Ballsy Tournament Predictions | Second Round

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Yesterday I gave you a taste of my ballsy predictions with a little first round action. Only Jesus knows if I will be right. I’d ask him myself, but we’re kind of on a ‘break’ right now.
Yesterday I gave you a taste of my ballsy predictions with a little first round action. Only Jesus knows if I will be right. I’d ask him myself, but we’re kind of on a ‘break’ right now. /

So far, not too many shockers from the first two days of tournament basketball (St. Mary over Miami, South Alabama over Butler, #12 Nova over Clemson, and a few more). Will day two have more surprises?

A quick reminder, this is how I’m laying the predictions out this week:
– Monday: First Round Predictions
– Tuesday: Second Round Predictions
– Wednesday: Sweet 16 & Elite Eight Predictions
– Thursday: Final Four & Title Game Predictions

EAST BRACKET

#8 Indiana over #1 North Carolina I know what you’re going to say…a Duke fan knocking the Tar Heels out early. Bias prick! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been ready to hand the title to the Heels. I thought they were the best team all year long and they got even better after Lawson went down. Sometimes though, there are match ups that stand out to me and this is one that does. Three weeks ago, the Hoosiers were a top-ten team and a popular final four prediction…then Sampson got the boot. Since then, they’ve been sleepwalking. Something in my guts tells me that Indiana will come out motivated. With D.J. White being a senior and Gordan being a one-and-done, this is Indiana’s one shot. The second round game against Carolina is their title game. Don’t feel too bad Tar Heel fans, Psycho T will be back for his senior season and will lead them to the Final Four next year.
#8 Indiana over #1 North Carolina I know what you’re going to say…a Duke fan knocking the Tar Heels out early. Bias prick! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been ready to hand the title to the Heels. I thought they were the best team all year long and they got even better after Lawson went down. Sometimes though, there are match ups that stand out to me and this is one that does. Three weeks ago, the Hoosiers were a top-ten team and a popular final four prediction…then Sampson got the boot. Since then, they’ve been sleepwalking. Something in my guts tells me that Indiana will come out motivated. With D.J. White being a senior and Gordan being a one-and-done, this is Indiana’s one shot. The second round game against Carolina is their title game. Don’t feel too bad Tar Heel fans, Psycho T will be back for his senior season and will lead them to the Final Four next year. /

#5 Notre Dame over #4 Washington State
Heading into the tournament, the Cougars have lost five of their last 12 games. Not that impressive, right? However, four of those loses came against UCLA and Stanford (three to the Cardinals alone). Notre Dame is 24-7 for the year, but six of those loses came against teams in the tournament (five against teams that are a #6 seed or higher). Both teams will come out firing from outside, but in case one or both teams go cold from behind the stripe, only the fighting Catholics can throw the ball down into the paint to Harangody.

#3 Louisville over #6 Oklahoma
Although I’d love to pick the Sooners again, Coach Capel is still about two years way from having a legit team that can go deep into the tournament. After some early struggles this season, the Cardinals bounced back, having the most impressive February by any team. Oklahoma has continued to struggle against the big daddy’s (0-5 against the RPI’s Top 25) and the last time I checked, Louisville is a current Big Daddy.

#2 Tennessee over #10 South Alabama
By the time Tennessee plays on Sunday, they won’t yet know that Carolina lost and they are now the top dogs in the East. The Volunteers are #1 in the RPI and while South Alabama will keep it close, Tennessee will eventually run the Jaguars out of the building.

SOUTH BRACKETS

#1 Memphis over #9 Mississippi State
Wasn’t it just last year that many people actually had Memphis losing in the first round, despite being a number one seed? I remember because I was one of those jack asses. By the time the Tigers are done with the Bulldogs (are there any other type of dogs in the south?), Memphis will have wrapped up their seventh straight double-digit victory.

#4 Pittsburgh over #5 Michigan StateTeams like MSU and Pittsburgh, no matter how they’re playing prior to the tournament, should be able to overcome their first round opponents. However, when you enter the second round of competition, then you have to take a look at how these teams were doing heading into the tournament. After beating Duke earlies this season in MSG, I thought Pittsburgh was clearly a top-three team. Then health became an issue and they went 8-8 in their next sixteen. However, the Panthers turned it on and they have won seven of their last eight (including the Big East Title). The Spartans on the other hand, have gone 6-6 in their last twelve and only one of those wins came against a team that crashed the dance (Indiana). Look for Pittsburgh to rip through Michigan State.
#4 Pittsburgh over #5 Michigan StateTeams like MSU and Pittsburgh, no matter how they’re playing prior to the tournament, should be able to overcome their first round opponents. However, when you enter the second round of competition, then you have to take a look at how these teams were doing heading into the tournament. After beating Duke earlies this season in MSG, I thought Pittsburgh was clearly a top-three team. Then health became an issue and they went 8-8 in their next sixteen. However, the Panthers turned it on and they have won seven of their last eight (including the Big East Title). The Spartans on the other hand, have gone 6-6 in their last twelve and only one of those wins came against a team that crashed the dance (Indiana). Look for Pittsburgh to rip through Michigan State. /

#6 Marquette over #3 Stanford
The Golden Eagles are not big, but they’ve proven they can beat teams with big inside presence (Georgetown anyone?). This should be a fun game to watch, the speedy guards of Marquette against the trees of Stanford. Normally, I’d take the Cardinals, for the simple fact they’re playing this game out west, but playing in Anaheim isn’t necessarily a ‘home game’ for Stanford. I like what USC did to them two weeks ago, so look for Marquette’s speed to take down Stanford’s size.

