Two of my favorite days in the sports year are upon us, and that means it’s time for me to reveal my NCAA Tournament picks. The 1st two days of the tournament are always my favorite. We used to skip class in high school on either the Thursday or Friday to watch the early round games. I don’t have the love of college basketball like I used to, but I still enjoy watching the young stars who will eventually play at the NBA level. There are plenty of future NBA stars that will showcase their talents in the coming weeks. John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe and Demarcus Cousins are the top talents in this tournament. Plus with the Bulls in a free fall and heading towards the NBA Draft lottery, keeping an eye on the top talent is imperative.
Before I get to my picks, I have to address a few things that bother me regarding the selection process……
The Coverage: I don’t know what is worse, college fans storming the court after their teams pull an upset win or the reaction of teams celebrating despite the fact they ALREADY know they’re making the tournament. It’s almost as tough of a call as who makes you reach for the mute button faster….Dick Vitale or Bobby Knight with their non-stop jabber on the Boo-Yaa Network. One more thing on celebrating…..What was Kentucky doing at the end of regulation in the SEC Championship Game?! Demarcus Cousins aka Derrick Coleman/Rasheed Wallace 2.0 ties the game with a tip-in at the buzzer, and John Wall and CO. tackled Cousins like they just found out that they were headed to Vegas for an week long stay in the Playboy suite flushed with NBA quality weed and women at the Palms Hotel. I don’t trust this Kentucky team to win the title. They remind me of those Michigan teams of the early 90′s. They are supremely talented, but I don’t like their mental toughness in tight games. Throw in the fact that none of their players have played in a NCAA Tournament game, and it will be another disappointing ending for John Calipari.
Teams Complaining About Not Making The Tournament: I’m looking at you, Illini fans. Here’s a thought for coach Bruce Weber– schedule your way into the tournament next year. Illinois’ RPI this year was 75, and despite a strong showing in the Big Ten Tournament, they just weren’t good enough throughout the season. Teams like this kill me. Instead of playing cream puffs in your non-conference schedule, go play some real teams early in the season. Weber knows his squad shouldn’t be there despite their near upset over Ohio State, but when your team doesn’t get a shot off at the end of regulation AND overtime vs OSU, your team doesn’t deserve the invitation.
People Focusing on Teams That Didn’t Get In: Why all of the wasted talk about the bottom teams in the tournament? Those teams don’t have a chance of winning, and it’s just a waste of time to talk about “The last 4 teams in” nonsense. People should be focusing on the 6-7 teams that actually do have a shot of winning the title.
DUKE: That’s right, Duke as a whole. Coach K couldn’t have scripted an easier road to the Final Four if he tried. Duke has Villanova, Baylor, and a Purdue team that could conceivably lose in round 1 in their region. Kansas meanwhile was the number 1 overall seed, but has Turner and Ohio State, a red hot Georgetown team, and Maryland to deal with potentially. How did this work out? There isn’t one NBA lottery pick in Duke’s region. The tournament committee needs to get up from under Coach K’s desk and realize Duke should have been a 2-seed, isn’t that good, and is by far the worst number 1-seed in years. West Virginia is flat out a better team then Duke and should have been the tournament’s final Number 1-seed. It’s sad that people stroke Duke the way that they do. It’s no wonder why 96% of the country cannot stand them. The tournament doesn’t officially start for me until Duke gets bounced. I’d love for California or Louisville to send the Dukies home in round 2.
Now, then, let’s get to my 2010 NCAA Tournament Picks…..I’m not going to post every pick, but I will highlight upsets, my sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, and National Champion. Let the school ditching and games begin…….
1st Round upsets: Midwest Region- (10) Georgia Tech over (7) Oklahoma State- Derrick Favors is becoming an absolute beast. He is my 3rd best NBA prospect in this draft.
West Region- (12) UTEP over (5) Butler
(10) Florida over (7) BYU
East Region- (12) Cornell over (5) Temple
South Region- (13) Siena over (4) Purdue- Robbie Hummel’s knee injury has turned Purdue into an average team at best. Aside from Evan Turner at Ohio State, no player in the Big Ten means more to his team than Hummel.
(11) Old Dominion over (6) Notre Dame- How can the most overrated college player since Tyler Hansbrough lose in round 1? Easily. Luke Harangody’s knee injury has limited him which may, or may not, be a bad thing for the Golden Domers.
(10) Saint Mary’s over (7) Richmond
Midwest Region- (1) Kansas vs (5) Michigan State
(3) Georgetown vs (2) Ohio State
West Region- (1) Syracuse vs (4) Vanderbilt
(3) Pittsburgh vs (2) Kansas State
East Region- (1) Kentucky vs (4) Wisconsin
(6) Marquette vs (2) West Virginia
South Region- (8) California vs (5) Texas A & M
(3) Baylor vs (2) Villanova
Midwest Region- (1) Kansas vs (3) Georgetown
West Region- (1) Syracuse vs (2) Kansas State
East Region- (1) Kentucky vs (2) West Virginia
South Region- (5) Texas A & M vs (2) Villanova
Midwest Region- (1) Kansas
West Region- (1) Syracuse
East Region- (2) West Virginia
South Region- (2) Villanova
National Championship Game:
(1) Kansas vs (2) West Virginia
2010 NCAA National Champion:
I know I went out on a limb with my Final Four picks, but I honestly feel like there are only 6-7 teams that can win this tournament. No, college hoops isn’t better than the NBA, but it’s still great to watch. The college offenses might give me nausea, the coaches over coach, but either way, I know that the 1st two days will bring back a lot of great memories. The quality of play might be down this year, but it will still be an entertaining tournament. What this year has proved is that the NCAA is out of their minds if they want to expand this tournament to 96 teams. This isn’t the BCS in college football. This tournament is fine just the way it is. I don’t need to see more garbage teams on my television because the NCAA feels the need to make more money. Don’t mess with a good thing. They made Major League 2, and look how that turned out. 65 teams is plenty. It’s going to be a great tournament, and I’m thankful I get a couple weeks of Gus Johnson. Spring being right around the corner and Gus Johnson on my television…..Is there anything better?!