The March Madness took a couple of days to live up to the hype! Yes, a few higher seeds won, which was not earth shattering news, as that always happens every tournament. The bracket that went sideways in a hurry was the East bracket. The sun may rise in the East but the Villanova Wildcats and Duke Blue Devils watched the sun set in the East bracket as far as their basketball seasons.
The Wisconsin Badgers, who let’s be brutally honest, should not have been seeded as an eight seed defeated the No. 1-seeded Villanova Wildcats. Villanova was the only one seed that failed to make it to round two. Villanova may have won a National Championship last year but sure choked a lot in this tournament!
The No. 2-seeded Duke, which was predicted by many to win this entire tournament, suffered a shocking loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks. Who in the heck could see that one coming? Anyone who says they did is a liar! I have only one team in the Sweet Sixteen and it’s the Florida Gators. The East bracket has Baylor taking on South Carolina Friday night at 7:25 p.m. I like the Baylor Bears to advance but it’s not a confident pick at all. The Wisconsin Badgers take on the Florida Gators at 9:55 p.m. I like the Florida Gators to win a nail-biter. The Gators and Bears will play for a Final Four berth and I am taking the Florida Gators!
The South bracket will also take place Friday night. The first tip is North Carolina and Butler at 7:05 p.m. This bracket, by the way, has the top four seeds still left, as it went on script over the weekend. No. 1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels survived a huge scare from the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Heels were down five points with three minutes to play but Arkansas failed to score in the last three minutes and North Carolina dodged the upset. I just can’t see the Butler Bulldogs winning this basketball game. The Tar Heels will move on with the win.
How about the great program they have going on at Butler? I admire how they continue to be a force on the hardwood. The next game is a classic match-up of two premier college basketball programs, the UCLA Bruins and Kentucky Wildcats. These two met earlier in the season and UCLA prevailed 97-92. The tip-off is set for 9:35 p.m. The high-powered offense of UCLA is a well-oiled machine and almost impossible to defend and stop. The Bruins will try to outscore Kentucky because they are not very strong defensively at all. The Wildcats are loaded with young talent of oneand done like always. I like UCLA to win this contest. I also like the UCLA Bruins to take down North Carolina. UCLA back to the Final Four once again.
The West bracket features No. 11-seed Xavier, which shocked Florida State by routing them in round two. The Xavier team draws the No. 2-seeded Arizona Wildcats with the tip set for 10:05 p.m. Thursday night. This Xavier team will not go quietly and Arizona better be ready to play some basketball. I think the defense of the Arizona team will be the difference and they move on to the Elite Eight. The 7:35 p.m. tip will be a good one as No. 1-seeded Gonzaga against No. 3-seeded West Virginia. The question becomes, can Gonzaga handle the “Press Virginia” press? The Gonzaga team was not overly impressive in its first two games. I thought the West Virginia team was real impressive. I will take the “Press Virginia” team in a slight upset. I will then take West Virginia to defeat the Arizona Wildcats and coach “Huggybear’s” team is Final Four bound.
The Midwest bracket has No. 1 Kansas taking on Purdue. Kansas disposed of Sparty and looked like the best team in the tournament after week one. Kansas will take out the Purdue Boilermakers and move on with tip off set for 9:35 p.m. Thursday night.
The Michigan Wolverines, the redhot Wolverines, I might add, will tip off at 7:05 p.m. against the Oregon Ducks. This is a very favorable match up for the Wolverines, I think. Oregon will not play tough defense and it will get into an offensive up-and-down game with Michigan. Michigan is playing such good offensive basketball it’s tough to pick against (like I did last week). Oops. I like Michigan to beat Oregon in a close high-scoring game. The Michigan season will end with a loss to the Kansas Jayhawks. The Final Four recap is Kansas, Florida, West Virginia, and UCLA. Hope your brackets are in better shape than mine! firstname.lastname@example.org!