March Madness 2010 Predictions: 10 Bold Predictions For Your Bracket
The NCAA Tournament provides some of the most unexpected moments in all of sports. From opening round upsets to thrillers in the later rounds, the NCAA Tournament brings out all that we love about collegiate athletics.
The unpredictability of it all keeps us all on the edge of our seats, leading to any number of predictions.
We all expect a certain amount of favorites to reach the Elite 8 or the Final Four, or a certain amount of high seeds to win in the first round.
It's the predictions in between, the ones we may not consider right now that change the complexion of the tournament.
Here are 10 bold predictions to get you ready.
SEC Teams Not Named Kentucky Go One-And-Done
Kentucky should breathe easily through the early round of the NCAA Tournament. However, the Wildcats' SEC brethren will have no such fortune.
Florida faces a stronger team than its seed in BYU. Tennessee faces a red-hot San Diego State, and Vanderbilt faces a dangerous Murray State squad.
Mark it down, all three SEC teams bow out before we hit Saturday.
Northern Iowa Gives Kansas a Scare
Missouri Valley Conference champion Northern Iowa will get past UNLV in the opening round and then give Kansas a run for its money.
I'm not calling for the upset, but Kansas may already be looking ahead to the Sweet 16, and Northern Iowa is a feisty team that knows how to score and will be playing with house money.
Northern Iowa pushes Kansas before the Jayhawks pull away in the final five minutes.
Bob Huggins Once Again Dealt a Knockout Punch
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has led his team into the Sweet Sixteen just twice in his last 11 NCAA appearances.
Despite the momentum of their Big East Tournament victory, Bob Huggins commits another choke job and watches his team get tossed out in the second round by an overmatched Missouri team.
Evan Turner Gets His Triple-Double
Ohio State Mr. Everything Evan Turner has taken games over numerous times throughout the season.
Now the favorite for National Player of the Year will do it in the NCAA Tournament and record a triple-double in the process.
Best prediction for when it happens? In the Sweet 16 against Georgetown, when his team will need him the most.
Gus Johnson's Hair Literally Sets on Fire
Gus Johnson is quickly becoming America's favorite broadcaster. The CBS play-by-play man is known for his boisterous calls, especially in crunch time, that are so animated they border on unintentional comedy.
At some point in the tournament, a buzzer beater or great comeback will actually send sparks shooting off Johnson's head.
Four 12+ Seeds Advance Past The First Round
People love their bracket upsets. The 5/12 game is notorious for first round upsets and that will not change in the 2010 Tournament.
Now, one may think "Four 12 seeds? Get out of here!".
However, it isn't that crazy. Siena faces an undermanned and weaker Purdue. A hot Murray State team takes on a Vanderbilt team that isn't as strong as its seed.
UTEP is one to watch in the 5/12 game vs. Butler and I'm taking Cornell over Temple.
The precedent for so man 12-plus seeded teams advancing? You don't need to go back any further than the 2006 Tournament.
That year, No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 12 Montana, No. 13 Bradley, and No. 14 Northwestern State all advanced.
Two 13 Seeds in the Sweet 16
Of the four 12-plus seeds advancing to the second rouns, two of them (Murray State and Siena) will advance to the Sweet 16.
Siena will notch one upset over Purdue in the first round and then faces a shaky Texas A&M team or one of the last teams in the tournament, Utah State, in the second round.
Siena got a taste of victory last year by beating Ohio State in the first round. Now the Saints will take one step further.
Murray State's entire starting lineup averages double digits. The Racers average a field goal percentage better than 50 percent and allow one field goal percentage lower than 40 percent.
The Ohio Valley Conference champions won 30 games in the regular season and have enough firepower to get by Vanderbilt and then UTEP in Round 2.
Bubble Teams Live Up to Their Moniker
Florida, Utah State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Minnesota are all bubble teams that needed the 11th hour of Selection Sunday to earn their spot in the Tournament.
Kudos to getting there, but none of those teams will advance past their opening game.
Fans and analysts stacked up Florida's credentials against Mississippi State's. The ACC schools were both criticized for their lack of a strong finish.
Minnesota got in thanks to a deep run in the Big Ten Tournament. Utah State, despite winning the WAC regular season crown, was one of the last teams in the field.
Thanks for coming, teams, and enjoy the parting gifts.
No ACC Teams in the Final Four
Georgia Tech and Wake Forest will be bounced in the opening round, but sorry Duke fans, you nor fans of Maryland, Clemson, or Florida State fans will watch their teams cut down the nets in the Regional Finals.
Since the 2005 NCAA Tournament, only North Carolina has reached the Final Four (Duke was the last non-UNC team to make it back in 2004). That trend will continue in 2010.
Self Gets the Best of Cal
Bill Self's Kansas Jayhawks took down John Calipari's Memphis Tigers in 2008. I hope Coach Cal is ready for the reprise because Self will once again deny Coach Cal the one thing missing from his resume: a national championship.
Kansas and Kentucky, arguably the two best teams in the nation in 2009-2010, will meet in Indianapolis and the Jayhawks will cut down the nets.