Ballsy 2009 Tournament Predictions | Second Round

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Welcome to the second annual ‘Ballsy Tournament Predictions’. In round one, I predicted a few upsets, as there are always a handful, but the trick is not to over do it. In the East, I have both #4 Xavier and #6 UCLA going down. The pick I’m most struggling with is Texas/Minnesota. I picked Texas, but I probably should have picked Minnesota. Down South, I got two more upsets; the popular one (#12 West Kentucky over #5 Illinois) and a long reach, #13 S.F. Austin over #4 Syracuse. In the Midwest bracket, I’m picking no upsets, only #9 Siena over #8 Ohio State, but I have a gut feeling defending champ Kansas might have their hands full. Out West, I again have no upsets at all. Boring.

Anyhow, like I always say, don’t listen to my predictions. I haven’t gotten anything right since 1996. Having said that, let’s move on to our Ballsy Round Two Predictions.

WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK:
– Monday: First Round Predictions
– Tuesday: Second Round Predictions
– Wednesday: Sweet 16 & Elite Eight Predictions
– Thursday: Final Four & Title Game Predictions

SECOND ROUND

EAST BRACKET

#8 Oklahoma State over #1 Pittsburgh
Can DeJuan Blair stay out of foul trouble? It’s the only question that needs to be asked. We know Pittsburgh is 3-4 when Blair gets four fouls and 0-3 when he fouls out. The Cowboys got great guards and can spread the floor, the exact type of team that actually gets Blair into foul trouble (think Villanova). The first number one seed goes down.

#5 Florida State over #13 Portland State
Do not sleep on the Portland State Vikings. I warn you. They had enough talent to knock off Gonzaga back in December, so why can’t they take down the Florida State Seminoles? I’ll tell you why…the Douglas/Alabi combo.

#3 Villanova over #11 VCU
As much as I like the Rams to upset the Bruins, they don’t have enough dept to steal one from the Wildcats, playing a second virtual home game. The win could set them up against Duke, two teams who could play the whole game with no one over 6’8 on the court.

#2 Duke over #7 Texas
The last time these two met, #1 Duke ripped #2 Texas by 30 in Jersey four years ago. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this one is much closer. The Longhorns are decent, although inconsistent, but they’ll have no answer for the three-headed monster of Henderson, Scheyer and Singler.

SOUTH BRACKET

#1 North Carolina over #9 Butler
I’m not doctor, but I’m going to assume Ty Law’s toe is now smaller than a foot and will not slow the speedy point guard down. The Bulldogs from Butler know how to slow down an opponent’s offense, but then again they gave up 71 to Loyola-Illinois. The Tar Heels score 90 and win.

#4 Gonzaga over #12 Western Kentucky
Two small schools who like to make noise in the tournament. While the Hilltoppers still like the feel of a glass slipper, Gonzaga gave up Cinderella status long ago. They’re an elite team (like Memphis) in a non-BCS conference. They also have NBA talent and can score.

#6 Arizona State over #14 S.F. Austin
James Harden will get to introduce himself to a lot of East-Coasters when they take down upset-mined S.F. Austin and enter the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1995.

#2 Oklahoma over #7 Clemson
My personal favorite second-round match up, Trevor Booker will finally get to see what kind of pro he’ll be when he goes up against Blake Griffin. The difference maker could be Oglesby and his ability to nail many threes. However, the Sooners will contain him and Griffin will show off the goods with another big night.

MIDWEST BRACKET

#1 Louisville over #9 Siena
Oh, I want to pick Siena. I really do. I just think the Cards are overrated. Let’s not forget, the Cardinals are a team that got crushed by Notre Dame by 33. Sienna will keep this one entertaining, thanks to Senior leadership, but they’ll come up just short.

#4 Wake Forest over #5 Utah
The Demons have three players that will be playing the NBA next year, while Utah has…red uniforms.

#6 West Virginia over #14 North Dakota State
Last year, the Mountaineers took out Duke in the second round. This year it will be North Dakota State. Could the two schools be any different?

#2 Michigan State over #7 Boston College
The Spartans experience will overcome Tyrese Rice, but can I just say now…the Big Ten getting seven teams into the tournament is a joke.

WEST BRACKET

#1 Connecticut over #8 BYU
Can the University of Connecticut pull off the double-double, having both the men’s and women’s team win a championship in the same year? Don’t know, but I know BYU won’t stand in their way.

#4 Washington over #5 Purdue
I’m picking two PAC-10 teams to make it to the Sweet 16? I really need to lay off the Opium.

#3 Missouri over #11 Utah State
Ex-Duke players/assistant coaches Quinn Snyder and Tommy Amaker coached Missouri and Michigan not too long ago, both departed unpleasantly. Both teams now find themselves back into the NCAA tournament with new coaches. I guess this gives Stanford something to look forward to in about five years.

#2 Memphis over #7 California
Yeah, I do trash the Tigers a lot (actually I trash their conference), yet here I am putting them back into the Sweet 16.