The 2011 NCAA Tourney Picks
By Jake Vigliotti
This year is more of a mystery than last year (you remember, the one where we nailed 3 out of the final 4). It comes down to this; the perceived top teams aren’t as deep or talented as they have been in the past. That gives small school teams just as good of a shot at making it very deep as last year. So let’s get started and win this sucker again.
In the Tuesday/Wednesday games, University of Texas-San Antonio over Alabama St., UAB over Clemson only because everyone is complaining that the Blazers have no right being there, VCU over USC for the same reason, and Arkansas-Little Rock over UNC-Ashville. Time to move on to the real games.
Lets begin in the East - #1 seed Ohio State will have no problem with University of Texas-San Antonio, and in the 8/9, 2006 Cinderella Story George Mason will get by the slumping Villanova Wildcats. Continuing down the bracket, #5 West Virginia will scoot by UAB, and #4 Kentucky will barely escape Princeton. #6 Xavier will handle Marquette, and #3 Syracuse will tumble Indiana State, unless Larry Bird suits up for the Sycamores. #7 Washington run all over Georgia, and #2 North Carolina drinks the tea of Long Island.
Moving down your bracket to the West, #1 Duke will have no problem with Hampton. #9 Tennessee will upset #8 Michigan. It’s always fun to pick against Arizona in the first round, and no reason to change that now, #12 Memphis knocks off Zona. And while we’re at it, let’s take the super-fun to watch #13 Oakland over Texas. #6 Cincinnati tames Missouri and #3 Connecticut will get by a dangerous Bucknell team. #7 Temple wins the battle of Pennslytucky against Penn St and #2 San Diego St. takes out Northern Colorado.
Into the Southwest, #1 Kansas takes out the Terriers of Boston U. #8 UNLV romps Lon Kruger’s former team, #9 Illinois. The Spiders are always pesky, and as a 12 they are even peskier; Richmond takes out Vanderbilt. #4 Louisville takes out Morehead St, which sucks, because it would’ve been great to say, “We want Morehead!” #6 Georgetown will apologize to me for losing in the first round last year and take out VCU. #3 Purdue takes out a very difficult St. Peter’s squad. #10 Florida St. upsets #7 Texas A&M and #2 Notre Dame does some punny “z” word to the #15 seed Akron Zips.
Finally, the Southeast; #1 Pittsburgh gets by Arkansas-Little Rock. #9 Old Dominion beats last year’s sweetheart Butler. #5 Kansas St. sneaks by the Aggies of Utah St. #13 Belmont upsets Wisconsin. #11 Gonzaga is too dangerous when a lower seed; they get by #6 St. John’s. #3 BYU waffles Wofford. My Tom Izzo love affair continues; #10 Michigan St. beats UCLA and the worst #2 seed in a long time, Florida beats UCSB – only because they are playing in Tampa.
To the second round… in the East #1 Ohio St defeats George Mason. #5 West Virginia beats Kentucky. #6 Xavier whips the 2-3 zone of Syracuse. #2 North Carolina sneaks by #7 Washington in what will be a very close game.
In the West… #1 Duke runs Tennessee off the floor. #13 Oakland additionally runs #12 Memphis off the floor. #3 UCONN whips up fellow Big East-er Cinci. #2 San Diego St. take out Temple.
Southwest: #1 Kansas squeaks by UNLV. #4 Louisville steps on the Spiders of Richmond. #3 Purdue gorges Georgetown. #10 Florida St. wins the battle of inappropriate nicknames, and upsets #2 Notre Dame.
Southeast: Upset time! #9 Old Dominion upsets #1 Pitt. The disciplined, veteran #13 Belmont takes out #5 Kansas St. #3 BYU doesn’t fall for Gonzaga’s tricks, and wins . And just like 11 years ago in Tampa, #10 Michigan St. upsets #2 Florida.
The East bracket: #1 Ohio St takes out West Virginia and #6 Xavier shocks #2 North Carolina. Two Ohio teams playing for the right to go to the Final Four; Who gets in? #1 seed Ohio St..
The West: #1 Duke has no problem with Cinderella Oakland. #2 San Diego St. shuts down Kemba Walker and UCONN. Can Duke make it back to the Final Four? Nah… #2San Diego St. takes out the Blue Devils.
The Southwest: #1 Kansas takes out Louisville. #3 Purdue sneaks by Florida St. And to the Final Four? #1 seed Kansas.
To the messy upset ridden Southeast: #9 Old Dominion gets Belmont. #3 BYU whips Michigan St. And for the trip to the Final Four, it’s #3BYU.
The Final Four teams: Ohio St, San Diego St., Kansas, and BYU. Who meets in the Finals? We’ll take San Diego St. over Ohio St., as former Michigan coach Steve Fisher takes out the Buckeyes. On the other side, can we see the dream match-up of BYU meeting up with the Aztecs for the fourth time? Nah… Kansas shuts down Jimmer Fredette and BYU.
And so it comes to this: Can a non-power conference finally win an NCAA title? Yes they can. San Diego St. cuts down the nets and beats Kansas for the national title.
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