Alrighty Sports Fans! It's March, the Big Dance is starting in less than 20 hours, and my Dad requested a new blog post because it's been awhile.
But, I also worked late, I'm hungry for dinner, and I just finished working out. Soooooo, we're going to make this short, sweet, and to the point. Kinda like a night on the town with Justin Bieber.
Here we go with my predictions for this year's NCAA tournament (just to clarify, these are my predictions for the MEN'S bracket ... if you're into the women's bracket then you probably live in Connecticut ...)
Biggest Upsets of the First Round
South Region: Stephen F Austin over VCU. Even though VCU has been a very trendy pick over the last few years, the guys on CBS convinced me during the Selection Show that there's something to this 31-2 SFA team. Plus, it's a 5-12 game so you never know what could happen.
East Region: Harvard over Cincinnati. See the exact same explanation as the South Region. Plus, those Harvard people are smart, so that's something.
Midwest Region: NC State over Saint Louis. Are we seeing a trend here? Another 5-12 matchup. This time I feel like I actually know something though. TJ Warren is the 3rd highest scorer in the country (NC State) and Saint Louis has had a shaky couple of weeks. I like the Pack in the upset.
West Region: New Mexico St over San Diego St. I'll be honest, I don't know anything about either of these teams. But I know that usually there are upsets somewhere in the bracket so I might as well go here and try out my luck. It's only for a billion dollars you know ...
South Region: Florida Gators. They are the number 1 team in the country for a reason and I think their senior leadership guides them through a VERY difficult region. Watch out for the Buckeyes in the Elite 8 though ...
East Region: North Carolina Tar Heels. Yeah, I'm not going to lie, their is a little alumni bias in this pick. The Heels have been up and down all season and I don't feel good about the 1st round matchup against Providence coming off a two game losing streak. But, we seemed to find our groove a little bit in the last few minutes of our ACC tournament game and there's no doubt we have the talent to get us there ... if we play up to our potential. Look for a second round upset in this region with Memphis taking out Virginia.
Midwest Region: Louisville Cardinals. If my billion dollar bracket pans out, the best game you'll see in this year's tournament is Dook vs. Michigan in the Sweet 16. Unfortunately for those two teams, Louisville should be waiting for the winner and right now they're the best team in the country. Rick Pitino has his boys clicking at the right time of the season. Just ask Rutgers who lost to this team 91-32 only a week ago.
West Region: Oklahoma State Cowboys. Everyone and their mother has either Arizona or Wisconsin coming out of this bracket. Wisconsin is one of the trendiest picks among all television sportscasters right now. Well I have bad news for everyone ... BOTH of these teams get bounced in the Round of 32. Marcus Smart is the best player in the country and he's going to show everyone why as he takes the Pokes to the Final Four.
Final Four ... err ... Again
Florida over North Carolina. Yeah, it pains me to say that, but I don't think we get past Billy D and his Gators.
Louisville over Oklahoma State. Best team in the country beats the best player in the country.
National Championship Game
Florida Gators over Louisville Cardinals. But Matthew, you just said Louisville is the best team in the country?! In fact, you said it twice!!! Yeah, you're right. BUT, I picked Florida to win it all before the season even started and I'm superstitious like that. I wouldn't put money on Florida to win this game but I would put a billion dollars on the line because I had a hunch several months ago. After all, I did pick Louisville pre-season last year ...
As my best friend said to me in a text today: Let the Games Begin!