March Madness…Breakdown of the First Weekend

Posted on March 21, 2011 by

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The first weekend of the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament did not disappoint.  A number 1 seed was knocked off, while a 10-seed, two 11-seeds, and a 12-seed all advanced to the Sweet 16. Here is a look at how I faired with my bracket over the first two rounds of games…

East Region:

I had the top four seeds advancing to the round of 16 and got three out of four right…Ohio St., UNC, and Kentucky still stand in this region, while 3-seed Syracuse was knocked off by fellow Big East member, Marquette. The Golden Eagles of Marquette were my team to watch and did not disappoint. They have pulled off two upsets thanks to the great play of Darius Johnson-Odom  and take on UNC this coming Friday as they look to keep their impressive tourney run going. The Ohio St. Buckeyes have been quite impressive in their first two games and have been showing why they were given the number 1 overall seed. They breezed by Cinderella story, George Mason in the 2nd round behind the great play of two freshmen, Jared Sullinger (18 pts, 8 rebs) and Aaron Craft (6 pts, 15 asts, 6 rebs). They take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the next round.

My Pick: I still gotta go with my original pick, John Calipari’s Wildcats, but they face a tough game against the Buckeyes in the Sweet 16.

West Region:

This region has been my best thus far as all my picks for the Sweet 16 have made it. Duke, SDSU, UConn, and Arizona have advanced. 1-seed Duke slipped by a tough Michigan squad and will take on the Arizona Wildcats, who have survived two close encounters. On the other end of the region, SDSU looks to ride the home-court advantage (game will be played in Anaheim) as they take on Kemba Walker and the UConn Huskies.

My Pick: Duke. I don’t think the U of A has enough left in the tank to beat a solid Duke squad. The Blue Devils should have enough left to move forward and take on whoever wins the interesting matchup between the Huskies and the Aztecs. Look for Coach K’s squad to be rested and ready for the this weekend’s games.

Southwest Region:

This region has been the center of all the Madness. Not only did Morehead St. manage to knock off Louisville, but 10-seed Florida State, 11-seed VCU, 12-seed Richmond have made into the Sweet 16.  I like KU to put an end to Richmond’s run, while the Seminoles continue to fluster opposing offenses and pull of the victory over VCU.

My Pick: I’m sticking with the Jayhawks as they now have the easiest road to the Final Four, but I really like how the Seminoles are playing. Their defense can keep them in any game, but they need to find more options on offense if they want to make it to Houston.

Southeast Region:

I only managed to get one of four in this region as Michigan State, Utah State, and Pitt all sputtered out early. Butler has been playing like their 2010 form and look to repeat their glory and earn a spot in the Final Four again. They beat Pitt in one of the most wild tournament games in ages and will take on Wisconsin in the next round. In the other game, Jimmer Fredette and the BYU Cougars look to keep it raining when they take on 2-seed Florida.

My Pick: I like BYU to take on Butler in the Elite Eight (because it would be awesome) and Jimmer to lead his team to the Final Four. The kid has been lights out on the big stage and I like his chances of cutting down the net.

ORIGINAL FINAL FOUR: KENTUCKY, DUKE, KANSAS, PITT…DUKE OVER KANSAS

NEW PICKS: KENTUCKY, DUKE, KANSAS, BYU…DUKE OVER KANSAS

-hutch

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