NCAA Tournament 2011 Preview: Men

Are you ready for some March Madness? Well I sure am!

Ah, it’s March. You know what that means? It’s March Madness BAY-BEE! I’m pumped up, and if you’re a sports fan, you should be too. So let’s get crackin’.

Introduction

The NCAA Tournament starts Thursday. Yes, I’m aware that the “First Four” has already happened, but is that even part of the tournament? I’m kidding, yes, but seriously, that’s got to be some sort of scam from the NCAA to earn more money. Oh well, that’s not going to ruin my mood, a few of the games were actually good! Going into March Madness, there’s not really a clear favorite, or favorites for that matter. By the way, if you’ve been living on Mars, or just been uber busy, the #1 seeds are Ohio State, Duke, Pittsburgh, and Kansas. The president has already made his picks-have you? Note: President Obama’s bracket is eerily similar to mine, although I have Wisconsin as a surprise Final Four pick, while the Prez has all four top seeds in the Final Four. Still, it’s a little scary. My bracket’s right below. (You might have to zoom in to see it better).

How does my bracket match up with President Obama's?

The Bracket

The Bracket is here. Thursday, the first game is Clemson-West Virginia at 12:15 PM Eastern Time on CBS. I’m not going to get too much into this, but I think that the Southwest Region is the easiest, and looking at all four regions, to tell you the truth, none of them are crazy stacked. I know I’ll in trouble for this after March Madness, but I can’t find a region that’s going to be great. The tournament will be great as always, but I don’t think that we’ll see too much excitement in the opening rounds, apart from the usual few minor upsets, but I don’t think there will be any early major upsets. In other words, the first few rounds won’t quite live up to the ‘Madness’ description, but don’t get me wrong, it’ll be great as it normally is.

Predictions

I guess that you can just look at my bracket to see what I’m about to write, but still, I’ll put it.

East Region

In the first round, I’ve got #1 Ohio State beating #16 UTSA (Duh). What does USTA stand for, you ask? University of Texas-San Antonio. I’m so smart, aren’t I? OK, you got me, I searched it on Google. Who didn’t? I’ve got #9 Villanova over #8 George Mason (minor upset), #5 West Virginia over #12 Clemson, #4 Kentucky over #13 Princeton (would’ve made a nice story though), #6 Xavier over #11 Marquette, #3 Syracuse over #14 Indiana State, #7 Washington over #10 Georgia, and #2 UNC over #15 LIU-Brook. In round of 32, #1 Ohio State over #9 Villanova, #4 Kentucky over #5 West Virginia, #3 Syracuse over #6 Xavier, and #2 UNC over #7 Washington. In Sweet 16, I’ve got #1 Ohio State over #4 Kentucky, and #2 UNC over #3 Syracuse. #1 Ohio State over #2 UNC in Elite 8.

Headed to the Final Four: #1 Ohio State

Southwest Region

In round of 64, #1 Kansas over #16 Boston University, #9 Illinois over #8 UNLV (minor upset), #5 Vanderbilt over #12 Richmond, #4 Louisville over #13 Morehead State, #6 Georgetown over #11 VCU, #3 Purdue over #14 St. Peter’s,  #7 Texas A&M over #10 Florida State, and #2 Notre Dame over #15 Akron. In Round of 32, #1 Kansas over #9 Illinois, #4 Louisville over #5 Vanderbilt, #3 Purdue over #6 Georgetown, and #2 Notre Dame over #7 Texas A&M. In Sweet 16, #1 Kansas over #4 Louisville, and #2 Notre Dame over #3 Purdue. #1 Kansas over #2 Notre Dame in Elite 8.

