Picking the Perfect Bracket: Round 2

Picking the Perfect Bracket: Round 2

MIDWEST REGION

(1) Kentucky Wildcats OVER (8) Cincinnati Bearcats

The key to beating Kentucky (if there is one, nobody has really found out for sure yet) is a disciplined approach where you limit the number of possessions, get offensive rebounds and take smart shots. Cincinnati isn’t disciplined or smart. Anybody rooting for the mighty to fall might have to wait a little longer.

(5) West Virginia Mountaineers OVER (13) Valparaiso Crusaders

West Virginia won some big games this year, knocking off Oklahoma at home, Oklahoma State on the road, and Kansas at home on a crazy buzzer beater by Juwan Staten. When in doubt, always pick the March Madness team already accustomed to buzzer beaters.

(3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish OVER (6) Butler Bulldogs

I know these things are s’post to be organized by region, already, but man that really worked out for the NCAA this year. This is the first of several possible matchups between teams from Indiana. And in it, the Fighting Irish, and their star Jerian Grant, will prevail over Butler.

(7) Wichita State Shockers OVER (2) Kansas Jayhawks

ron baker

Speaking of interstate rivalries… The battle of the Sunflower State! Kansas has been a disappointment in tournaments lately. They lost with tons of NBA talent last  year to a Stanford team that knew how to clog the middle and defend. That’s pretty much what Wichita State always does. Well, that and Ron Baker’s flowing locks.

WEST REGION

(8) Oregon Ducks OVER (1) Wisconsin Badgers

Settle down Badger fans! Just because you prove your team cohesiveness with every player having the exact same buzz cut doesn’t mean you can’t lose to a smoking hot Oregon team that might be wearing jerseys that blind Frank Kaminsky when he lines up for 3. Oregon continues their hot streak into the Sweet 16.

(4) UNC Tar Heels OVER (12) Wofford Terriers

UNC has looked great all year. Even when I watched them lose to Duke, lose to Duke again, then lose to a team they were let down wasn’t Duke. But, as along as Duke hasn’t been involved UNC has looked great.

rico gathers(3) Baylor Bears OVER (11) Ole Miss Rebels

Ole Miss is pesky in the way a mosquito is pesky at a picnic. You can try to be as quick as it. Or you can try to keep the buzzing from rattling your head. Or you can smash it with a gigantic fly swatter. Baylor’s 6’8″ 275 lb forward, Rico Gathers, is that gigantic fly swatter, with Georgia State’s coach describing Gathers as “It’s like facing J.J. Watt.” Go ahead, you be the one to bet against the basketball J.J. Watt.

(2) Arizona Wildcats OVER (10) Ohio State Buckeyes

Yinz guys hear dat Sean Miller’s from down in that Pittsburgh area, dahn tahn n’at? Ok, I have a Pittsburgh bias to the Miller brothers. When Pitt isn’t in the tournament, I transplant my Pittsburgh backing to the Miller brothers. Sad? You be the judge.

EAST REGION

(1) Villanova Wildcats OVER (8) NC State Wolfpack

Why is every team named Wildcats so good at basketball? Is this a “chicken or the egg” conundrum? More NCAA teams should think about changing their team name to the Wildcats, then watch the line of recruits gather outside the coach’s door.

Villanova v Louisville(4) Louisville Cardinals OVER (5) Northern Iowa Panthers

Louisville is made for these tournaments. Rick Pitino already has a fresh white suit for every game picked out, and if they lose early leaving him extras, he’ll have to wear those white suits to one of those P. Diddy parties. And Rick Pitino never has fun at the P. Diddy parties. Diddy is always too much of a prude to let Rick and the cocktail waitresses use his dining tables. Louisville advances to the Sweet 16 and Rick’s third white suit.

(3) Oklahoma Sooners OVER (11) Dayton Flyers

Lo and behold, try as I might to will the Miller brothers to victory, I can only move the needle so much. The Big 12 was under the radar fun as hell this year, and nobody was more fun than Oklahoma guard and Big 12 player of the year, Buddy Hield. The first two Google image results when you search “Buddy Hield” are “Buddy Hield dunks” and “Buddy Hield smile.” So if you like to root for a guy named buddy with a great smile as he always dunks, today’s your lucky day.

(2) Virginia Cavaliers OVER (7) Michigan State Spartans

Virginia got hosed. They have two full-strength losses on their resume, one by 6 points to Duke and the other by 4 points to UNC, but they get thrown into a second round matchup against the exact team that beat them last year by turning the defensive tables. The Cavaliers will remember what happened last year and turn the tables back into favor to make their 2015 run go at least one round further.

SOUTH REGION

(1) Duke Blue Devils OVER (9) St. Johns Red Storm

In the same way Virginia got hosed, Duke got lucky. How can you not win your regular season conference title, tournament conference title, and lose handily at home to Miami, a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament, and get a one-seed? I would love to see a replay of Marcus Hatten scooping a last second game winning layup over Duke, but the NBA talent for the Blue Devils this year is too overwhelming.

(4) Georgetown Hoyas OVER (12) Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks

Stephen F. Austin advanced over VCU in last season’s tournament because of a four-point play to tie the game with regulation winding down. Their March Madness luck has reached its limit.

(3) Iowa State Cyclones OVER (6) SMU Mustangs

I love this Iowa State team. They go heavy on offense which always seems to give room for one explosive game in the tournament. Especially this year, where teams across the board have been struggling to score, Iowa State’s run n’ gun style, with five players averaging double figures, will prevail.

(10) Davidson Wildcats OVER (2) Gonzaga Bulldogs

Tell ’em Steph.

steph curry

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