Regional final: Kentucky beats Baylor.
Early upsets: California defeats Temple, North Carolina State over San Diego State, Purdue beats St. Mary’s.
Sweet 16: North Carolina, Michigan, N.C. State, Kansas.
Regional final: Kansas over North Carolina, thanks in part to a partisan crowd in St. Louis.
Early upsets: Long Beach State over New Mexico, Colorado State beats Murray State. Sorry Virginia fans. Just don't see the Cavaliers beating Florida. The Gators are too good and balanced offensively, and I wonder how much reserve Tony Bennett's depleted roster has.
Sweet 16: Michigan State, Long Beach State, Marquette, Missouri.
Regional final: Marquette over Michigan State as Jae Crowder outduels Draymond Green.
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 NCAA doesn’t vacate a third John Calipari Final Four.
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