Do I like college basketball ?
Was Breaking Bad a good show ?
Does a bear sh*t in the woods ?
Are there too many homeless people in New York City begging for money ?
You know the answer to all of them.
Highlights from South Region
1st Round- Temple knocks off Iowa
Iowa has been up and down all year and Temple is no different. But Temple is always good for an upset and there is no better time for it than March. Temple has seen some tough teams like; UNC, Butler, Utah, Wisconsin, SMU, and Villanova. Iowa can be their chance to get the ball rolling. Temple plays tough defense and will give the Hawkeyes lots of problems.
2nd Round- Cal beats Maryland
Maryland and California have really similar styles. Athletic teams that can score in bunches and love to get points in transition. Maryland has some big-time players like Jake Layman, Diamond Stone, and Melo Trimble. On the flip-side Cal has Ivan Rabb, Tyrone Wallace, and Jaylen Brown. Both teams have stars with great supporting casts, but look for Cal to exploit guard matchups and give the scoring load to Jaylen Brown in a close victory.
Temple takes down Villanova
The cherry and white keep rolling with a stunner over the local rival. Villanova is prone to a cold shooting night and one against Temple would be their downfall. Live by the three, die by the three.
Sweet Sixteen- Cal advances over Kansas
Thinking in terms of matchups, Cal can handle the punches KU can throw. From point guard to center, there is not a glaring weakness between either team. Cal can pull this one out if they pull down rebounds and take care of the basketball.
1st Round- Chattanooga shocks Indiana
Indiana is a very different team when they aren’t playing in Bloomington. They have an offense that can be absolutely deadly, but at the same time can seriously struggle to find consistency. The 5/12 upset is incredibly common and this game could be a likely candidate.
Sweet Sixteen- Kentucky gets by UNC
Two teams that have overwhelming talent will square up for an Elite Eight spot. Remember when Kentucky made that run out of nowhere with James Young and Julius Randle ? This team has a similar makeup. UNC has an equal amount of talent but Kentucky’s defense and points-from-turnovers will be the difference in this matchup.
West Virginia beats Xavier
These are two teams that love to apply pressure from traps and presses. I think WV is the better defensive team, but Xavier has only played one game this season decided by less than 7 points. The inexperience in tight situations could be the downfall for Xavier.
1st Round- UNC Wilmington knocks out Duke
Wouldn’t this be fitting for their season ?
Remember how Duke lost to Mercer and Lehigh within the past few years ? Nobody saw that coming and this Duke team is definitely the worst its been in a while.
I’d rather have too many upsets than too little.
Duke is just not mentally where they should be and will lose to any opponent they overlook. Don’t be surprised if UNC Wilmington becomes the tourney’s darling for a little while.
2nd Round- VCU stuns Oklahoma
Oklahoma is another team that will live and die with its shooting ability. VCU is known for its stingy defense and ability to create turnovers. Oklahoma’s offense has been its calling-card all year long and if Buddy Hield can’t get it going, they will lose to Virginia Commonwealth.
1st Round- Gonzaga upsets Seton Hall
Seton Hall is starting to look like everyone’s favorite mid-seed because of their great play as of late. SHU is looking like this year’s “sexy pick” ,but Gonzaga has the advantage in the frontcourt. Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis are some serious forwards with the ability to swing this game. Gonzaga’s bigs will be the difference with points in the paint and rebounds. The defense of Gonzaga should lead to a Zags victory.
Cal beats Oregon
I’m really not a huge Oregon believer but I like their matchups en route to the Final Four (16 seed, St.Joe’s, Baylor, Texas A&M) with A&M being their toughest challenge.
Cal would have an incredible resume if they were to beat their Pac-12 competitor in the rubber-match in Houston. They would have beaten a 13, a 5, a 3, and two 1 seeds (according to my bracket) to earn a shot at the grand prize.
I think California would have the edge due to the adverse teams they would play prior to Oregon. Miami, Maryland and Kansas are huge victories, that would make the Golden Bears battle-tested. Cal has all the tools and characteristics of a team capable of streaking into Houston.
Michigan State beats Kentucky
I think people are overlooking Kentucky, because they aren’t as deadly as last year, but this team is still capable of beating anyone. Talent wise they may have the edge on MSU, but Sparty’s experience will prevail.
The core of the Final Four team from last season is still intact for Tom Izzo and company. Their experience and poise will be the deciding factor in beating the young Wildcats.
Michigan State wins it all.
Cal will just have a tough keeping up defensively with MSU’s guards. They are a very deep position group that can defend and shoot the ball at prolific rates. Michigan State will establish itself as a true blue-blood program, thanks to its experienced players and world-class coach.
Oh and the fact they have one of the top players in the nation in Denzel Valentine. The man is a purebred winner.
Sweet Sixteen- Kansas, California, Miami, Temple/ Oregon, Baylor, Texas A&M, VCU/ UNC, Kentucky, West Virginia, Xavier/ UVA, Purdue, Utah, Michigan State
Elite Eight- California, Miami, Oregon, A&M, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan State
Final Four- California, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan State
Key Upsets- Temple over Nova, UNC Wilmington over Duke, Northern Iowa over Texas, VCU over Oklahoma, Chattanooga over Indiana, Michigan over Notre Dame, Gonzaga over Seton Hall, Syracuse over Dayton