Who’s Ready? Pooh Looks at the First Round
In his second post, Rapper offers predictions and Duke conspiracies. Typical Terp fan.
by Thomas “Pooh” Jones
Are you ready for March Madness?
Are you excited about what is probably the best time of the year for a sports fan, especially if you love basketball? I know I am, so let’s jump straight into it. After looking over the brackets for a little while trying to determine if I see any upsets, to see who has the easiest path to the Final Four, to check out teams who didn’t make it into the field, and more, I started to notice a couple of interesting things.
First and foremost, if I’m Kansas, I’m perturbed right about now. How did the overall number one team in the field end up with what might be the toughest region? You have Maryland, Michigan St., Tennessee, Georgetown, and Ohio St. all in the same region. That’s not including a couple of tough outs like San Diego St., Houston, Oklahoma St., Georgia Tech, and Northern Iowa. Whoever makes it out of this region will either be extremely battle tested or worn down by the time they reach the Final Four.
Duke looks like they ended up in this year’s lightest region—no surprise to me. Call it conspiracy if you want, but anytime Duke is a top tier seed in the Tourney, they always end up in the East or South region and they always are given the cake walk. If they make it past the California/Louisville winner in the next round, I can see them getting to the Elite 8 with no problem. Kentucky looks like they have it made, as well, in the East region. The only thing that will stop Kentucky from being a Final Four team is the only thing that has stopped them all season: Kentucky.
The region out West looks to be the one that will cause all of the world problems as you frantically try to pick winners. I don’t see too many solving the Syracuse zone, but they have shown this season that they are very beatable. Kansas St. is a Jekyll and Hyde bunch; so is Gonzaga. I don’t know how Florida crept into the big dance over a tough Mississippi St. squad or Virginia Tech, but I don’t make the selections. Pittsburgh will be the sleeper team of this region. Yes, I know they have a No. 3 seed, but lets be honest, nobody saw them as a No. 3 seed besides Pitt fans.
First weekend predictions anyone? I see San Diego St. upsetting Tennessee in the First Round. I see Minnesota knocking out Xavier in a close one. Wake Forest over Texas in a good battle. Louisville over California in the South and St. Mary’s over Richmond, as well. I think Duke will be the first No. 1 seed to taste defeat if Louisville makes it out of the First Round, and I have Kansas as my championship pick early. I believe we are headed towards a Kansas versus Kentucky final with Bill Self keeping John Calipari away from the title once again. I don’t really see a Cinderella squad coming from the low seeds but I would be mindful of a No. 3 seed Georgetown squad or a No. 5 seed Michigan St. squad. This is going to be a very unpredictable tournament, but it should a very exciting one, as well. The No. 7 seed versus 10 games look like the ones to watch on Thursday/Friday and the No. 3 seed in every region has the chance to do major damage in this tournament.
Good luck on your brackets!