Okay, in the interest of full disclosure? I’m going to tell you that I usually collapse by the first weekend. It’s like a mediocre golfer at the Masters. But seeing as I’m starving the people in regards to production? I’ll give you a commentary as I fill in the brackets.
We will start with the Midwest.
1 Kansas vs. 16 Lehigh
Kansas. I know that Bucknell has beaten a Bill Self led team. But Kansas is obvious.
8 UNLV vs. 9 Northern Iowa
Teams than can defend inside have given lots of trouble to the Rebels. The Rebels lost to Utah twice this year and they were kind of pretty terrible. Northern Iowa has one of the best rebounders in the country in Egelseder. I say they get to strap it up versus KU.
5 Michigan State vs. 12 New Mexico State
This is not the 5-12 upset that you’re looking for. Izzo is built to win games in the tournament. Michigan State gets the win. Easy.
4 Maryland vs. 13 Houston
Houston absolutely can keep it interesting for 30-35 minutes. But the thing about Maryland? They get beaten by teams that rock the offensive glass. Houston just does not have that sort of genius power to their game. Maryland advances.
6 Tennessee vs. 11 San Diego State
This is the sort of matchup that actually plays right into San Diego State’s hands. Most of the teams that have shown that they can beat Tennessee have an inside presence. If you tamp down inside shooting and crash the glass? You can beat Tennessee. And Tennessee isn’t the strongest team defending inside. I’m going to take the Aztecs.
3 Georgetown vs. 14 Ohio
Ohio’s just happy to be here. The team that gets hot to get in will not get beyond the first round. Ohio may gave won 5 in a row and 7 out of 8, but please. Please. Georgetown.
7 Oklahoma State vs. 10 Georgia Tech
It actually favors Georgia Tech on paper. It’s not the run and gun Oklahoma State of years before. And they haven’t generated the turnovers that have killed the Bees at several points during the year. Oklahoma State’s going to have to make threes to have a chance here. And it hasn’t happened yet.
2 Ohio State vs. 15 Cal-State Santa Barbara.
Ohio State can work it inside. UCSB gets killed by teams with an inside presence. Buckeyes get to round two.
1 Kansas vs. 9 Northern Iowa
The Balance of Kansas will make them win. Northern Iowa just doesn’t have the offensive horses. It’ll be something like last years Purdue score. 61-55 or something.
4 Maryland vs. 5 Michigan State
Remember when I said that Maryland has trouble with teams that find a way to hit the offensive glass? Say hello to Tom Izzo’s latest trip to the Sweet 16. The 9th best team at hitting the offensive glass will overcome a good Maryland team.
3 Georgetown vs. 11 San Diego State
The big bugaboo for the Aztecs is their inability to defend a team that can consistently hit from beyond the arc thereby limiting their inside defensive presence. With players like Austin Freeman and Jason Clark? Georgetown will get into the Sweet 16. (But I want it to be known if this was like a Football bowl pool? I’d give this game a low confidence score. BETWEEN THE HEDGINGS!)
2 Ohio State vs. 10 Georgia Tech
This is the sort of game that Ohio State will pull out. Georgia Tech’s size will keep them in it for a long while. They may even be leading as we get to crunch time. However? Georgia Tech cannot make a free throw to save their life. And we all know that Evan Turner’s rolling through his draft status drive.
1 Kansas vs. 5 Michigan State
Redemption comes through in this game. Kansas is one of the deadliest teams at defending inside. Outside shooting is Michigan State’s big weakness. They get down by 10 and it’s over. Kansas to the Elite Eight.
2 Ohio State vs. 3 Georgetown
Georgetown is a team that doesn’t take care of the ball. They also don’t go to the bench unless they absolutely have to. And they also don’t have Evan Turner. The better defense will win this game. And that goes to the Buckeyes.
1 Kansas vs. 2 Ohio State
I have no empirical evidence as to exaclty why I’m saying this. But I am going with Ohio State. Evan Turner is the sort of superstar that Kansas doesn’t have. And you know what else? By this point anyway? My bracket is toast. So guts and nuts. Buckeyes to the Final Four.