Preview: NCAA March Madness

by Evan Wildey

NCAA March Madness

The field is set, let’s breakdown the bracket!

South Region
Florida is the overall #1 seed. They haven’t lost since December, and I don’t see them losing now. I’m always a sucker for senior point guards come tournament time, and in Scottie Wilbekin, the Gators have a good one, maybe the best in the country. I like the Gators to come out of the South.

Make sure you tune in to the VCU-Stephen F. Austin game. It should be fun to watch, as both teams love to play up-tempo.

The upset special in the South is Dayton over Ohio State. OSU can’t score, simple as that. They also refuse to play Dayton as a non-conference game each year so you know the Flyers will be ready to go in this one.

There is some local flavor in this region as the Western Michigan Broncos won the MAC tournament and received an automatic birth. Syracuse was ranked #1 for a while, but they’ve faltered recently; however, they probably still have what it takes to beat the Broncos. For you optimists out there, a few years back, 14-seeded Vermont took down, then, 3-seeded Syracuse.

East Region
For many of you, you’re probably thinking Virginia and Villanova as the 1 and 2? How did that happen? For those of you familiar with the Big Ten, Virginia is Wisconsin, but with better athletes. They play slowly, but effectively.

It appears that Michigan State is finally healthy and poised with an “easy” route to the Final Four. If you like to follow the “experts,” pick MSU; it seems that they all are. I like Iowa State and Villanova a little more than I like the Spartans.

My upset special is Harvard. The Crimson are experienced and, like every other Ivy League team, have flown under the radar. I’ll take the team defense over Cincinnati’s one superstar.

West Region
The West is a tough one to pick. Arizona was ranked #1 earlier in the year, but are playing without one of their top players.

I don’t trust Wisconsin in the tournament; I just don’t. They never seem to show up when it counts.

Make sure you watch at least one Creighton game. Presumptive NCAA Player of the Year, Doug McDermott, is averaging 27 points and seven rebounds per game. He seems poised to have one of those Stephen Curry put-the-team-on-my-back runs in this year’s tournament.

My upset special is Nebraska over Baylor. Baylor is also one of those teams you simply can’t trust, and Nebraska has been playing great ball the past month and a half. Give the Huskers a chance.

Midwest Region
Wow. I mean, what else can you say? Undefeated Wichita State followed by Michigan, Duke, and Louisville.

The critics are saying the Shockers are only undefeated because they haven’t played anyone good.  Well, here’s their chance to play a whole lot of good teams. They’ll have to get through Kentucky, Louisville, and then Duke or Michigan. Yikes.

Louisville is a 4-seed after winning their regular season and conference tournament.

I think the Wolverines have a shot in this region, but it’ll be tough. Duke is good, but they don’t have the big guys down low to bother Michigan.

My upset pick is whoever plays UMass. I will take either of the “play-in” winners – I don’t care which one – over UMass. Give me Iowa or give me Tennessee. For that matter, I’ll take the other play-in winner, Xavier or NC State, over St. Louis.

Now that you have a little more information, go fill out your bracket, perhaps join this March Madness pool from our friends at Midwest Lint. And check back tomorrow for a preview of the Michigan teams in the tournament.

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