Alright, here we go...This shows you how far my courage has come. I've posted picks online for all to see...So step back 15 feet!
Here are my picks...Chicago -
This actually was a tough region to pick for me. I think there are several upsets that could occur here. Yet, what a lot of people may not be thinking about is the fact that the regional finals are in Chicago at the United Center.
That's the Illini's second homecourt...So, with that in mind, I'm rolling with the Illini to advance over Oklahoma State. Plus, I love Luther Head and Roger Powell
Upsets: A lot of people are looking for UWMilwaukee, but I watched them in their final, and I don't know if they can pull it off against the athleticism of Alabama. So, I stuck with the Tide. On one hand, I like UAB to do some damage, but over 'Zona, I went with the Cats because they have a lot of talent to overmatch them. On the other hand, I do have Boston College bouncing out in the second round.
As a quick note, is it me, or is that Watson window story out of Boston shady or what?..Guns, knives, and baseball bats...When you see five guys rolling your door down, that only means one thing...'Where's my money?"Albuquerque -
Ooohh, I like this region because of my final 8 picks, and to let you in on it. I went with Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.
As much as I love Nate Robinson
and the rest of the Washington team, I dropped them in my respect category after watching them against Arizona. I really think Jarret Jack, Will "The Thrill" Bynum, and B.J. Elder
can take it to them. But that's also if Tech can get by Louisville.
I have Tech because I have been very impressed with how Tech is rolling at the moment. I also looked at a possible Washington/Pittsburgh match-up. If that game happens, it would be tough game to get through for the Huskies.
In the end, I went with Wake. I really liked the look of Chris Paul's and the rest of his teammates'
faces after Wake's first-round exit after they lost to State....They want it. I also love the way that their athleticism matches up so well with other teams' guards and wings. I like them to get to reach that Tech game by rolling over Gonzaga, who will get by in a runner with Texas Tech.
Be smart with this regional...Go with Wake to reach St.Louis.Austin -
Syracuse over Kentucky...Yes, I went with the Orange over Duke to push them into a regional final over Kentucky...And for those that really know me from the past, you know what a struggle that I had picking the Orange over anyone in a NCAA tournament run.
However, I love the combo of Gerry McNamera and Hakim Warrick
, and I really love the way that they responded in the Big East Tournament. Plus, you have to measure this intangible with them...They have rings...That means they've been there before. McNamera dropped 37 last year in a first round game. Look for the tough Irish kid to have a strong tournament.
Upsets: I don't think you're going to see much here...Now watch Old Dominion drop Michigan State...Everyone loves Utah, but there's something about Kelvin Sampson
and his team that I like. Maybe it's Andrew Lavender
, but I'm looking for Oklahoma to hang in there for a bit.Syracuse -
UNC over Kansas. (Period)
I've been waiting a long time for this one. I really want to stick it toward the whininess of the KU fans that was displayed two years ago. Call it bitter taste or whatever, but I have never forgot their display during the Matt Doherty
years in Chapel Hill...Personally, I just hated the snobbery that emanated from Lawerence and every thing around it...Believe me, their history can't touch ours, and I think Coach Williams's preparation will beat the preparation of Coach Self because Williams's staff has been in the dance often.
As much as I want to go with KU throughout this one, they lost five of their last eight games...yeech. That's not a tight roll.
However, I do love them over a match-up with Connecticut because of their backcourt. Upsets:
Watch for New Mexico over 'Nova...Yeah, everyone loves 'Nova, but New Mexico has really played well over the past few weeks, and they really reacted well in the WAC tournament. I like that team. Watch for a good showing. People love Florida, but remember...The Donovan factor...Other than '99, which to this day should be an aberration, his teams have been very suspect in past tournaments. If you would like to discuss, email me.
Also, watch out for NC State over Charlotte. UNCC has lost three in a row, and the Pack is playing with more confidence over the past few weeks. That game is actually the one that I will not miss.Final Four -
Illinois, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and SyracuseChampionship -
North Carolina v. Illinois
My Call...Drum roll please...UNC Chapel Hill.
Yes, I really think so...This is as good of a year as any team that Roy Williams will ever have here in the Hill during these days of mass early exoduses to the NBA. With that in mind, the Heels can literally run through the projected teams that they have ahead. They now have an extra scoring capabilities in Rashad McCants
, and they have a game to get their flow back with the first round. Their weaknesses are defense and a half-court offense. If they can somehow assemble that in the tight times, they're going to be all right. If not, and if a game gets tight,...watch out.
In my book, the barbed wire fence for them is Iowa State and if 'Nova rolls my sleeper pick, New Mexico.
Yet that doesn't sway my pick, I really think you should drop a couple of hundred bucks to reserve a spot to head down to the Hill for that weekend. It'll be a classic...If you're in town, email me
, and I'll post a few adjustments to the swings and misses.
Now there....You have me on record.