Thoughts on March Madness:
- I have to hand it to the Maryland schools. With University of Maryland suffering a horrible collapse at the end of the season, the state was still represented by Mt. St. Mary's, Coppin State, and UMBC. If you extend along the I-95 corridor, George Mason, American, and Georgetown can be included. Morgan State was one game away, losing to Coppin in the conference championship game.
- Elaborating on the last point, Coppin State was a great story. These guys were 4-19 on February 2, and won 12 of 13 to make it improbably into the tournament before bowing out to Mt. St. Mary's in the play-in game.
- I really feel for Mt. St. Mary's in this one. They win their conference tournament, win a tough game against Coppin State, and what do they get? North Carolina. Ouch.
- I do not see Indiana going far at all in the tournament. Besides dealing with losing Kelvin Sampson, they do not seem like they will be able to go far in this tournament.
- I'll jump on the Luke Harangody bandwagon. The dude is a beast.
- Winthrop is one of the teams that I always like every March. I picked them to beat No. 2 Tennessee as a No. 15 seed two years ago, in a game where Chris Lofton hit a buzzer beater. I also picked them to get into the Sweet 16 last year. However, this year, the Eagles just did not seem was good. I took Washington State over them, and they were totally overmatched. Washington State is a mystery to me. Being on the East Coast, I never saw them play this season. I had seen they were ranked in the pre-season Top 10, but never saw them play. Hopefully I'll get to see how good they really are.
- The St. Joseph's-Oklahoma game is another mystery to me. I saw neither of these teams play this year, but they both come from tough conferences, St. Joseph's in the Atlantic 10 and Oklahoma in the Big XII.
- I would love to see Boise State-Oklahoma in the second round. That would just be an awesome matchup. However, Louisville will definitely have the Broncos' number, so no Cinderella from Boise this year.
- I feel that Butler was seeded a little low at No. 7. They definitely have the chance to go far. However, because they are seeded so low, I could see No. 10 South Alabama upsetting them.
- Right now, Tennessee-American is at the half 29-22. American looked good early, but Tennessee came back. I have a feeling Tennessee will run away with this one. Tennessee is an interesting team. Many people have them in the Final Four and some as National Champion, but they are also a team I feel comfortable with kicking out early.
- Must-see games: Indiana-Arkansas, Oklahoma-St. Joseph's, Butler-South Alabama.
- Kansas handled Portland St. as expected. It's a shame to see these small conference schools work hard to make it to the Big Dance, but then draw teams like Kansas and are one-and-don.
- UNLV-Kent St. was a matchup between teams I had never seen this year. So I picked Kent St. and they lost.
- The 5-12 game in this bracket is another enticing one. Clemson can definitely go far in this tournament, but so can Villanova. I am taking Clemson, but I would not rule out Villanova, even though some would say they were not deserving of the tournament.
- I was somewhat surprised to see Vanderbilt as a No. 4, but that is mostly because they are not a team I think of as being a high seed. They do have fire power though and have the potential to wreak havoc.
- Michael Beasley defeated O.J. Mayo in their lone matchup. Beasley cannot do it all by himself.
- I expect Wisconsin to thoroughly handle Kansas St.
- Gonzaga-Davidson is the best matchup in the first round. This is the must-see game of the tournament, but I am stuck watching American-Tennessee. I picked Davidson in this one. Gotta love the No. 10 seeds.
- Georgetown will definitely handle UMBC, which is another shame.
- Must-see games: USC-Kansas St. (it already happened, but it was), Gonzaga-Davidson.
- Memphis over UT-Arlington. Lock it up.
- Mississippi St.-Oregon is a tough one. I have not seen MSU play at all this year, I'm biased towards Oregon, and Tajuan Porter is one of my favorite college players. That young man can ball. This should be a good one. Little Hansbrough will get to show his stuff.
- Michigan St. and Pittsburgh both won. Pitt was scaring me early though…
- Marquette-Stanford is gearing up to be a great second-round game.
- I picked St. Mary's over Miami. This is another No. 7-No. 10 matchup that I desperately wanted to see. St. Mary's definitely has the opportunity to be Cinderella.
- I personally do not see why everyone is so high on Texas. I do not think they are that good, but that's just me. But they will win over Austin Peay. I don't even know how to pronounce Peay.
- Must-see games: Mississippi St.-Oregon, St. Mary's-Miami.
- UCLA's defense against Miss. Valley St. was amazing. I have never heard of a defense being that stingy (I didn't see the game or any highlights).
- I had BYU over Texas A&M. Oh well.
- Drake-Western Kentucky definitely has the firepower to usurp Gonzaga-Davidson as the best opening round game. I have Drake in the Sweet 16, but that could change quickly. It's 38-37, in favor of Drake, at half.
- My upset of the tournament is San Diego over Connecticut. Probably won't happen, but is definitely worth the risk in my opinion. Gotta watch those WCC teams.
- I am very impressed with Baylor's performance this year, and I was definitely rooting for them after all they have gone through this year.
- Georgia was a great story as well, but their luck ran out against Xavier.
- I picked West Virginia over Arizona. 'Zona has Lute Olsen coming back next year and Brandon Jennings coming in, so they look to be on the rise.
- Duke scared me big time.
- This is a very weak bracket. I can definitely see the roots of a UCLA conspiracy here.
- Must-see games: Drake-Western Kentucky, Connecticut-San Diego.
I just love March Madness. The first four days are the best four days of any sporting event ever.
So here are my picks:
Kent St. (UNLV)
USC (Kansas St.)
BYU (Texas A&M)
So there ya have it. I'll be coming back through to update this list eventually.