Well, it's that time of year. The time when we all start filling out brackets and hoping that finally our Cinderella will come through for us. It's the time when we balance our time between work and checking the scores on ESPN. Now I'm here to hopefully provide insight into the tournament and give you guys a leg up on your brackets. Enjoy.
Here we go.
Most Vulnerable No. 1 Seed
Pitt—I love them to death and they are easily the most balanced team in the field, but if one piece goes missing the whole machine will go right down with it. Take for example DeJuan Blair. If he gets into foul trouble of any kind, the Panthers will find themselves in serious trouble. They have now lost every game in which he has fouled out. This could be a very real possibility in the later rounds.
Three Teams That Could Surprise
No. 12 Arizona—They may be struggling coming into the tournament, but they are a team with a ton of postseason experience. Not only that, but they have an extremely favorable first round matchup against Utah. Next would probably be Wake Forest, who is absolutely horrible against the zone. A little run here is possible.
No. 11 VCU—This is the team that beat Duke a few years back. They are dangerous and have a balanced roster. If they get past UCLA, they could cause problems for some teams.
No. 10 Minnesota—They are well-coached, and I wouldn't sleep on them if I were drawing up a bracket. Playing the Big Ten all year has given them valuable experience in tough games.
Team with the Most To Prove
Pitt—This team has consistently choked around this time of the year. Remember, 1974 was the last time they got to an Elite Eight, and the last time they got to a Final Four, boy, get out your history books—1941. The pressure is even greater now, considering that they are a No. 1 Seed and anything less than a Final Four appearance will be falling short of expectation.
Player with the Most To Prove
Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina. Face it; he came back for one reason. To win a National Championship. He has faced scrutiny and criticism for being soft, and a cry baby. If he can lead the Tar Heels to the top, it will shut a lot of critics up and solidify his case for being the No. 1 overall pick in next year's draft.
Team That Could SHOCK the World in the First Round
Stephen F. Austin—I know, you're thinking, huh?! What?! Try this on for size. The 'Cuse are spent, absolutely spent. Six overtimes against No. 1 seeded UConn and a tough overtime game against No. 1 seeded Louisville. I'm not saying this will happen (remember this is supposed to be a shock), but don't scream and rip up your bracket if it does. It is called Madness for a reason.
First No. 1 Seed To Fall
UConn—They'll have the unfortunate pleasure of having to get past Memphis. I don't see that happening. UConn falls in the Elite Eight. The other No. 1 seeds will at least make it to the Final Four. Pitt survives against Duke, North Carolina will blow out a surprising Arizona State team, and Louisville will take care of business against Michigan State.
My Final Four
Louisville vs Memphis
Pitt vs North Carolina
National Championship Game
Memphis vs North Carolina
Projection—After a brutal game against Pitt, the Tar Heels will run out of gas against the Tigers. Don't forget; this is the same team that nearly beat Kansas last year, and would have, had it not been for their horrendous foul shooting at the end of the game, which is much improved this season.
Memphis redeems themselves and wins it all.
There you go. Enjoy the games, and good luck in the polls!