in last season’s national championship game. My bracket had the Huskies losing to Bucknell, the Bulldogs to
— both one-and-done.
Suffice to say I had no pool winnings to report to the IRS.
In my defense:
Since both my godchildren played lacrosse at Bucknell, I was obligated to pick the Bison. Alas, UConn nudged them by 29.
And taking ODU over Butler wasn’t far-fetched. The Monarchs lost by two at the buzzer.
My projected Final Four —
, Ohio State,
— came up empty as well, though at least the Jayhawks and Gators reached a regional final.
Moreover, the Daily Press archives — why did I torture myself by looking? — show my 2010 Final Four barren, too.
seemed like good ideas at the time, but only the Wildcats survived beyond the Sweet 16.
The last time I had multiple teams in the tournament semifinals? Way back in 2007 with Georgetown and eventual champion Florida.
The only time I went 4-for-4:
, Oklahoma State, UCLA and Arkansas fattened my wallet in 1995 — thank you,
All of which gives you every reason to dismiss what follows.
Last year marked only the third time in 33 years of seeding that no No. 1 seed made the Final Four. A fourth would not surprise.
As dominant as Kentucky has been, the Wildcats’ abundance of freshmen makes them an annual risk; North Carolina becomes ordinary on defense if
aggravates the left wrist that sidelined him at the
tournament; Syracuse has rebounding and 3-point shooting issues, especially with Tuesday's announcement that its top rebounder and shot-blocker, Fab Melo, is ineligible; Michigan State is skittish at the free-throw line.
Let’s go region-by-region.
: Harvard over Vanderbilt, Texas beats Cincinnati and
(the Zags are higher seeds and have to play the Mountaineers in their Pittsburgh backyard?!)
Syracuse, Ohio State,
Florida State over Syracuse in a defensive classic, the Seminoles’ man-to-man against the Orange’s 2-3 zone.
: VCU over Wichita State.
Kentucky, VCU, Duke, Baylor.
Kentucky beats Baylor.
California defeats Temple,
over San Diego State, Purdue beats St. Mary’s.
North Carolina, Michigan, N.C. State, Kansas.
Kansas over North Carolina, thanks in part to a partisan crowd in St. Louis.
Long Beach State over New Mexico,
beats Murray State. Sorry
fans. Just don't see the Cavaliers beating Florida. The Gators are too good and balanced offensively, and I wonder how much reserve
's depleted roster has.
Michigan State, Long Beach State,
Marquette over Michigan State as Jae Crowder outduels
That’s three double-digit seeds among the Sweet 16: VCU, Long Beach State and N.C. State. Last year, four busted brackets: VCU, Richmond, Marquette and Florida State.
At least one team seeded 10th or lower has reached the regional semifinals in 29 of the 33 seeded tournament. The average is two per year, fewer than I would have guessed.
My Sweet 16 also includes four ACC teams, counterintuitive in an alleged down season for the conference. But North Carolina and Duke should win two in their Greensboro haunts, and Florida State and N.C. State — I regret not voting Wolfpack point guard Lorenzo Brown third-team all-conference — convinced me with inspired play in the league tournament last week.
Four ACC teams among the regional semifinalists used to be commonplace: seven times in the 11 seasons from 1985-95. The conference hasn’t shown such depth since.
Kentucky defeats Kansas for the national championship in New Orleans, and Bluegrass faithful hope the
doesn’t vacate a third
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP
Here’s a link to my