#2 Texas over #10 Saint Mary’s
So far, plenty of upsets during the first weekend of the tournament, but Texas won’t have none of that, ye’ll. Although Saint Mary’s will be a cute story for a day or two, they can’t match up against the Longhorns.

MIDWEST BRACKET

#1 Kansas over #8 UNLV
Although Kansas advancing to the sweet 16 is never a sure thing, and the Rebels will not be pushovers, this Jayhawk team will not crumble early. This should be a nice easy win for Kansas.

#12 Villanova over #13 Siena
This game features the only match ups of two double-digit seeds facing off against each other. The winner will be a great Cinderella story for a few days…at least until they have to face Kansas the following week.

#6 USC over #3 WisconsinI never really liked OJ Mayo. I don’t really know too much about him personally, but when he got himself thrown out of his last high school game on purpose, just so he could get a standing ‘O’, that just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Having said that, his Trojans have really played some great D this season (they’ve held their opponents under 60 points, 22 times). All they’ve been waiting for is for their offense to finally come together. I believe it has. Also, the Badgers have played way over their talent level this season and they have failed to reach the sweet 16 the past two years.
#6 USC over #3 WisconsinI never really liked OJ Mayo. I don’t really know too much about him personally, but when he got himself thrown out of his last high school game on purpose, just so he could get a standing ‘O’, that just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Having said that, his Trojans have really played some great D this season (they’ve held their opponents under 60 points, 22 times). All they’ve been waiting for is for their offense to finally come together. I believe it has. Also, the Badgers have played way over their talent level this season and they have failed to reach the sweet 16 the past two years. /

#2 Georgetown over #10 Davidson
The Wildcats are a great story. They really are. Earlier in the season, they went head-to-head against the big boys; at North Carolina, at Duke, at UCLA and at North Carolina State. They went into each of those teams’ home gyms and made each team fight for a W. They lost all four games…barely; by 4 to UNC, by 6 to Duke, by 12 to UCLA, and by 1 to State. However, they lost. Against the Hoyas, they will keep it close, but in the end, they will lose again.

WEST BRACKET

#1 UCLA over #8 BYU
The Bruins’ cakewalk to the final four continues against the Mormons of BYU, however, this one won’t quite be that easy. You see, the Cougars can defend and defend well (top-ten in the country). Look for BYU to send wave after wave of 6-10 guys at Kevin Love, get a little physical with him (not in a gay way of course) and force him to hit some free throws. They tried this strategy against UNC/Hansbrough already and lost (by 10). It didn’t help that Hansbrough went 9-9 from the free threw line. For the record; Love shoots 76% from the free throw line.

#5 Drake over #4 ConnecticutAfter the first round, most people will be talking about the potential match up between UCLA’s Kevin Love versus Connecticut’s 7-3 Hasheem Thabeet. One problem, it will never happen. Yes Drake, who doesn’t love the Drake, I love the Drake, will upset the Huskies. Of course to any real college basketball fan (or moron who stumbles across the college basketball RPIs), this really won’t be a big surprise. Drake is currently ranked #10 in the RPI, while Conneticut is 18th. By the time all the ‘experts’ are done slobbering all over Drake though, you might hate the Drake when the Sweet 16 finally rolls around.
#5 Drake over #4 ConnecticutAfter the first round, most people will be talking about the potential match up between UCLA’s Kevin Love versus Connecticut’s 7-3 Hasheem Thabeet. One problem, it will never happen. Yes Drake, who doesn’t love the Drake, I love the Drake, will upset the Huskies. Of course to any real college basketball fan (or moron who stumbles across the college basketball RPIs), this really won’t be a big surprise. Drake is currently ranked #10 in the RPI, while Conneticut is 18th. By the time all the ‘experts’ are done slobbering all over Drake though, you might hate the Drake when the Sweet 16 finally rolls around. /

#3 Xavier over #6 Purdue
Why don’t I have more faith in Purdue? What is my bias? Sure they’ve lost three of their last six and lost to a pathetic Illinois team in the last game, but 15-3 in the Big Ten, that’s still impressive. Maybe I’m not that impressed with the Big Ten, who knows? Anyhow, look for both teams to throw up about 50-60 combined threes for the game, but when it comes down to it, I love seniors, especially a back court with two of them; Drew Lavender and Stanley Burrell.

#2 Duke over #10 Arizona
This will be a popular upset pick and I can understand why. Arizona, who has been hurt all year, can match up to Duke. They also play in the mighty PAC 10, so anything Duke will throw at them, they’ve seen and dealt with already. The problem is, the Wildcats haven’t dealt with it well. They’ve lost 14 games this season (the most for an at-large team). If the game was being played out west, I’d say Arizona has a good shot, but since the game will be played in DC, I have to put my dollar on Duke.