Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Official NCAA Tournament Selections

For the first time since I was in 5th grade, I haven’t filled out any brackets for any pool of any kind. That doesn’t mean I’m not making picks. So, here they are, my official selections for the 2008 men’s NCAA Tournament. (Oh, and if you’re wondering, in my first bracket in 6th grade, I correctly had Duke beating Michigan in the championship game. I loved the Fab Five, but not enough to pick them over the defending champs).

FIRST ROUND
East Region
1 UNC def. 16 Mount St. Mary’s
9 Arkansas def. 8 Indiana
12 George Mason def. 5 Notre Dame
13 Winthrop def. 4 Washington State
6 Oklahoma def. 11 St. Joseph’s
3 Louisville def. 14 Boise State
7 Butler def. 10 South Alabama
2 Tennessee def. 15 American

Midwest Region
1 Kansas def. 16 Portland State
8 UNLV def. 9 Kent State
5 Clemson def. 12 Villanova
4 Vanderbilt def. 13 Siena
6 USC def. 11 Kansas State
3 Wisconsin def. 14 CS Fullerton
10 Davidson def. 7 Gonzaga
2 Georgetown def. 15 UMBC

South Region
1 Memphis def. 16 UT-Arlington
8 Mississippi State def. 9 Oregon
5 Michigan State def. 12 Temple
4 Pittsburgh def. 13 Oral Roberts
6 Marquette def. 11 Kentucky
3 Stanford def. 14 Cornell
10 St. Mary’s (CA) def. 7 Miami (FL)
2 Texas def. 15 Austin Peay

West Region
1 UCLA def. 16 Mississippi Valley State
9 Texas A&M def. 8 BYU
5 Drake def. 12 Western Kentucky
4 UConn def. 13 San Diego
11 Baylor def. 6 Purdue
14 Georgia def. 3 Xavier
7 West Virginia def. 10 Arizona
2 Duke def. 15 Belmont

(Lots of chalk so far, I know, but I did pick two 14s over 3s, so there!)

SECOND ROUND
East Region
1 UNC def. 9 Arkansas
12 George Mason def. Winthrop
3 Louisville def. 6 Oklahoma
7 Butler def. 2 Tennessee

Midwest Region
1 Kansas def. 9 UNLV
4 Vanderbilt def. 5 Clemson
3 Wisconsin def. 6 USC
2 Georgetown def. 10 Davidson

South Region
8 Mississippi State def. 1 Memphis
4 Pittsburgh def. 5 Michigan State
6 Marquette def. 3 Stanford
2 Texas def. 10 St. Mary’s (CA)

West Region
1 UCLA def. 9 Texas A&M
4 UConn def. 5 Drake
11 Baylor def. 14 Georgia
7 West Virginia def. 2 Duke

SWEET SIXTEEN
1 UNC def. 12 George Mason
3 Louisville def. 7 Butler
1 Kansas def. 4 Vanderbilt
3 Wisconsin def. 2 Georgetown
4 Pittsburgh def. 8 Mississippi State
6 Marquette def. 2 Texas
4 UConn def. 1 UCLA
7 West Virginia def. 11 Baylor

(Yes, that’s right 5 Big East Teams in the Elite 8, and none of them are Georgetown. The more I look at this, the more I think I’m insane, but then again, I prefer to trust my gut instinct, even if my gut is shrinking).

ELITE EIGHT
1 UNC def. 3 Louisville
3 Wisconsin def. 1 Kansas
4 Pittsburgh def. 6 Marquette
7 West Virginia def. 4 UConn

FINAL FOUR
1 UNC def. 3 Wisconsin
4 Pittsburgh def. 7 West Virginia

FINAL
1 UNC def. 4 Pittsburgh

So there you have it. The North Carolina Tar Heels will be national champions. Going back, I’ve correctly selected the national champion in 5 straight years, and 8 of the last 9 (I couldn’t bring myself to pick Maryland in 2002). So I’ve got a decent track record at this. Last year, I finished in the top 10 of a 90-something person pool, and would have been in the top 3 had Georgetown beaten Ohio State. Go Tar Heels!

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