Each year, I get overly excited over the NCAA Tournament.
Each year, I fill out my brackets, thinking this is the year I achieve total dominance, winning the cash and earning the respect of my peers.
Most years, I fail miserably.
This year is probably no different, but that won’t stop my from carefully filling out my sheet, weighing upset specials over surefire winners. I’ll give it more thought later this week, but for now, here are my early thoughts:
Louisville received the overall top seed, but they definitely don’t have an easy road to Detroit, home of the Final Four. A potential second round match-up with Ohio State could be interesting, while a possible Sweet 16 game with Wake Forest is definitely appealing. On the lower side of the bracket, Michigan State (one of my pre-bracket picks for a Final Four berth) got no favors, and I see them possibly falling in the second round to Boston College. Even if they escape that, a showdown with West Virginia could be a fantastic game, as the Mountaineers are one of the sleepers of the tournament.
Ultimately, though, I’m going (for now) with Louisville winning the region.
Pittsburgh should have a pretty easy go of it in the first two rounds, but a possible Sweet 16 game against Florida State is intriguing. Both are big, bruising teams, but the Panthers should prevail. Duke and Villanova facing off in the Sweet 16 sounds like a great game, and I’m counting on Duke’s shots falling, pushing them to an Elite Eight game against Pittsburgh, with the Panthers winning. (Note: I’m very likely to change all this and have Villanova winning).
I think this is a ridiculously weak region, and UConn and Memphis probably won’t break a sweat as they roll to the region finals. As much as I hate to say it, Memphis wins it.
Who did North Carolina piss off to earn a possible second round game against LSU? I think the Tar Heels should win it all, but they have a hard road to go. My gut says Syracuse will get far too much credit because of their nice run in the Big East Tournament, but they don’t have a difficult path to the third round, where they should play Oklahoma. I see UNC knocking off the Sooners for the South crown.
So, for now, I have three 1 seeds and one 2, which is NOT going to happen, but until I have time to weigh each game, this is what I’m facing. I’m thinking the championship game will be North Carolina against Louisville.
And your 2009 champions?
The North Carolina Tar Heels.
But I could be wrong.