Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My NCAA Brackets....I'm Picking Those Pesky Wildcats

I haven't seen what every single one of my friends is projecting for the NCAA final, but I am inclined to agree with both President Barack Obama and ESPN college basketball commentator Dick Vitale that Kentucky and North Carolina will meet for the championship game.

But, even though I am a Democrat who lives in North Carolina and a Tarheels fan (ok, I'm a band-wagoner_Virginia Tech is the team I have been rooting for 95-percent of my life), I have to agree with Vitale that the Kentucky Wildcats will prevail.

Assuredly, if this does come true, actress Ashley Judd, an unabashed Wildcats fan and UK alumnus will be very happy.

In my Final Four, I am also projecting Florida State to win the east region, Michigan State to win the west region, to complete the brackets.

The four teams I have in the Elite 8 are Duke (South; losing to Kentucky), Missouri (West; losing to Michigan State), Kansas (Midwest; losing to UNC) and Syracuse (East; losing to FSU).

In the first round of games which start tomorrow, I am picking the following upsets: In the south, I am picking Colorado (#11) to upset UNLV (#6); in the west, I like Davidson (#13) over Louisville (#4); in the east, I like Harvard (#12) over Vanderbilt (#5) and lastly, in a tough call, in the west, I am going with North Carolina State (#11) over San Diego State (#6).

In addition, I am picking one nine-seed St.Louis to beat an eight-seed Memphis, in the west. And, conversely, I like the ten-seed West Virginia over seven-seed Gonzaga (east region) and ten-seed Purdue over seven-seed St. Mary's (midwest region).

SIDEBAR: Quite a few of the 68 schools in the tournament (well, technically it is now 66 as of this writing), have nationally-ranked teams in other sports. There are four tournament schools with Top-20 men's hockey teams (Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Harvard). Similarly, there are seven schools with Top-25 women's gymnastics teams (Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Michigan and Kentucky). In addition, there are four NCAA tournament teams with top-20 teams in women's water polo (San Diego State, Michigan, Indiana and Long Beach State).

SIDEBAR 2: We want to congratulate Lori Anne Madison, age 6, of Woodbridge, Va., for being the youngest person ever to reach the finals of the National Spelling Bee. For her sake, we hope she isn't asked how to spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (yes, that "Mary Poppins" term is now in the dictionary!...we believe).

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