March Madness Preview and Predictions 2010

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March Madness Preview and Predictions 2010
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

 

Without further ado, here’s my bracket, and rationale (for all you debaters out there) as to why I picked certain teams.

Midwest

 

This is by far the most brutal side of the bracket.  I don’t understand why top seeded Kansas is grouped with Ohio State (Big Ten champs with the best player in nation), Georgetown (extremely hot team with tons of upside), and the co-ACC champions (Maryland).

 

On the other hand, top-seeded Duke has to deal with ice-cold Villanova, sexy final four pick Baylor (only because they’re in such a weak part of the bracket), and Purdue, led by Robbie Hummel.  Oh wait, that’s right, he’s out for the year…

 

Kansas is the most complete team, but when March Madness gets underway, I look for the team with the best superstar surrounded by a group of role players who know their place and won’t step outside their designated boundaries.  Ohio State fits that bill, thus, they will knock out the mighty Jayhawks in the Elite Eight.

 

I’m in the minority picking Georgia Tech over Oklahoma State, but big men become that much more important during March, and that’s what OK State lacks.  GT’s best players are its bigs, so the battle of the boards will be controlled by the Yellow Jackets.

 

West

 

Everyone has a 12 seed in the sweet 16.  It’s an unwritten rule when making a March Madness bracket.  UTEP will fit the Cinderella slipper as it enters the tournament on a sixteen-game win streak, with one of the best defenses in the country.  In round two, UTEP has a favorable matchup against an overrated Vanderbilt team (assuming Vandy advances).

I like Pittsburgh’s tenacious defense to force tons of turnovers versus Kansas State in the Sweet 16.  Losing the ball has been K State’s Achilles heel all season long.

Syracuse is too deep and balanced.  Even without Arinze Onuaku, the Orangemen should have an (relatively) easy trip to the Final Four.

 

East

 

Temple is ranked 12 in the AP poll, yet got stuck with a five seed.  What gives?  Expect the Owls to prove their worth and knock out a tough Wisconsin team in round two.

Everyone is counting New Mexico out in round two against presumably Marquette, and I don’t see why.  Just because the Lobos weren’t on ESPN doesn’t make them a bad team. New Mexico will make the Sweet 16.

 

Kentucky versus West Virginia should be a nail-biter of a game, but I’ll take the fab freshman (John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins) to advance to the Final Four.

South

 

Welcome to the land of chaos.  This is by far the worst of the four areas, which means anyone from the South could end up punching a ticket to Indy.

Purdue without Robbie Hummel is like Batman without Robin.  Sure, it can work for a little while, but in the long run, everything becomes much tougher.  Sienna is a hungry squad, and the Boilers have played terribly since their star went down.

Villanova isn’t the same team from earlier in the season.  Richmond was quietly 3-1 against the top 25 this year, and will take down the Wildcats much earlier than Scottie Reynolds wants (round two).

Baylor is a scrappy team that will devour the Blue Devils in the Elite Eight.  The Dukies are vulnerable if their opponent plays tough D.

 

Final Four

 

Evan Turner is a better player than Wesley Johnson, and has the pieces around him to take ‘Cuse down.  You read it here first.

The Wildcats are the most talented team in basketball, and in another side of the bracket, Baylor would probably be sent home by the Sweet 16.

 

National Championship

 

John Wall will put a curtain call on a short but spectacular college career with a close win over Evan Turner.  In a few months, Wall will reign supreme over Turner again, this time in the NBA Draft, when Wall goes number one, and Turner goes number two.

 

 

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