Halloween came in the middle of March Madness and it was trick or treat for some college basketball teams.
Who received the treats? The University of Michigan, Loyola of Chicago, Syracuse and Kansas State.
The tricks went to Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Xavier and Michigan State. That’s right, a No. 16 seed in UMBC took down the choking No. 1-seeded Virginia Cavaliers, who choke every single NCAA Tournament. UMBC routed Virginia and I loved every single minute of it.
The little guy taking down the big guy is what makes this tournament so special. I knew the tournament was going to be special when the first game between Oklahoma and Rhode Island went into overtime. The weekend featured numerous comebacks from double digits, which was awesome. Nevada came back twice to win including a 22-point deficit to No. 2-seed Cincinnati. Oh baby, the Madness of March never fails us, does it? Let’s break down the brackets of what happened and what I expect to happen this weekend.
Cleanup in South
The South Bracket is a total mess! The No. 1-4 seeds are all gone. Once again, shame on Virginia, for a total embarrassment losing by 20 points. I correctly predicted the Loyola of Chicago upset and then they won another to move on to the Sweet Sixteen. What’s left in this bracket is a No. 5-seed Kentucky, 7-seed Nevada, 9-seed Kansas State and 11-seed Loyola.
Kentucky takes on Kansas State tonight. I just can’t see Kentucky losing to Kansas State. The Loyola vs. Nevada game tips off tonight at 7:07 p.m. I give the nod to Nevada because of the better offense. Kentucky heads to the Final Four by defeating Nevada in a close game. I personally hope Loyola makes it to the Final Four.
Standing by Villanova
The East Bracket has No. 1-seed Villanova as the team to beat. I gave you the Marshall upset and the Butler winner in this bracket. This bracket has the one, two, three, and five seeds left alive. The first Friday night action will tip at 7:27 p.m. between West Virginia and Villanova. I picked Villanova to win it all, and I am standing by my pick.
The 9:57 p.m. tip has No.-3 seed Texas tech against the No. 2-seed from the Big Ten, Purdue. The loss of big man Isaac Haas is a killer for Purdue. He fractured his elbow in a fall during the game. I still like the Boilermakers to win this game against Tech in a nail-biter. The run ends there, though, for Purdue, as Villanova punches a Final Four ticket.
Failure to launch
The Midwest bracket lost Michigan State in a shocker to Syracuse. Michigan State took a school record 37 3-point shots. They made only eight of them. The Spartans played awful and shot awful from the field, a lousy 25%.
Tom Izzo was out-coached by Jim Boeheim in this game. Why the Spartans did not pound the ball inside still baffles me. The Spartans failed to live up to March once again.
The Friday night game at 7:07 p.m. has Kansas against Clemson. I like Kansas to move on. The 9:37 p.m. tip is Syracuse and Duke and Duke wins a close one. The Final Four team will be Duke.
Wolverines need to step it up
The West bracket lost No. 1-seed Xavier and No. 2-seed North Carolina. Xavier was a weak No. 1-seed, and I told you vulnerable, and they proved it. I knew Texas A&M had talent and they won and will play a lucky Michigan team. Yes, I said lucky! It took a buzzer beater from Jordan Poole to move on. Houston and the incredible Rob “Man Bun” Gray had victory in their hands and the freshman wrecked it. I thought Michigan played two horrible games yet they advanced. Michigan takes on Texas A&M on Thursday at 7:37 p.m. I hate to say this, but I like Texas A&M.
The late game at 10:07 p.m. has Florida State and Gonzaga. I like Gonzaga to win a close one here. The Texas A&M team is the Final Four party crasher and surprise team of the tournament. Let the March Madness continue this weekend. firstname.lastname@example.org