#Bracketology

A lot takes place over the course of the season, teams rise and fall, teams hang around the bubble and perhaps get hot. Over the course of 31 regular season a lot of things take place to determine which 4 we will see at the Final Four. Today we are going to have a prediction exercise to get us ready for the big dance. Selection Sunday is March 12 and creeping up on us. In the last exercise we saw a lot of blue bloods, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, and Kansas. How will that shake out this time?

East

1) Villanova vs 16) Mount Saint Mary’s / 16) New Orleans

No 16 has ever beaten a 1, Villanova wins

8) Oklahoma State vs 9) VCU

VCU gets by the Cowboys in a close game

5) Wisconsin vs 12) UNC Wilmington

I think the Badgers will need all the experience they can draw on to win

4) Virginia vs 13) Monmouth

Notice that Monmouth has started climbing seeds the last few years, Virginia still wins

6) SMU vs 11) Syracuse / 11) Marquette

Someone from the First Four always wins in the First Round, and Syracuse was in the Final Four a year ago. I will pick Syracuse

3) Kentucky vs 14) Valparaiso

Kentucky has really started playing well after a midseason funk

7) Northwestern vs 10) TCU

Northwestern’s first appearance!

2) Florida State vs 15) North Dakota State

Really, I’m doing it, NDSU!

1) Villanova vs 9) VCU

Villanova has that IT thing working for them

4) Virginia vs 5) Wisconsin

In a very low scoring game, I like Virginia’s defense

3) Kentucky vs 11) Syracuse

Syracuse needs some former players to deal with Kentucky this go around, Wildcats roll

7) Northwestern vs 15) North Dakota State

Northwestern gets to pack its bags for a second weekend stay in the big dance

1) Villanova vs 4) Virginia

Villanova earned a win in January and I think they are the better team

3) Kentucky vs 7) Northwestern

Kentucky has too much

1) Villanova vs 3) Kentucky

This would be a fantastic Elite 8 matchup. The defending champs against arguably the best set of freshmen in the country. Kentucky does have a few “veterans” on their team. But in the end I think that Josh Hart will make just enough plays for Villanova to make another Final Four.

South

1) Baylor vs 16) North Carolina Central

No 16 has ever beaten a 1, Baylor wins

8) Dayton vs 9) Virginia Tech

Dayton seems to always win a few in the tournament of late

5) Creighton vs 12) UT-Arlington

Creighton has lost 4 of 7, but they’ll figure it out by the time this game happens

4) UCLA vs 13) Princeton

UCLA blitzed USC by 32 last night, advantage Bruins

6) Notre Dame vs 11) Kansas State

Taking the Irish, KState has been inconsistent

3) Florida vs 14) Furman

Florida lost a key player last week in Egbunu, but they’ve kept winning

7) Minnesota vs 10) California

This isn’t the Holiday or Rose Bowl, I’m taking the Gophers because Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing….

2) North Carolina vs 15) Bucknell

I don’t see any way this upset happens, UNC rolls

1) Baylor vs 8) Dayton

I like Dayton, the Flyers upset Baylor

4) UCLA vs 5) Creighton

Take the Bruins, all bleeping day

3) Florida vs 6) Notre Dame

This is the game that the injury to Egbunu shows, take the Irish

2) North Carolina vs 7) Minnesota

Younger Pitino gets a lesson from Roy Williams, UNC rolls

4) UCLA vs 8) Dayton

Again, UCLA all bleeping day

2) North Carolina vs 6) Notre Dame

UNC got a win earlier, I think a similar game will play itself out

2) North Carolina vs 4) UCLA

This was my National Championship Game in the last exercise, see how things change? I think that UCLA is being punished for a 2 game losing streak to Arizona and USC earlier in the year and they have found their mojo again. I think UCLA is really the best team in the country and even though UNC is on a mission to finish some business from last season, I’m picking UCLA all bleeping day.

