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March Madness 2016 Breakdown
Before I begin I'd like to say that this year I watched way less college basketball than previous years. I have been locked in on NBA this year and the run of Warriors, with the Spurs, OKC, Clippers, and Cavs all trying to dethrone them. Having said that, I still watched a lot of college hoops, just less than usual. So take my picks with a grain of salt. And I have said before, I am less likely to take upsets than most people. This is because if you pick an upset and it loses, that team you didn't pick may win 3 or 4 games and screw up your whole bracket. Whereas if an upset wins 3 or 4 games it screws up everyone's bracket and hopefully I can beat them somewhere else. Ill explain an instance of this in the Final Four round. And away we go....
Ore, Cinci, Yale, Duke, Texas, A&M, VCU, Okla
Ore, Duke, A&M, Okla
I'm kinda over the tourney committee being clever and handing us story line games as in Texas v A&M in the second round with Shaka Smart vs VCU as a possible Sweet 16 match-up. People complain and complain about the seeding, but its like wow it just so happened that all these teams with something in common may play each other. Thats not a coincidence. So that means the committee is forgoing seeding for story lines. And that is stupid. Because this isn't a game in the middle of the season, or a non league ESPN game. This game ends someones season. And there is no way these teams are seeded like this and then the committee goes, "guys this is crazy, we didn't even notice that Shaka Smart might play his old team!" No. Sorry.
I didn't see Cincinnati or Saint Jo's play this year but I almost always side with the big conference team because they are usually more battle tested. I don't love my Yale pick but Baylor is usually athletic and undisciplined and a lot of people have them going a long way but I don't see it. I don't like Duke at all this year but I'm not going to take Yale to win two games so I'm hedging this pick. I really like Oklahoma and think they may win it. I picked Oregon because they are a safer pick and I think their side of the bracket is much easier. So Oklahoma could lose as early as second round so again I'm hedging with Oregon in this situation.
KU, Colo, Mary, Cal, Wich, Miami, Temple, Vill
KU, Mary, Miami, Vill
Ok so I hate my Colorado pick but I feel like UConn snuck in and the game is closer to Colorado, and UConn may be tired from their run last week. I think Kansas is the most vulnerable #1 in the tourney even though they are in clearly the weakest bracket. I really like Witchita State and I think they could win 2 games or more but they could also lose to Arizona and so I hedged there with Miami. I think Maryland is really good but they could get rolled by Kansas just as easily. If you did watch college basketball this year you know how much parody there was and how many of the big boys went down often. So its really hard to pick. I thought last year was easy. This is a crap shoot.
UNC, USC, Indy, UK, ND, W. Vir, Wisky, Xav
UNC, Indy, ND, Xav,
This is by far the toughest bracket and the top half is a joke. You put the ACC Champ, the Big 10 Champ, and the SEC tourney Champ all in the top half of one bracket. Come on. In my opinion UNC is the best team in the country but this is an insane draw. They could easily lose and still be the best or second best team in the country its just they went up against the 4th or 5th best team and had a bit of an off day. I get it thats whats great about the tournament, but its also a game that should be played in the Elite 8 or Final Four. But here we go again with storylineville where you but 3 of the most historic programs in NCAA history all together and see what happens. Stupid. Its not fair to UNC. And I'm a Duke fan! But I recognize when teams get a raw deal. And its worse for Indiana and Kentucky. They have to play each other and then UNC. UNC only has to play the winner of them. Anyway, I like West Virginia a lot but I think they will play a very disciplined Notre Dame team who has to play fast teams like UNC and Louisville during ACC play and will be ready for the pressure. And West Virginia has trouble scoring from the perimeter and I think we may see Notre Dame zone a bit to see how that works against them. And finally, I didn't see Xavier play once this year. When they got a 2 seed I was shocked because I just haven't seen them. So I'm guessing there.
Virginia, Butler, Purdue, Iowa St., Zags, Utah, Syr, MSU
Virginia, Purdue, Utah, MSU
This is where I'm hoping to beat a few people by not having Michigan State like the rest of the world. Why is Michigan State such a popular pick? #1 Tom Izzo, and I agree he is a really good coach. But this is an above average team that didn't even win the Big 10 and is led by the college version of Danny Green. #2 No one wants to pick all #1's because everyone told them you can't win by taking all 1's so they are so excited to take a 2. And maybe they make it. But I'll take the lock down defense of Virginia. I love defense as a coach and I love what Virginia does on the defensive end. I took Syracuse for 2 reasons. Nice I'm doing lists on this one. 1. Boeheim missed 9 games this year and they were a different team when he came back. 2. Dayton shot 34% from 3 this year. Yes I looked it up. And with that zone pushed out I think they could be in trouble. With the Iowa St. vs Iona game EVERYONE is taking Iona. So, since I didn't see either of them play, I'll take Iowa St. and hope to gain points on the field there. I'm also hoping a veteran Gonzaga team can knock off Seton Hall. I actually kinda like Utah vs Michigan State but couldn't pull the trigger. Their coach is another defensive guru. Purdue scares me vs Virginia because they are so big but I gotta roll with my man Bennett.
Oregon, Maryland, UNC, Virginia
Ok so what I alluded to earlier is that I don't necessarily think that Oregon would beat Maryland in that game if they both got there or that they will even both get there. But I think it is way more likely that Oregon makes the Final Four than Maryland. So even if I thought Maryland would beat Oregon by 30, it would be stupid to pick Maryland to win that game because it is WAY less likely they will even get there. So I picked Oregon. And then I like my other two picks and I think that UNC is just too big and strong and fast for Virginia and for Oregon or anyone else. I think if UNC gets to the Elite 8 they win the whole thing. Boom.