For the Record

No event so massively engulfs a sports fan like the Men’s NCAA Tourney. It also brings in the passive fans, and compels people to care that otherwise know nothing about the game (how awesome is it to be in a pool with someone who has Chattanooga to the Elite 8 and Maryland winning it all!!).  It’s power is like that of the Super Bowl but lasts for three weeks, not one day. I hate the tired phrase of March Madness,  but what could ring more true?

So on the eve of the fun, I share a few picks for the field of 64.

My Final Four includes Wake Forest, Memphis, Pittsburgh, andOklahoma with John Calipari’s underrated Tigers winning it all.  This team plays better defense than last year’s National Runner Up and still scores at will.

But the beauty of the bracket, the real satisfaction comes in picking the upset.  You can walk down the street bragging to anyone about having Davidson to the Elite 8, just as some guy did last year, and all you can do is tip the cap.

I love NorthDakota State, the 14 seed in the Midwest, to knock off defending champ Kansas in the first round.  A host of 5th year seniors that red shirted specifically to wait until the team went division one.  They’ve played together forever (in college life) and face the Jayhawks whom lost all their starting five from last year and rely on freshmen all over the place. And don’t forget, Kansas went out in the first round in 2005 and 2006. 

 VCU gets the 11 seed in the East, facing the 6 seed UCLA.   Pity the Bruins.  Eric Maynor led the Rams to a win over Duke two years ago in the 1st round and the reigning CAA Player of the Year is better now.  The Rams also have a nice post presence while the Bruins lack the same skill that led them to the past three Final Fours.

Andwhile it’s a mild upset in the brackets, the fact Maryland even made the tournament is amazing.  The Terps couldn’t even see the bubble machine six weeks ago, then scratched and clawed their way back into relevancy (who knew turtle had claws?).  For the effort they face the 7 Seed Cal in the West Region and will beat the Bears.  Cal shoots the ball great but has no inside game.  None.  That’s from their head coach Mike Montgomery himself.  Maryland has struggled so much at times this season trying to cover up their lack of post presence, andnow they need not worry about it.  Maryland moves on to the 2nd round. 

And to get you in the mood on Tourney Eve:

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