Today is the first day of the NCAA Tournament. 64 teams have the chance to win 6 straight games but only a few have the talent to make such a run.
Syracuse is the 1 seed in the West region, but an injury to Arinze Onuaku may hamper the Orange's chances to make a deep run to the Final Four. In the same region, Kansas State comes into the tournament playing well despite losing the Big 12 Championship game to Kansas and is my choice to come out of that region and reach the Final Four. The biggest upset in the West region that I have down is Minnesota upsetting Xavier. Minnesota enters the tournament after beating Purdue by 27 in the Big 10 Tournament semifinals, but losing to Ohio State in championship game.
In the East, Kentucky grabbed the number 1 seed and West Virginia, after a strong showing in the Big East Tournament, grabbed the number 2 seed. Both of these teams have the ability and strong guard play to make a deep run in the tournament. These two teams will face off in the elite eight with West Virginia beating Kentucky because of their experience, as opposed to Kentucky, who has little experience with two of their top players being freshmen. In this region the possibility for upsets are numerous. Cornell, a 12 seed out of the Ivy League, has a good chance of taking down Temple, Missouri can also beat Clemson if they are able to contain Trevor Booker and Demontez Stitz, and the last upset that is very possible is Marquette beating New Mexico in the second round of the region after Marquette played well in their conference tourney.
The South region is the most wide open of the four regions. Duke is the number one seed in this region followed by Villanova, Baylor, and Purdue. Villanova has not played well down the stretch and I cannot imagine them being able to just turn it on and start playing as well as they can again. Baylor will emerge as a bit of surprise, despite their 3 seed and will beat Villanova in the Sweet Sixteen where Duke will be awaiting. In recent years Duke has not played up to their seeding, but the lack of strong inside play will hurt the Blue Devils once again, as Baylor will upend Duke to reach Indianapolis. The big upset will be Siena taking down Purdue due to the loss of Purdue's best scorer Robbie Hummel to injury. Siena will play the Aggies of Utah State in the second round after the upset of the Aggies of Texas A&M. Siena will be the Cinderella of tournament making a run all the way to the Sweet Sixteen.
In the toughest region, Kansas is the 1 seed in the Midwest, but will have the most difficult road of any of the 1 seeds to reach the Final Four. The Midwest region includes the likes of Ohio State, Georgetown, Maryland, and Michigan State, all are teams that have the ability to make a run in the tournament and give Kansas trouble in their potential matchups. Maryland will beat Michigan State in the second round in a game of wits between two of the best coaches in the country. Michigan State has been too inconsistent all year long to be able to compete with Maryland's high scoring offense. However, Kansas will be able to take care of business against the Terps, as Kansas is the most complete and experienced team in the country. Georgetown and Ohio State will play one of the best games of the tournament. Georgetown comes in hot after a good showing in the Big East tournament only losing in the Championship Game on a last second shot. Ohio State will just be too much for Georgetown. Evan Turner is arguably the best player in the country and also the best guard play in the country, with four guards that average double figures in points. However, Kansas will prove to be too strong for any team in the tournament as they will make a run to Final Four all the way to win their second national championship in the past three years, beating Kansas State for the fourth time this season and then beating a strong West Virginia team. The one upset I have in this bracket will be Georgia Tech beating Oklahoma State because of the phenomenal freshman Derrick Favors down low and will prove to be too strong for any of Oklahoma State's big men to contain.
- Villanova is down four early to Robert Morris and do not seem to be playing up to their seeding. Scottie Reynolds did not start as Coach Jay Wright decided to try and send a message to his team.
- Florida looks good early taking a 7 point lead with 6 minutes left in the first half
- Notre Dame is up 5 with 7 minutes left in the first half and have adapted well with Harangody back in the lineup