The West Bracket

Michigan State is the #1 seed in the West bracket after having a magical season.  Sparty began the season unranked and got beat while playing a game on a naval battleship.  Tom Izzo showed why he is one of the top 5 coaches in college basketball and took a young underrated team and led them to the Big Ten Championship and a #1 seed.  History says that when Tom Izzo gets a #1 seed, the Spartans go to the Final Four.  He’s 3 for 3 in that department.  I think that trend is going to end this year though.


I think MSU will have no problem getting into the Sweet 16 beating Memphis in the round of 32.  I don’t think that they’ll be able to get past the Louisville Cardinals though.  Louisville had a season opposite of what Michigan State experienced.  The Cardinals started the year ranked in the Top 10 and were even in the Top 5 when they played Kentucky on NYE.  The Cardinals got beat up for the Wildcats and then hit a rough patch that saw them at the bottom of the Top 25 or out of the rankings completely heading into the Big East tournament.  Rick Pitino, another top 5 coach in college basketball, got his players to forget the rough patch and play up to their potential.  I think winning the Big East tournament is going to propel the Cardinals past Davidson, New Mexico and Michigan State.  If the Cardinals don’t get the Spartans out of the tournament, I think the Mizzou Tigers will.


I think Missouri makes it to the Final Four this season whether it is the Cardinals or the Spartans waiting for them in the Elite Eight.  Of course, it seems like lately, a Cinderella team has made a Final Four run with George Mason, VCU and Butler making it there.  If it happens this year, Murray State is going to be the team to do it.  They have one of the best players in the country and they were the last team to lose a game this season.  I think the Racers can get past Colorado State and Marquette but the Mizzou Tigers are just too good for Murray State to beat.  Mizzou has scared me all season long as a team that I don’t want to see UK have to play and yet here they are staring at a potential showdown in the Final Four.  I just don’t see Florida, Murray State and Louisville/Michigan State being able to slow down the Big 12 champions enough to get the win.

I would love to be able to see Pitino vs. Calapari…Louisville vs. Kentucky in the Final Four.  It is the most hatred filled rivalry in college basketball.  Kentucky doesn’t have any pro sports so all eyes in the region are on the two schools separated by 70 miles.  Duke/UNC gets all the hype but it is more a friendly rivalry. Kansas/Mizzou is close but those states have pro teams and after this season, that rivalry is dead.  I just don’t see it happening this year but a guy can dream.

I’ll post my thoughts on the remaining two regions before the games tip-off on Thursday.


Can you feel the Madness?





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