Headed to the Final Four: #1 Kansas

West Region

In round of 64, #1 Duke over #16 Hampton, #9 Tennessee over #8 Michigan (another minor upset, that’s three now), #5 Arizona over #12 Memphis, #4 Texas over #13 Oakland, #6 Cincinnati over #11 Missouri, #3 Connecticut over #14 Bucknell, #7 Temple over #10 Penn State (this might be an upset), and #2 San Diego State over #15 Northern Colorado. In Round of 32, #1 Duke over #9 Tennessee, #4 Texas over #5 Arizona, #3 Connecticut over #6 Cincinnati, and #2 San Diego State over #7 Temple. In Sweet 16, #1 Duke over #4 Texas, #3 Connecticut over #2 San Diego State (first big-time upset, although San Diego State’s not a prime college basketball name, don’t you think?). In Elite 8, #1 Duke over #3 Connecticut.

Headed to the Final Four: #1 Duke

By the way, prepare for some upsets. I’m not a frontrunner and picking all the #1 seeds. It’s called “March Madness” for a reason.

Southeast Region

In Round of 64, I’ve got #1 Pittsburgh over #16 UNC-Asheville (sorry, no GIGANTIC upsets this year, maybe next year, although I doubt it). Also, I’ve got #8 Butler over #9 Old Dominion, #5 Kansas State over #12 Utah State (watch out, this might be an upset by Utah State, I almost picked them to win), #4 Wisconsin over #13 Belmont, #6 St. John’s over #11 Gonzaga, #3 Brigham Young University over #14 Wofford, #10 Michigan State over #7 UCLA (upset BABY!), and #2 Florida over #15 University of California Santa Barbara (I actually know that, unlike UTSA). In the Round of 32, I’ve got #1 Pittsburgh over #8 Butler, #4 Wisconsin over #5 Kansas State, #3 Brigham Young University over #6 St. John’s (Don’t be surprised if it goes the other way, like K-State-Utah State, I almost picked the upset), and #10 Michigan State over #2 Florida (this might be the first big upset). In the Sweet 16, I’ve got #4 Wisconsin over #1 Pittsburgh (See? I told you get ready for upsets!), and #10 Michigan State over #3 Brigham Young (Ditto). In the Elite 8, get ready for #4 Wisconsin over #10 Michigan State.

Headed to the Final Four: #4 Wisconsin

Analysis

So, I’ve got Kansas, Duke, Wisconsin, and Ohio State in the Final Four. I think you can tell that the Southeast Region, in my mind, is the most wide open region in this year’s NCAA Tournament. You want to know my Final Four picks? You can skip this and scroll down if you like. Anyway, going back to President Obama from earlier. He had all four top seeds, Ohio State, Duke, Pittsburgh, and Kansas going to the Final Four in his ESPN bracket. His predictions? Kansas over Duke, Ohio State over Pittsburgh. In the Championship, he has the Kansas Jayhawks take home the title. I said before how eerily similar our brackets were. So forget about everything else, let’s take a look at how I think the Final Four will play out.

Final Four predicted results

In my bracket, I’ve got Kansas beating Wisconsin, and Duke beating Ohio State. My predicted scores:

#1 Kansas: 77

#4 Wisconsin: 71

#1 Duke: 73

#1 Ohio State: 64

National Championship predicted results

#1 Kansas: 72
#1 Duke: 69

Final Thoughts

And that’s it folks! It’s unanimous! Kansas goes on to win the 2011 NCAA Tournament! Well, you’ve got the two most powerful people on the planet, me and President Obama, telling you that Kansas is gonna win, so if you’re a Kansas fan, go party like these guys. And by the way, have fun listening to Dick Vitale go, “It’s AWESOME, BAYBEE!” In other words, enjoy watching the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

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4 Responses to NCAA Tournament 2011 Preview: Men

  1. Brad says:

    My Final Four: San Diego St, Syracuse, Kansas, Pittsburgh. I have SD over Pitt in the Final. Picking with my heart, sure, but this year’s field is as wide open as I can remember it being in a while.

  2. unclemonkey says:

    Ohio St sure looked great against George Mason – people might laugh, but GMU is a good team and OSU made them look horrible. I had OSU over Kansas with Duke and Pitt (ugh) in my final four. But I don’t really care about my bracket, I love seeing the upsets.

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