NCAA Basketball Sweet Sixteen edition (in the wild)
Well there are 16 teams left and my bracket is in shambles.
Let’s review the predictions from last week.
Two of my final four teams are gone (Villanova and Kansas) including my champion (Kansas) so I won’t win any office pools this year.
-A lot of my predictions from my tournament preview came through including both of my predicted lower seed first round locks (Northern Iowa and Missouri).
-I had Northern Iowa in my top 25 . Certainly not higher than Kansas, but definitely a top 25 team.
-My model ranked Cornell 18th and I ignored it figuring it was a fluky part of the model. (Similar to how I have Oral Roberts ranked 8th and Sam Houston State ranked 2nd using the raw data.) I guess Cornell really is that good. This win over Wisconsin should shoot them up in my rankings when they come out tomorrow.
-Washington is really bad. They beat a mediocre Marquette team and then a New Mexico team that lost to San Diego State in its conference tournament. West Virginia is going to massacre Washington. (Note: Marquette lost 51-50 to DePaul this season. DePaul was 1-17 in the Big East. Yikes.)
-The Kentucky-Cornell game is going to be really interesting. Kentucky is loaded with super talented Freshman who are thinking about the NBA and millions of dollars and Cornell is stacked with seniors who are thinking about grad school next fall.
-Kentucky over Cornell: Cornell keeps it close in the first half, but Kentucky’s superior talent takes over. They win by 10.
-West Virginia over Washington: West Virginia is going to kill them. I see them winning by 15-20 points.
-Duke over Purdue: This is an interesting match-up. Purdue had thoughts of a number 1 seed going into their conference tournament and they ended up with a 4. I’ll be interested to see how they play in this one.
-Baylor over Saint Mary’s: Baylor has beaten a 14 and an 11 seed. Saint Mary’s is a 10. I’m not sure what that means, but the total of the seed of Baylor’s first three opponents is 35. That has to be the highest total of a first three opponents, right? Anyway, this one will be close. Baylor by 3.
-Northern Iowa over Michigan State: I had Northern Iowa in top 25 at the beginning of the tournament and they are still there. I had Michigan State out of my top 25. Northern Iowa by 7. (Michigan State has made the Sweet Sixteen three years in a row.)
-Tennessee over Ohio State: How many games does Ohio State have to win in a row to convince me they are for real? 1 more. But I doubt it. Tennessee by 10.
-Syracuse over Butler: Syracuse by 5…..unless Shelvin Mack hits a million threes again. Then who knows.
-Kansas State over Xavier: Kansas State looks good. really good. (Note: Xavier has made the Sweet Sixteen three years in a row.)
Final Four picks:
Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse, and……(wait for it)…………Northern Iowa. Northern Iowa beat Kansas, surely they can beat Michigan State, and Ohio State or Tennessee, right?
Syracuse vs Kentucky
Can’t wait until next Monday when I get to see just how wrong I am again.