Courtesy of Kentuckysportsradio.com
The whirlwind 24 hours after Selection Sunday, a time when everyone makes a bracket, decides its awful, starts over, fixes it a couple more times until it is something “perfect.” And then Thursday evening comes and you look down at the shambles of your “perfect” bracket as one final four team is already gone, only half of your sweet sixteen teams are still around and your national championship winner beat the sixteen seed they played by seven.
This is putting the madness back into March and absolutely my favorite time of year. Without further adieu, I will break down my predictions that are most likely entirely wrong, but hey, this is America.
Let’s start in the Midwest region. In the Second Round, which is the first game for 60 of the 68 teams in the field, I start with Louisville and Colorado State winning. Phil Pressey is an unbelievable point guard until the game is on the line. This is where things fall apart for this first-team all-SEC point guard, and thus, I have to pick Colorado State here.
My first real upset comes here as vastly under-seeded Oregon should defeat Oklahoma State. As much as I like Marcus Smart and co., I just do not think Oklahoma State is deep enough to make a real run. Additionally, Oregon is coming off a Pac-12 conference tournament title and was shafted with a 12 seed. They look like more of a six or a seven and then this no longer looks like such a big upset. To finish off this little pod, I have the Billikens beating New Mexico State, as Saint Louis is 24-1 in non-overtime games since December and the Aggies will likely be wildly over-matched by this mistake-free team.
In the bottom half of the Midwest region, I have Middle Tennessee beating Memphis; however, if Saint Mary’s wins the play-in game, then I believe that Memphis will win. Michigan State should cruise against Valparaiso. This next game, Cincinnati against Creighton, is where things get interesting. This pairs up one of the worst offensive teams in the country (Cincinnati), against one of the best offensive players in the country (Doug McDermott). Between McDermott and Ethan Wragge, I’m going with Creighton in this one. In the final game of the second round in the region, I’ll take Duke, even though last year, things didn't work out so well as a second seed.
Recap: Louisville, Duke, Michigan State, Saint Louis, Creighton, Colorado State, Middle Tennessee*, and Oregon advance, and Oklahoma State (a #5 seed) and Memphis (a #6 seed) are upset.