Bracket busters

Fat Guy’s Corner


Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Let the madness begin and today the NCAA hoop tournament really takes off. The Tuesday and Wednesday play-in games will have been completed, so it’s time for the Fat Guy to release some winners and a few rock solid upsets. However, before we get there, here are a few tournament odds to win it all.

Las Vegas has Kansas at 4:1, Ohio State and Duke at 9:2, Pitt at 8:1, Michigan State 150:1, Michigan 200:1, and Oakland 250:1. A few bucks on the local teams will net you some cheddar (money). I hope your brackets are winners and I hope my brackets are also winners! Let’s analyze the four regions.

The Southwest region has the number one seed Kansas Jayhawks. I love the top four seeds in this region. Kansas is the leader, followed by Notre Dame, Purdue, and Louisville. I believe any four of these can win the Southwest region. I don’t like Kansas as much as all the hoop experts seem to. I know Kansas has the Morris twins and they, as a team, rebound the basketball really well. They are a dynamite team, but they can be beaten just like anyone else in this tourney. My selection is a Big Ten team in the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue has JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, who are tremendous offensive players. Purdue plays topnotch defense and I love this basketball team. The downfall is neither of those two players can have a bad night, offensively. Notre Dame has a nice club, offensively, and is very experienced. Can Ben Hansbrough step it up on the big stage? He needs to if the Irish are to advance. My sleeper team is Vanderbilt. Vandy can score the pumpkin, but is a defensive liability. Purdue it is!

The East region has the Ohio State Buckeyes as the number-one overall seed. The Bucks are numerous experts’ choice to win it all, and OSU has all the pieces to win it all. I feel they drew the easiest region of all four regions. It is chocolate-cake walk time for OSU. If the Yuckeyes don’t make the Final Four, they are serious chokers. Free tattoos for all the hoop teams, I say, with the words Final Four.

I feel Kentucky is too young and inexperienced yet as a basketball team and the same goes for North Carolina. I can’t get the Duke and N.C. game from Sunday out of my head. I believe the "Cuse" of Syracuse are a solid selection if there is one to knock off OSU. Washington is a solid sleeper team with lots of experience and is good offensively. Keep an eye on them. Marquette will upset the number-six seed, Xavier.

The Southeast region is the most unpredictable bracket in this year’s tourney. The top four seeds all have vulnerabilities, in my opinion. Pittsburgh, the number-one seed, is not that strong of a number one. Florida, BYU, and Wisconsin—the two through four seeds—are not strong either. The Spartans of MSU (don’t laugh) actually could come out of this bracket if they play like they did against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament. The upset I see potential in is Belmont over Wisconsin. Wisky is a slow-down team, versus an up-tempo team, the Bruins of Belmont. Belmont plays 10 players regularly, which is a lot of depth. I like Kansas State to go deep in this bracket. KSU has been playing good hoop as of late. I can’t pick a winner out of this region until next week when I see who has survived. I believe the bracket is that wide open, folks. Good luck picking the winners of this bracket. Let’s all hope the Spartys can play well and make a run in this bracket. Sparty On, Green and White.

Michigan and Oakland head West for the NCAA tourney. Duke is the numberone seed out there in the West. U-Conn, the number-three seed, is red hot on the hardwood right now. However, did five straight games in the Big East tourney take some gas out of the Huskies? I don’t think so. These college kids can recover pretty fast and U-Conn will. Steve Fisher, the ex-Michigan coach, has the SDSU Aztecs in as the number-two seed. SDSU is 0-6 lifetime in the tourney; not good odds there, if you ask me. The upset special is Oakland over the Texas shorthorns. Oakland will not be intimidated at all. Keith Benson will prove what a star he really is.

I am taking Oakland all the way to the Sweet Sixteen. I love this basketball team. Michigan will take care of an upand down Tennessee team. Just a hunch folks, on Michigan. Duke will end Michigan’s season though. My selection is the Huskies of U-Conn, who are red hot right now.


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