Monday, March 21, 2011

March Madness: Revisited and Revised

Butler was one of many teams to exceed my expectations this March

As the NCAA tournament enters the stage of 16, I am compelled to re-evaluate and bask in the glory of the display of basketball we've all witnessed this past week. Although my Sweet 16 ended up being 50% correct, this year was my worst for picking my bracket EVER! And yet, I am still satisfied. Partially because I had no money invested in my bracket this year, but that's a happy coincidence. Few things in sports make me happier than the little guys stepping up and showing the "Big" guys that they aren't as great as they thought. And there has certainly been no shortage of upsets and Madness in this years tournament so far.

I may have been wrong about Marquette, Arizona, and well... basically my entire Southeast Bracket, but a few of my picks still have yet to disappoint me. And the beauty of my blog is that I can now pick up where I left off and present my picks for the REAL sweet 16 and re-evaluate a new Elite 8 and so on. My original bracket still remains, but why not update my picks as well? I see no reason why not! And anyway it's my blog, so if you don't want to be reading this, it's your own fault. So away we go!



1. Ohio State vs. 4. Kentucky
Pick: Ohio State
Run-Down: This is one of two Sweet 16 match-ups that I got 100% right this year and it should make for a juicy game. I originally picked Ohio State and I'm sticking with that pick. This team is extremely good, and as much as the Buckeye football team is always over-hyped, there basketball team most certainly is not! Kentucky will be their first big test in what I believe is the toughest bracket in the tournament and I believe they pass in a fairly close game.

2. North Carolina vs. 11. Marquette
Pick: North Carolina
Run-Down: Marquette has come virtually out of nowhere (grant it the Big East is by no means "no where" until it comes to tournament time) and shocked some great competition in Xavier and Syracuse. Unfortunately, their magical run ends here. UNC continues to come on strong after taking out a talented Washington squad. Look for a battle of storied programs in UNC and OSU to finish off the East Bracket.


1. Duke vs. 5. Arizona
Pick: Duke
Run-Down: A sincere thanks for making UT fans cry by screwing them out of a Sweet 16 appearance, but sorry 'Zona, another Wildcat bites the dust in this one. Both Duke and Arizona have solid teams and Duke survived a scare against Michigan, but this stage of the tournament is when coaching really starts to matter and the Blue Devils basically have John Wooden Jr. on their side. I wouldn't be surprised if this one goes down to the wire, but I still believe Duke is just too good to end their season just yet.

3. UConn vs. 2. San Diego State
Pick: San Diego State
Run-Down: This was the other game that I originally got right, and I am also staying with my original pick. Yes, Kemba Walker is great, but this UConn team has got to be tired after their Big East Tourney run immediately followed by the beginning of March Madness in which they took out lesser opponents. Now they have to go to the West coast and play an extremely good Aztec team that has cruised through this whole season. It's San Diego State's time and don't expect them to squander it.   
Would you pick against this guy? Maybe if you want your still-beating heart ripped out of your chest...

1. Kansas vs. 12. Richmond
Pick: Kansas
Run-Down: As great as Richmond is, and as well as their veteran squad runs their system to perfection, I just have a really hard time picking against the team that I originally said would win the whole tournament. Kansas is no slouch; they've got a fantastic team. Of course anything can happen, and Kansas has certainly dropped the ball in March before. Here's hoping I'm wrong, wouldn't that be something...

10. Florida State vs. 11. VCU
Pick: VCU
Run-Down: I picked both these teams to get to the second round, but slightly underestimated them as here I find them both in the 16. Props to them for it though! I knew VCU was good, as they have been the past few years, but this squad is REALLY good. Another "mid-major" that executes their system to perfection. They'll beat FSU in a tight one, and could be in for an even more magical March with a little help from Richmond.


4. Wisconsin vs. 8. Butler
Pick: Butler
Run-Down: Butler is for real. What first appeared to be a team with a charmed season last year, has proven to be a legitimate program that could be a threat to win the National Championship in the coming years, if not this year. Wisconsin is good, but I'm still not sold on them to make an extended run. If the Bulldogs play half as well as they did against Pitt, they should handle Wisconsin fine.

2. Florida vs. 3. BYU
Pick: BYU
Run-Down: This game is particularly intriguing to me. BYU has proven that they can still win impressively without their fierce inside presence, Davies, and Jimmer Fredette is playing as good as ever. Florida is solid, with a great back-court and I originally favored them to easily make the Elite 8. However, I'm really starting to believe in BYU again. Words cannot describe the constant threat that Jimmer presents on the floor and most importantly this teams is proving that it has heart and can play (very well) in the face of adversity. BYU still has what it takes to go far.  
MY (Updated) Final Four:
Ohio State

As of right now, I'm still sticking with KU to win it all. Can't wait to see how it plays out! I love March Madness...

No comments:

Post a Comment