Wild prediction: an all-Big East Final Four
Time to fill out brackets, and I filled out mine Tuesday. Easiest bracket I’ve ever filled out.
College basketball is top heavy. Ten, 12, maybe 15 good teams, followed by a bunch of squads you can throw in a hat. For instance, check out the 5-seeds. Illinois. Purdue, Florida State and Utah. If you threw those teams on the 10-line, who could argue? Or the 6-seeds. Arizona State, Marquette, UCLA and West Virginia. Nothing special, but as a group maybe a little sexier than the fives. But nothing really different than the 9-seeds.
See what I mean? A good solid bracket is supposed to be a small step down from seed line to seed line. This one holds up into the 4-seeds, then it falls off the table. So the wise prognosticator doesn’t get too cute. Pick the favorites. Don’t go crazy with upsets.
So I am offering up few upsets in the first two rounds. I like Maryland over California, a 10 over a 7, but that’s no upset. I took Utah State over Marquette, just because I love the Aggies and always have. I also took Western Kentucky, a 12, over Illinois because the Illini stinks. And I took a flier on Virginia Commonwealth, an 11, over UCLA because the Bruins have made two straight Final Fours and it’s luck has to run out soon.
But in the second round, no upsets. Pitt, Xavier, Duke and Villnova in the East. North Carolina, OU, Syracuse and Gonzaga in the South. Connecticut, Memphis, Missouri and Washington in the West. Louisville, Michigan State, West Virginia and Wake Forest. OK, one upset. West Virginia over Kansas. But the rest of the Sweet 16 is all top-four seeds.
For the Final Four, I stay with the seeds except in the South. I’m going to go with Syracuse in the South, to beat the Sooners and upset Carolina. That would set up an historic all-Big East Final Four of UConn, Louisville, Pitt and Syracuse. The Big East came close to a sweep in 1985, when Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s made it, and Boston College was a close loser to Memphis State in the Sweet 16.
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