Midwest

1) Kansas vs 16) UC Davis / 16) Texas Southern

No 16 has ever beaten a 1, Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU

8) Wichita State vs 9) Miami (FL)

The Shockers get by to face KU

5) Purdue vs 12) Vermont

Have the Boilermakers learned from this point last season? I think so

4) Butler vs 13) Belmont

Butler has made itself an upper tier program

6) Saint Mary’s vs 11) Arkansas

Whoo Pig Sooie! all the way in Salt Lake? Yes I’m taking the Hogs

3) Arizona vs 14) Florida Gulf Coast

FGCU? Not this year

7) Xavier vs 10) Michigan State

Probably the most physical game in the First Round, I like Xavier

2) Louisville vs 15) Colorado State

I don’t understand the seeding here, when in doubt bet on Rick Pitino

1) Kansas vs 8) Wichita State

They don’t play it every year, but its always close. Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU

4) Butler vs 5) Purdue

I think Purdue’s size is too much for Butler

3) Arizona vs 11) Arkansas

If Arkansas is on it will be close, Arizona has more than enough athletes to run with the Fastest 40

2) Louisville vs 7) Xavier

Louisville will have too much for Xavier in this game

1) Kansas vs 5) Purdue

Can Swanigan show off and make himself a lottery pick? I think he will

2) Louisville vs 3) Arizona

This is a game that could be a National Championship Game, I think Louisville’s D will be able to contain Arizona’s athletes

2) Louisville vs 5) Purdue

Purdue has size, but so do the Cardinals. I like Louisville in this matchup. They have the guards that Purdue doesn’t have. This isn’t the sexiest matchup we have to get to the Final Four but these are two savvy and fundamentally sound teams. Should be an entertaining game, I don’t see Louisville getting beat here.

West

1) Gonzaga vs 16) Weber State

No 16 has even beaten a 1, Zags

8) USC vs 9) Iowa State

I’m taking Iowa State

5) Cincinnati vs 12) Illinois State / 12) Seton Hall

The Bearcats by a mile over both

4) West Virginia vs 13) Akron

Mountaineers with a blowout

6) Maryland vs 11) Middle Tennessee

Melo Trimble may have figured his game out, Fear the Turtle!

3) Duke vs 14) UNC Asheville

No way Duke loses

7) South Carolina vs 10) Michigan

I remember a certain Jadeveon Clowney hit in a game by these schools

2) Oregon vs 15) CalState-Bakersfield

Ducks rolls handily

1) Gonzaga vs 9) Iowa State

I expect Gonzaga to be undefeated and this will continue here

4) West Virginia vs 5) Cincinnati

Its a Bob Huggins Bowl, I’ll take the coach and Press Virginia

3) Duke vs 6) Maryland

Both teams have really hit their stride recently, this is probably the game of the Second Round. Maryland squeaks by but barely

2) Oregon vs 7) South Carolina

I think the Ducks will smash the Gamecocks in a game of poultry

1) Gonzaga vs 4) West Virginia

Gonzaga will remain undefeated

2) Oregon vs 6) Maryland

Fear the Turtle, Maryland is underseeded

1) Gonzaga vs 6) Maryland

Gonzaga has never made the Final Four, they have made the Elite 8 now 3 times (counting this appearance in our prediction reality) and now they face a team that has all the makings of a National Championship contender. Maryland has all the right pieces and Melo Trimble is finally living up to the hype. Its a sad day for Gonzaga as the 76 Indiana Hoosiers can do the Dolphin celebration and one last time: FEAR THE TURTLE

Final Four

1) Villanova vs 4) UCLA

2) Louisville vs 6) Maryland

I like the way these 4 teams are playing right now. At the end of the season I wouldn’t be surprised to see that both UCLA and Maryland have lower numbers next to their names. In the first matchup I see UCLA cruising to a win over the defending champs. I’ve been consistent with my belief that UCLA is the best team in the nation this year. I also believe Lonzo Ball is the best player in the nation. As for the next game, I like Louisville a lot. Hall of Fame coach and they are playing to erase some of the offseason drama away from the program. But like the first game, I think there is a player on the other side that’s come into his own and he’s ready to take over. Melo Trimble will lead the Terrapins to a victory. This will be the best game of the two Final Four games.

National Championship Game

4) UCLA vs 6) Maryland

Don’t look at the seedings. Maryland only has 4 losses all year and UCLA only has 3. I’m not penalizing these two like Lunardi has in his seeding. Yeah they both had a hiccup in conference play. They play in tough leagues. NBA scouts will be drooling at the Ball vs Trimble matchup. I would love to see this as well. One of the coaches, either Alford or Turgeon will get their first title. As much as you should fear the turtle, I will take the Bruins all bleeping day. UCLA gets its 12th National Championship.

 

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