Home > Uncategorized > I’m Done Wasting Time — Here Is My Tournament Bracket (UPDATE)

I’m Done Wasting Time — Here Is My Tournament Bracket (UPDATE)

Kansas should be holding a similar celebration next month. I'm not worried about the Jayhawks. It's some of the 63 other teams that concern me

I’m filling out three brackets this March. It’s a low number for me, but it’s to protect me from myself. I end up spending so much time breaking down each matchup, listening to and reading every bit of information available, but it hardly does me any good. It’s true that going with your gut is the best way to fill out your bracket because no one knows what’s going to happen. So why think that you can unravel the mystery?

While each of my brackets will be slightly different, there is one that I consider to be my top choice. There is money league on Yahoo! with a little $10 buy-in that I’ve competed in for the past four years. $10 may not seem like much, but when you can get 50 or more people to join the pool, that means a pretty nice take for a first-, second- or third-place finish. The past two years, I’ve finished second and fourth, respectively. Does that mean I know what I’m doing? Of course not. I’ve probably studied the games more this year than in 2008 and 2009. But that over-analysis could easily lead to a busted bracket early on.

Still, I can’t help it. I have to know as much as I can. I fool myself into thinking that the more I know will give me an edge.

And then West Virginia loses in the second round and all this goes for naught. So without further ado, here is my best shot this year at predicting the unpredictable. (And I’ve already made an edit to the South region)

MIDWEST

This may be the strongest region in some people’s minds, but this was the easiest region to fill out. I have supreme confidence that Kansas will advance out of here. The Jayhawks are too talented at all five positions and have some tourney experience. Really, the only hesitation I had with this region was at the 6-11 matchup. I don’t trust Tennessee. The Vols are selfish and don’t give full effort many times. I kind of want them to lose, actually. But there is always one region that is fairly chalky all the way through. I say it’s the Midwest region in 2010. I think Tennessee’s defense can force the critical turnovers from a team without a star guard.

Georgetown has been sketchy this season, but it can easily get past Tennessee or SDSU.

WEST

Syracuse should breeze by Gonzaga and be fully healthy by the second week on its way out of this region.

Otherwise, I could see a lot of lower-seeded teams winning in this bracket. There are some upsets that I didn’t pick but wouldn’t surprise me.

Last year, we had a 12-13 second-round matchup with Arizona and Cleveland State. I could see it happening again this year with UTEP and Murray State. I think UTEP is too athletic for Butler and I just have a feeling that Vanderbilt will be a letdown.  But I keep a pretty safe bracket. Since I think UTEP can outplay both Vanderbilt and Murray State, I’ll go with the odds in the 4-13 pairing and believe the Miners can make it to the Sweet 16 either way.

Pitt’s lack of scoring scares me and I’m not a believer in its overachieving talent, so that’s why I have Xavier advancing to the second week, even though both are relatively inexperienced.

I have Kansas State advancing to the Elite 8 because of its great guards, but I think BYU and Xavier or Pitt will give the Wildcats quite a challenge.

EAST

This is the toughest region for me to make a decision. Will Kentucky’s youth and lack of 3-point shooting stop the Wildcats or will their tremendous talent overcome this region? Is West Virginia being overrated after winning the Big East and how much longer can it rely on Da’Sean Butler? It’s almost impossible for me to feel good about my Elite Eight picks here.

Texas and Wake Forest make me cringe, but I have to go with Texas, no matter how bad its been in 2010. The Longhorns are still more talented and Wake’s head coach, Dino Gaudio, is 0-4 in postseason games with the Demon Deacons.

Picking Washington was tough — and it wasn’t with any West Coast bias. I like that the Huskies are playing relatively close to home (San Jose). Their speed and versatility should be able to overcome Marquette’s grit.

Everyone is picking Cornell, so I’ll go with them. I never like watching Wisconsin play, but as I’ve said, this is not a daring bracket. I don’t have enough courage to advance more than one or two double-digit seeds past the first weekend. Cornell could make it to the second weekend, but I am certain that Wisconsin will be in the round of 32 so I’m playing it safe.

Still, I am uncertain about West Virginia getting past New Mexico and Kentucky. And it even scares me more considering where I have them in my Final Four.

SOUTH

I love Siena’s experience against an injured Purdue team … but so does most others, so that upset is kind of expected. Texas A & M doesn’t impress me, but I have more faith that it will win its first game than Siena, so I think the Aggies will advance further. If Siena does beat Purdue, it could easily advance past A & M. I’m just taking the safe bet here again.

Other than that, this region is straightforward for me. I wanted to pick Saint Mary’s to advance, but I hate that the Gaels are playing in Providence, R.I., at an 11:40 a.m. tip Pacific Time. Cal beating Louisville? OK, that is some West Coast bias. But Cal has those experienced quality guards that win at this time of the year. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don’t read that. One of Cal’s best interior defenders, Amoke Omodi, was suspended for the Louisville game on Wednesday due to a violation of team rules. This was already a tough call as is, but now I’m switching to the Cardinals.

I don’t trust Villanova enough to advance them past Baylor’s good inside-outside game. ‘Nova has been very inconsistent of late and I could see even see an underrated Richmond pull the upset.

FINAL FOUR

I have picked Kansas to win it all, but my bracket is truly riding on West Virginia. It was so hard for me to advance the Mountaineers this far, but I am going to bet against Kentucky’s lack of experience and inability to hit 3-pointers. Duke should get here fairly easily. Baylor will be its toughest opponent, but I will always question Duke’s toughness at this point of the tournament. We’ve seen how tough West Virginia is, as it fought through the Big East. So that gives the Mountaineers a slight edge …
I guess.

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