The South Bracket

Of course, I’m going to pick my University of Kentucky Wildcats to win the whole damn thing so I have them coming out of this region and advancing to the Final Four. However, the NCAA selection committee did them no favors by giving them a very tough road to New Orleans.


UConn has been a very up and down team all year but it is tournament time.  Coach Jim Calhoun has returned to the bench after missing several games due to suspension (rules violations) and health problems.  The Huskies put together a nice performance in the Big East conference tournament and after all, they are the DEFENDING national champions.  In the immortal words of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “In order to be the man, you have to beat the man!”  Well the NCAA selection committee gives UK that chance in the second round.  Last year, UConn defeated UK twice…once in Maui and then in the Final Four.  This year, UK will gain some revenge and knock out the defending champions…but it is going to be tough.

The next road block on the way to New Orleans for the Cats will be the Indiana Hoosiers.  I think the Hoosiers will have no problem beating NMSU in the 1st round and then after another patented 12 over 5 upset, they will dispatch VCU in the 2nd round.  While I don’t think UK will have to play VCU, they were another team in the Final Four last year.  When was the last time the NCAA tournament had 3 of the previous year’s Final Four in the same region?  I think Shaka Smart becomes coach at the University of Illinois shortly after losing to the Hoosiers in round 2.  That will set up UK vs. IU in the Sweet 16.  UK played like crap against the Hoosiers in December for 30 minutes.  A frantic rally put them ahead in the final seconds only to see the Hoosiers hit the 3 at the buzzer to win the game (and to have ESPN beat into the ground with their commercial).  Revenge will be a motivating factor and the Cats won’t have to play on the Hoosiers home court.  UK will move on.

The bottom half of the bracket doesn’t have quite the same star power as the top half (surprise surprise) as the lone team with any NCAA tournament relevance in the last 20 years is Duke.  Duke will have no problem beating Leheigh and then they will quickly dispatch Notre Dame after the Irish take out Xavier.  The Irish have been great this season but not as often as they have been horrible.  Good Irish will beat the Musketeers and then Bad Irish will get dismantled by the Blue Devils.  UNLV will beat Colorado since the PAC 12 was the worst major conference this season.  Baylor will top SDSU and then will be too much to handle for the Running Rebels.  Baylor, like Notre Dame, has been great and horrible this season EXCEPT they have been great more often than horrible.  They made a great run in the Big 12 conference tournament and it will continue in the Big Dance.

This sets up Duke vs. Baylor in the Sweet 16.  The NCAA selection committee, ESPN, CBS and college basketball historians everywhere will be rooting heavily for the Blue Devils.  They will desperately want UK vs. Duke in the Elite Eight for the 20th anniversary of the Greatest Game Ever Played where Christian Laettner got star treatment from the refs and hit the game winning shot at the buzzer in OT of a game that he should have been thrown out of for stomping on the chest of a UK player earlier in the game.  While it would give me great pleasure to watch Anthony Davis find some Duke player laying on the ground and curbstomp him in to hell only to have the refs say “don’t do that again” and then block the last shot of the game to win it for UK…it will not happen.  Baylor will break everyone’s hearts (except mine because I refuse to ever root for Duke under any circumstances) and keep this dream scenario from playing out.

UK will then beat Baylor in the Elite Eight to advance to yet another Final Four.  Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague, Darius Miller and MKG will be too much to handle and since they’ll have a day off to rest instead of playing 3 days in a row, fatigue will not kill them down the stretch as it did in the SEC tournament final.


Adjust your gambling choices accordingly.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *