My favorite time of the year has finally arrived! I am very anxious for Thursday to get here because I will be sitting on the couch watching college basketball non-stop. My friend has four televisions with cable set up in his room, which is perfect for this tournament. I have already entered into multiple pools and I am currently knocking out all of my homework for the week just to be able to watch this tournament without any worries. I am also attending the tournament in Indianapolis on Sunday which is pretty exciting.
I wouldn’t say that I am an expert on college basketball, but I know the game pretty well. If you don’t believe me, look at the story I wrote two months about the projected sleepers heading into the final month of the season and then the conference tournaments: Marquette, Northwestern, and Iowa State (not to brag, but I hit the nail on the head with those picks), all of which made the tournament.
After looking at the bracket, there are a few upsets that could potentially happen in the first round. The main upset that I have is Middle Tennessee (12) over Minnesota (5). Middle Tennessee had most of their starters return this season, which is very scary to think about because they beat a really good Michigan State team last year in the tourney. The next upset I have is Rhode Island (11) over Creighton (6); this was a really tough game to pick because both teams are solid, however, without Maurice Watson Jr, Creighton is not as strong. If they did have Watson, I would have easily put them in the final four. Rhode Island is just a really hot team that is looking to turn some heads this weekend.
The second round includes my biggest upset of the tournament which is Northwestern (8) over Gonzaga (1). I have never been a fan of Gonzaga, I don’t think that they are legit. I agree with Bill Walton, who said, “Gonzaga plays in a truck stop conference”. They have barely played anyone, besides Arizona, who was missing their best player at the time. Northwestern is just a fun team to watch, they are loaded with talented guards who can shoot the ball.
Other than those couple games, I didn’t really take a risk, which is fine because there are so many talented teams out there that won the games they were suppose to win throughout the season. However, its March, so my bracket could be busted after day 1.
Finally, lets get into my final four because that’s the part that really matters.
In the East region I have the Duke Blue Devils. Duke’s young talent has peaked at the right time, I don’t think anyone in their region will trip them up (Boom roasted! @ Grayson Allen).
In the West region I have the Arizona Wildcats. This team is young and talented and has a lot of depth in the forward position (three players hovering around the 7 foot mark). Look for them to dominate teams in the paint and also knock down some threes.
In the Midwest region I have the Kansas Jayhawks. This Kansas team is really strong and is also really fun to watch. They can shoot the three and have a very talented freshman in Josh Jackson, who is explosive and can take over the game at any point in time.
In the South region I have the UCLA Bruins. UCLA is extremely talented in every position on the court. Lonzo Ball is a beast (which I’m sure you already knew because his father likes to talk) and T.J. Leaf is a stud in the paint. This team can hang with anyone.
NCAA Final: UCLA beats Duke, 83-76