Wednesday, March 18

Pick-Counterpick: Midwest Region

It seems an NCAA by-law that Indianapolis must be invovled somehow in the NCAA tournament. Of course, that is where they are headquarterd so no quarrel there. Cannot wait to see the players slug it out in the regional at the glorified barn stadium that is Lucas Oil Field. The region's picks after the break.


1st Round

Louisville over Morehead State: I hope the Ohio Valley enjoys the extra unit of $ they will receive.

Siena over Ohio State: The Saints have a tough draw and are playing in Dayton, just 75 miles from the wasteland that is Columbus, but I picked them as a sleeper before the brackets came out and I'm not swtiching now. Kenny Hasbrouck gives Siena consistent guard play, while the Buckeyes may struggle to find scoring outside of Turner.

Arizona over Utah: I actually like the idea of putting Utah on the back of all the Utes players' jerseys. I don't actually like Utah in this game. Hill, Budinger, and Wise disturb Nevill and edge the Utes in a close, low-scoring affair.

Wake Forest over Cleveland State: The Vikings are a trendy upset pick because they plat good defense and they beat Syracuse! Also, Wake has been playing particularly inept of late. Still, all things considered I am going to trust that Dino Gaudio has hammered the point home to the Deacs about poor shot selection and they will get on track.

West Virginia over Dayton: Many people have West Virginia as a strong darkhorse in the tourney, some even have the Mountaineers going to the final four. While I like Dayton, Chris Wright alone cannot overcome a team from a conference that has seen good players all year. Alex Ruoff to me is the key to WVA's success.

Kansas over North Dakota State: Bill Self is a changed man in my eyes, as far as coaching goes. It was not the win over Memphis in the national championhsip that had the biggest impact on him, it was the Elite 8 win over Davidson. Ben Woodside is great, but I do not expect KU to struggle with these Bison like they did against Bucknell.

BC over USC: I'm willing to believe in Tyrese Rice more than Demar DeRozan.

Michigan State over Robert Morris: How can one guy beat a whole team from Michigant State? Is this thing on?

2nd Round

Lousville over Siena: Lo how I agonized over this pick, I truly think Siena has a shot but the press and athleticism of Louisville will make up for them if they have a bad game behind the arc.

Arizona over Wake: I feel Arizona is one of those teams that people bicker about them getting in, but then put together a pretty good run because they have the talent.

Kansas over West Virginia: Sheron Collins and Cole Aldrich lead the charge, but what has made the Jayhawks so good is the contributions of players like Morris and Morningstar.

BC over Michigan State: Michigan State has had lapses all season whether it was getting blown out in Detroit by Carolina, losing to Maryland, losing to Northwestern, or exiting the Big Ten tournament, I refuse to put my faith in this team. Of course this means they will prove me wrong.

Sweet 16

Louisville over Arizona: Not a lot of faith in the overall number 1 seed from a lot of pundits, but Rick Pitino has the Cards playing better than they were mid-season by a long stretch.

Kansas over BC: The flex offense will not be enough to stop the Jayhawks.

Elite 8

Kansas over Louisville: I just think that Kansas has the personnel and with Self's confidence, this team can make this run.


1st Round

Louisville over Morehead State: Thanks for coming Beaker and friends. Congrats on the first tourney win in 25 years, no step aside and let the big boys play.

Ohio State over Siena: BJ Mullens and Even Turner cut short what could easily have been a deep run for Siena.

Arizona over Utah: Matchups again rule the day, as Arizona "vindicates" the selection committee by defeating a team they're more talented than. Can't help but think that this matchup wasn't a mistake.

Wake Forest edges out Cleveland State: This could be the closest game the Deacons will play until the Elite Eight if they play like they are capable of playing. They forgot who they are against Maryland, but if they can remember they could be poised for a deep run.

West Virginia over Dayton: Chris Wright might want to take flight and pick up some better teammates, because he alone will not be able to counter the balanced scoring and defensive looks of the Mountaineers.

North Dakota State over Kansas: We've seen it before with defending champs making early exits. If the Jayhawks don't even no where NDSU is, how can they truly respect them? NDSU in overtime to topple Bill Self and Kansas.

USC over Boston College: I keep flipflopping on this game, but I don't think the Eagles have faced a defensive team as active as the Trojans. Sanders and Raji will likely be key players for the Eagles, but I'm not sure if they can handle the athleticism of USC.

Michigan State over Robert Morris: I just can't pick a guy that looks like the "Not Sam Adams." The Spartans roll by twenty.

2nd Round

Ohio State upsets Louisville: The Buckeyes are deeper and have better guard play. They'll come into this game with a chip on their shoulder and just like they did against Michigan State, they'll emerge victorious. Prepare to hear Evan Turner's name repeatedly.

Wake Forest over Arizona: If Wake beats Cleveland State hopefully it means they've got their heads in the game. If they do, they have the players to slow Buddinger and Hill and come out on top.

West Virginia over North Dakota State: While dreams of Steph Curry dance in their head, the Bison will have to solve West Virginia's different defensive looks and Huggins will do whatever it takes to slow down Woodside.

Michigan State over USC: Tough defenses all around, but a partisan crowd and Galin Lucas help MSU to an early lead, where USC will fall into old bad habits, making the game easier than it should've been.

Sweet 16

Wake Forest over Ohio State
: Wake thrives off playing the underdog role. In this game they won't get to do it, making them harder to pick than it should be, but they matchup well with Turner and without OSU's go-to man pouring it in, it'll be tough for the Buckeyes to keep up.

Michigan State over West Virginia: A team that finally has the coach and experience to counter Bob Huggins's crew, the Spartans make all necessary adjustments, out-muscle and tough the boys from West Virginia.

Elite Eight

Wake Forest over Michigan State: Again in their preferred underdog role, Wake Forest's James Johnson announces his presence to the nation. The Deacs frustrate Raymar Morgan as the team that was at one time number one in the country, finally begins living up to it's billing.

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