All the upset(ting) predictions you’ll need for March Madness
It’s time you all lend me your eyes so I can give you the tools for tournament success
As a guy who watches basketball and sometimes hangs out with people that watch basketball, I know a thing or two about a thing or two about the sport taking over March. It’s always fun to pull for the underdog and the NCAA tournament makes it a blast with its frequent underdog wins. Unfortunately, Thursday’s crop of games only produced two upsets out of 16 games, so it’s time to make some upset(ting) predictions for the rest of the round of 64 all the way up to the championship game.
Round of 64:
1. URI over Creighton
With nearly identical records, Creighton’s 12-20 all time tournament record, and URI on a red-hot eight-game win streak, the Rams are a fun and pretty solid pick here to knock off Creighton.
2. Wichita State beats Dayton
7-10 match ups aren’t usually crazy upsets as the teams are not that far apart skill level-wise, and this year Wichita State might’ve been deserving of a higher seed. At 30-4 compared to 24-7 Dayton, the shockers play in the worse conference, but should be counted on to make some tournament noise.
3. Marquette over South Carolina
This one pretty much just comes down to gut feeling. South Carolina as a state…. ehhhh. South Carolina as a basketball team…. pretty good. I’m just chocking this one up to that feeling in the pit of my stomach and hoping it’s not just from the calamari I ate yesterday.
Round of 32:
1. UVA over Florida
This is a 4-5 match up in which I picked the five seed winning. Virginia’s notorious defense combined with head coach Tony Bennett’s decision to alter his style and go to a five-guard lineup in a comeback first round win gives me hope for the Cavaliers. (Plus some Cavaliers also won a championship last year, maybe this team can steal a little name brand magic)
2. SMU takes down Baylor
As a UConn student and big-time fan, it was tough to watch the most horrifically refereed game of all time that was UConn vs. Cincinnati. The huskies lost and Cincy went on to get smacked by 15 by a tough SMU team that took the American conference championship. Here’s to SMU representing the American and beating Baylor in the second round.
3. Iowa State over Purdue
This is another I’m just chocking up to my feels, mostly because Iowa State beat Kansas once this year and I’d like to see them in a rematch in the Sweet Sixteen.
4. Michigan beats Louisville
Michigan-Louisville is a 7-2 match up with Louisville getting hot in recent weeks and Michigan storming their way to a conference championship. I’ll take the Wolverines in honor of the great Chris Webber and no one making his mistake again.
1. Michigan over Oregon
If Michigan does what I tell them to and they beat Louisville, a two seed, they should have plenty of confidence to take down Oregon, a 3 seed, in their sweet 16 date.
2. Butler beats UNC
This is a biggie right here, as UNC has been a great team most of the year and is a one seed in the tournament. Butler is a team that made it to the championship game in 2011 as a not-so-great team. This is me hoping for a big upset and more tournament shenanigans from the Bulldogs.
1. Arizona over Gonzaga
Gonzaga is a fantastic NCAA team this year with a 33-1 record and legit talent. I like Arizona here because of the brilliant play from freshman Lauri Markkanen among others on the team. Markkanen averages almost 16 points per game and shoots over 40 percent from three as a seven-footer. If anyone can swing the tides of a game I’m betting on him.
1. Kentucky over Kansas
I’m a huuuuuuuge fan of Kentucky this year with tremendous guard play that I think will bring them all the way to cutting down the nets in the championship game. De’aaron Fox is a solid two-way point guard that facilitates on offense and locks down on defense. Malik Monk is a human flamethrower that can erupt for ridiculous numbers and splashes three’s like it’s his job (it is his job). I’ve got Kentucky taking it here.
1. Kentucky over Villanova
Villanova had too much going right for them last year to win it again this year. I think Kentucky sips from whatever magic spring Nova did last year and takes them down in a fun championship game.
Here’s my full bracket for anyone that wants to see all the match ups and how a champion chooses his teams.