, buzzer-beaters, heartbreak, and people not paying their bets. It might be the best time of year!
I will give you my Final Four prediction but before that I will briefly breakdown my bracket.
Usually in the tournament there will be a bunch of upsets in the first weekend of the tournament. In my bracket, I don’t really have that maybe “big upsets.” I have 7-seed Oregon State losing to 10-seed VCU in the West Region, but is VCU beating someone an upset anymore? They have a history of being a Cinderella in the NCAA Tournament, so teams should know to not take them lightly.
In the Midwest Region, I have 10-seed Syracuse beating 7-seed Dayton. I know the Orangemen of Syracuse have been .500 in their last 12 games, but some rest and time off can do that team some good. And lets throw in the fact that Dayton has no wins against the Top 25, while Syracuse has two.
Historically, there are the 5-12 upset and the 6-11 upset, but this year I have none. But 11-seed Northern Iowa could upset 6-seed Texas, Northen Iowa early in the season did beat UNC and they beat Iowa State. But before the bracket came out, I thought Texas could run the table for a Sweet 16 appearance, but then the bracket came out and they are not getting past the Round of 32.
Now let’s skim to the Sweet 16. In my 16, I have all off the 1-seeds, all of the 2 seeds, all of the 3 seeds, all of the 5 seeds except one. I have the Kentucky Wildcats beating the Indiana Hoosiers in the Round of 32. So the South Region I have, 1-seed Kansas versus 5-seed Maryland and 3-seed Miami versus 2-seed Villanova. In the West Region, I have 1-seed Oregon playing 5-seed Baylor and 3-seed Texas A&M against old Big 12 foe 2-seed Oklahoma. In the Midwest, 1-seed UVA versus 5-seed Purdue and 3-seed Utah against 2-seed Michigan State. Finally in the East, 1-seed UNC versus 4-seed Kentucky and 3-seed West Virginia will draw 2-seed Xavier.
In those match-ups, I have Kansas and Miami both winning their match-ups in the South. Oregon and Texas will prevail out of the West. In the Midwest, I have UVA and Michigan State once again playing each other in the tournament. In the East, I have UNC playing West Virginia. And those are my Elite 8 picks. I see Kansas beating Miami and coming out of the East. I think the trio of guards Kansas has and the length down is going to be too much for the Canes to handle. In the West, Texas A&M will beat Oregon. Danuel House Jr. of A&M showed me a lot during the SEC Tournament and think he will take the game over and win it for the 12th Man. In the Midwest, I have Michigan State beating Virginia for the third straight time in the NCAA Tournament. The combo of Senior G Denzel Valentine and coach Tom Izzo will be too much for Virginia. In the East, I have UNC beating WVU. The size of UNC and will show and that will be the key when the UNC guards break the press of West Virginia.
In my Final Four, I have 1-seed Kansas, 3-seed Texas A&M, 2-seed Michigan State, and 1-seed UNC. Kansas will play Texas A&M and Michigan State will play UNC. Kansas is just prime for to win this game. Their guards will make it tough House Jr. and the other guards of Texas A&M. The length of Kansas will beat up the Aggies on the glass. I see the Jayhawks winning this game by the 10 or more. This is just a bad matchup for the Aggies. In the other matchup, Michigan State will come out on top against UNC. The guard play of the Spartans is better than the guard play of the Tar Heels. But the big men of the Heels are better than Michigan State’s bigs. So this game will come down to the head coaches. Tom Izzo and March are perfect match, while Roy Williams and March have a love-hate relationship. So Tom Izzo’s coaching ability will give the Spartans the edge they need and they will meet Kansas for the NCAA National Championship.
In the National Championship game, Kansas and Bill Self will bring home the big trophy. Yes, Michigan State has Denzel Valentine, my imaginary vote for the nation’s best player, but it will not be enough. Guards Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden Jr., and Devonte Graham together can do enough on offense and defense can slow down Valentine and his team. Then for KU you add the experience F Perry Ellis and F Landen Lucas bring to the game it is going to be hard MSU to stop all Kansas’s weapons. And on April 4th in Houston, Texas, the Kansas Jayhawks will win the National Championship. That will the sixth national championship for the Jayhawks and the first since 2008.