Midwest. West. Two down. Two to go.
Kansas vs. Western Kentucky
PICK: KANSAS :: Remember a few years ago when Ty Rogers hit that 3-point shot to send WKU over Duke in overtime. He won an ESPY for “Best Moment.” That doesn’t happen to the Hilltoppers this year – especially not with Jeff Withey around the basket.
North Carolina vs. Villanova
PICK: VILLANOVA :: Know how everyone is hoping for a Roy Williams vs. Kansas rematch? Villanova and All-Rookie team guard Ryan Arcidiacono spoil that storyline.
Virginia Commonwealth vs. Akron
PICK: VCU :: Because who doesn’t still love VCU’s Cinderella story.
Michigan vs. South Dakota State
PICK: MICHIGAN :: Big Ten player of the Year in Trey Burke? Tim Hardaway’s son Tim Jr.? That’s a recipe for a straight track to second-round victory.
UCLA vs. Minnesota
PICK: UCLA :: Shabazz Muhammad overtakes the Big Ten’s worst team that made it into the tournament.
Florida vs. Northwestern State
PICK: FLORIDA :: Billy Donovan and his Gators love this tournament. The love grows with another victory.
San Diego State vs. Oklahoma
PICK: SAN DIEGO STATE :: Lon Kruger may be the first coach to take five different teams to the Big Dance, but he’s just above .500 in his dance results (14-13). Kruger’s first round results are higher, but I based this pick purely on that he went 5-13 against Fisher when he coached UNLV’s Rebels. And that makes me wonder a lot about why I picked the Aztecs – because, like the Oklahoma State game, this one seems like a prime game for a nice upset.
Georgetown vs. Florida Gulf Coast
PICK: GEORGETOWN :: It’s Georgetown. And this is another game I could see another upset coming in. But I put my faith in George town’s experience, season results and No. 2 seed.
Kansas vs. Villanova
PICK: KANSAS :: There is no stopping Bill Self and his Jayhawks just yet. They had enough of losing during that three-game streak in February.
VCU vs. Michigan
PICK: MICHIGAN :: The Wolverines outplay the Rams.
UCLA vs. Florida
PICK: FLORIDA :: That foundation Lon Kruger built years ago, it’s still lasting and it’s winning.
San Diego State vs. Georgetown
PICK: GEORGETOWN :: It’s still Georgetown. They’re still winning and still making everyone believe they could pull an upset, but they don’t give anyone a Cinderella story.
Kansas vs. Michigan
PICK: MICHIGAN :: This is one of the top matchups of the bracket. Kansas beat a Big Ten team earlier this season. Michigan wins one back for the Big Ten.
Florida vs. Georgetown
PICK: GEORGETOWN :: Because Georgetown defends AND has Otto Porter Jr.
Michigan vs. Georgetown
PICK: GEORGETOWN :: Otto Porter Jr. > Trey Burke.