The brackets are out. The bitching has started. Dicky V is ready to spoon the Dukies. It is Selection Sunday, and I have 10 guarantees for this years tournament.
Guarantee No. 1
A No. 12 seed will definitely beat a No. 5 seed. It happens every year. This year the most popular 12 seeds to win will be Western Kentucky over Illinois and/or Arizona to beat Utah. However, Purdue losing to Northern Iowa, and Florida St. losing to Wisconsin are a bit more of a reach.
Guarantee No. 2
Home teams will advance. When you look at the bracket, don't just look at games, teams, and seeds. The most important thing these days is where the game is at. Villanova gets their first two games on their home court in Motown Philly. North Carolina is in Greensboro, along with Duke, and both Gonzaga and Washington are nearby in Portland. Look for all five teams to make the Sweet 16.
Guarantee No. 3
None of the No. 16 seeds will beat the No. 1 seeds. That should be common sense by now. In fact, none of them will be within 30 points.
Guarantee No. 4
All four top seed will NOT make it to the Final Four. Last year was the first time ever that all four top seeds advanced. This year, there is too much parity in college basketball.
Pitt appears to be in the best shape, as they would appear to be a more physical team than Duke. Out in the West, I like Memphis over UConn, and say the Midwest will have the Cinderella team, with North Carolina being the other top seed to advance.
Guarantee No. 5
The Kansas-North Dakota St. game will be a buzzer beater. I know there are a lot of Jayhawk fans out there, but listen, the Jayhawks are not that good.
The Bison head coach, Saul Phillips, is a graduate of the Bo Ryan school of patience, and boring basketball. They actually beat Wisconsin at the Kohl Center a few years back. Watch out for this one to be a major bracket buster.
Guarantee No. 6
UCLA will not make the Final Four again. In fact, I predict VCU to beat them in the first round. It will be an East Coast game for a West Coast team, plus VCU is dangerous. Even if they find a way to beat VCU, Villanova looms in the second round.
Guarantee No. 7
A No. 13 seed will beat a No. 4 seed. This one may be a bit of a stretch. However, I think the Cleveland St-Wake Forest game is interesting, as well as the Xavier-Portland State game. Do not be surprised if one of these teams advance to the second round.
Guarantee No. 8
ESPN will overkill the entire bracket, and people all over the world will care less about the tournament by the time it tips off.
I mean, how many times can you analyze the bracket? If our government spent as much time as ESPN does looking at a bracket trying to fix our economy, we would be out of a recession.
Guarantee No. 9
By the end of the early game Thursday, your bracket will be busted. It happens every year. You fill it out, think it is it, then it is dead by 5 PM on Day One.
This has been the case for me most years, except for 2004 when I finished with a bracket that was in the top 10,000 on ESPN, mainly out of luck. But bracketeers beware, there will be a Bryce Drew, a Harold Arceneaux, and an Adam Morrison somewhere is small school land.
Guarantee No. 10
Thousands of people will come down with the flu on Thursday and Friday. That is, unless you work somewhere where they allow you to watch at work. But seriously, wouldn't you rather be at a bar, beer in hand, wings in front of you, yelling with a group of pissed of fans?
These are just some guarantees that I hope will remain as we push towards the showdown in Motown, AKA the Final Four.