Time for some NCAA bracket talk: GT's 5 seed is dumb, we should be a 6 or 7. I think they're giving us the benefit of the doubt because of Elder's injury, but we're too inconsistent.
With that in mind, I'd like to focuse on the Albuquerque
region. This is by far the hardest region to pick, and not just because whenever I see Albuquerque I instantly get distracted by thoughts of Weird Al's song and Hungry Hungry Homer's attempts to prevent the heartless Duff corporation from moving the Isotopes. It's because there are so many teams capable of winning it. Washington is not one of them. I don't know why they're a #1 seed. Yes yes, they beat Arizona twice and won the Pac-10, so what? The Pac-10, who cares? That leaves Louisville, Wake, and Gonzaga who all have a legitimate chance of getting to St Louis. My pick is Louisville because I think they have the easiest road. A Wake/Gonzaga matchup would be my pick for best game of the tournament, but either team would be so burnt out that they won't be able to defeat Louisville in the Elite 8 matchup. If you're looking for a 12-5 upset, may I suggest GW over GT? They beat Maryland and Michigan State and swept Temple. All it would take is GT to be off our game that day for us to get beat bad. Like Maryland, we're a totally hit-or-miss team. When things are clicking, we're awesome, and when they're not, we're hopeless.
region is kind of a no brainer. Your choices are Illinois, OSU, and 'Zona. But what about Boston College? Nope, they're coming unravelled, and I think 'Bama will be a handful for them and then having to play Illinois will knock them out. I know the Ilini are undefeated but for that regular-season closer against Ohio State (dirty Buckeyes...), but I don't believe they're all that good. Arizona has the stigma of being a Pac-10 team, and is in a bit of a slump this year. That leaves the Cowboys. They had a ton of returning players from their Final Four appearance last year and a great coach. And I think they can beat the Wildcats and the Illini, hands down. No really exciting matchups here otherwise though.
bracket - is anyone picking someone other than UNC? If so, please tell me why. Yes, I know you've got UConn who's hot right now, Florida who's coming on strong but is overrated, and Kansas who's good but not playing like it, Villanova who's playing spoiler, and Winsconsin who's got nothing but defense. And NC State could be a dangerous team too. The best potential matchup here is UConn/UNC. But after getting past NC State and Kansas, UConn's going to be out of steam, leaving UNC the open door to winning the region.
Finally the Austin
bracket - where normally good teams who weren't quite good enough this year ended up. The 12-5 ODU upset of Michigan State is a distinct possibility here. Also, Duke's a #1 seed and Wake isn't? What manner of sorcery is this? Oklahoma is apparently good, but I've never seen them play, so I don't know for sure. But one thing I am sure of is that they won't beat Kentucky. Tubby Smith knows too much about the NCAA to let that happen. Ditto for Coach K, as much as I hate him. Either the Blue Devils or the Wildcats win the bracket. My money is on Kentucky right now because of the fatigue factor. Duke isn't a deep team, and we saw what happened against Maryland when they get into foul trouble or have injuries. They've really only got 6 players (albeit outstanding players), and the Terps put 5 of them on the bench.Summary
Most likely 12-5 upset: GW over GT
Most exciting potential matchup: Wake Forest vs Gonzaga
My Final Four picks: Louisville, OSU, UNC, Kentucky
My chosen champion: North Carolina over Oklahoma State 91-84Disclaimer: all picks and opinions are subject to change until noon on Thursday.