Tag Archives: March Madness

Total Tar Heel Dominance

The National Title belongs to the North Carolina Tar Heels, thus finishing the road to redemption. The Heels, led by Coach Roy Williams, fell victim to a buzzer beater finish at the hands of Villanova last season. This time around, the Heels said they would get the job done. That they did, and with an unbelievable defensive attack in the second half against Gonzaga, the Tar Heels redeemed themselves.

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Joel Berry III was named the most outstanding player of the tournament. The kid played with grit and determination. He dropped 22 points and had 6 assists in the effort. Berry, who is just a junior, could return to Carolina next season, as well as ACC Player of the Year Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson.

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I’d be surprised if Justin Jackson were to return to Carolina. After the season this young man had, he could be NBA bound. But I would love to see him back next year, he could repeat as a champ and an MVP. He is a special player who can really play amazingly in the spotlight, it would be awesome to see him play one more year in Carolina Blue.

The unsung hero for the Heels has to be Luke Maye. Maye stepped up big time in the big game. Remember that shot he hit against Kentucky? Ask Malik Monk, he will tell you all about it. Maye was a solid contributor to the victory, and could be in for a colossal season next year.

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Kennedy Meeks wins in what will be his final game in Carolina Blue. Meeks was a role player in every season that I can remember. His presence will be missed in the middle for Carolina. Although he scored just 7 points, he snagged 10 rebounds in the title win. Those 10 rebounds were pivotal to the winning effort.

Let me say this too. Gonzaga proved me wrong and I apologize to them for counting them out so often. The Bulldogs were a formidable team and Coach Mark Few did what I thought he couldn’t do. They’re effort was admirable and I have to say, they worked their tails off. They now have a lot more credibility in my eyes, I’d just like to see them play a couple tougher games in the coming years. They’ll have a bunch of guys back next year so don’t be surprised to see Gonzaga creep up to a deep tourney run.

We in the college world now take focus on baseball and lacrosse. Two sports that have had a recent jump in viewers so should be a great spring.

Carolina found out that the ceiling is the roof, and boy did they do it impressively.

Stay handsome, everyone!

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Just Four Remain

Four are left standing in this ultimate elimination cage match that is the NCAA tournament. North Carolina, South Carolina, Gonzaga and Oregon all head to Phoenix for the chance to reign as supreme ruler of the NCAA basketball realm.

Alas the final four is set, and we are in for a doozy of games. But let’s first look at a couple things from the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games.

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We saw LaVar Ball’s oldest son, Lonzo, basically no show the biggest game of his career for UCLA, and we saw essentially what will get De’Aaron Fox a seat at the draft. Fox outplayed Ball and helped Kentucky punch their ticket to a rematch with UNC.

What I thought was the game of the year had the finish of the year as well. Malik Monk hits a highly contested three which led to former walk-on Luke Maye hitting the 2 point jumper to punch the Heel’s ticket to the Final 4.

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Oregon in the Midwest had Kansas Jayhawk on the menu in the Elite 8. They had their Jayhawks smoked, and Tyler Dorsey had himself 27 points on the night. Ducks star Dillon Brooks had his hefty helping with 17 points as well.

This duo could just be getting started, as Brooks is just a junior and Dorsey is a sophomore. Dorsey is looking like the tourney MVP for the Ducks, having 4 straight games with 20 points, 2 of those games were 27 point nights. The Ducks might want to lean on Dorsey then go to Brooks in the waning moments.

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I have been a Gonzaga hater this entire season and probably always will be. But I will give it up for the Zags, they have proved their worth to me. The absolutely destroyed Xavier, but still got away with highway robbery against Northwestern. Their Sweet 16 game with WVU was a great one, Jordan Mathews had ice in his veins when he drained that 3 ball. Happy for Mark Few, he finally got to the big one.

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 11.34.03 AMAnd then there is the Cinderella story, the South Carolina Gamecocks. They have beaten a 2, 3 and a 4 seed this tournament. Duke, Baylor and Florida have all been pecked to death by Carolina. One thing is for sure, Sindarius Thornwell can sure play. He has been nothing short of spectacular. South Carolina is now faced with Gonzaga, and can complete the sweep of a top 4 seed grouping.

So let’s start there, Carolina comes in the 7 seed and are playing unbelievably. The contrasting styles, the depth, and the guard play are three things that are going pivotal in this tilt. Thornwell is going to have to be the best player on the court. Nigel Williams-Goss is going to oppose him, and that’s got to be an exciting matchup. I am biting the bullet and sticking with the Cinderella, give me South Carolina in a great one.

Now to the other side of the bracket with Oregon and North Carolina, I am going to be short and sweet with this one. I like Carolina and I like Carolina big. The redemption they are looking for is going to be found here. They are too deep for Oregon, and have too many weapons. After what Luke Maye and Theo Pinson were able to do in the last game, they are just the next guys up. Before them they have Joel Berry and Justin Jackson. Brooks and Dorsey put up a fight, but it’s not enough.

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So the final will be a battle of the Carolinas. The redemption bid against the Cinderella story out of nowhere. Justin Jackson has his career defining game as the Heels win and get their redemption. Thornwell will have himself a night, but will not be able to get the job done. “The Ceiling is the roof”, or whatever MJ said will come to fruition. The Heels will not be denied this time around, Justin Jackson wins MOP.

“Wow, what a finish.” will be said by all.

The Field Is Set, And Here We Go

We have reached the land of no return. With 68 teams entered, 4 have played for their lives already; I can honestly say this year is a mind-bender. Last year, I won 3 or 4 pools, so I am a certified bracketologist. So let me start with the East region and the returning champs Villanova.

652231852EAST: The Wildcats come in ranked number 1 in the region. With a challenging road to the Sweet 16, I like them all the way to the Elite 8. However, I think they may get a challenge from Wisconsin in the round of 32.

Duke is on a tear right now, which makes me feel like it’s one of those years where they lose immediately. But I went with my gut and took the Blue Devils to the Elite 8 as well. The team to watch is at the 11 seed right now, and that’s the USC Trojans. I think they really could make a run.

Virginia still scares me too; they have a chip on their shoulder and could really make some noise.

652637660WEST: I have said it once and I will say it again, Gonzaga being the 1 seed means very little to me. I have the Zags going to the Sweet 16 and falling. To who though?

Well look no further than my main man Huggy Bear. That’s right, Bob Huggins once again will lead West Virginia deep in this tournament. I like this Mountaineer team especially at the 4 seed.

One of the other teams I like is Arizona. Sean Millers club looks like a complete Arizona team, and with the addition of Trier mid-season, they are a scary matchup for almost everyone. I will say this though, if Notre Dame can get by West Virginia, then I think the Irish could be a scary match-up for just about anyone.

The last team I can see making it to the Sweet 16 is Maryland. I am a fan of Melo Trimble, and I believe he will be back for his senior season.  This could just be the stepping stone for next year’s Terps.

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MIDWEST: Bill Self has been the king of the Midwest region for as long as I can remember. I just don’t know if anyone can compare to them going up to the Sweet 16. This is a Big 12 theme, as I think we could see the Cyclones from Iowa State meet the Jayhawks, but they will have a tough test in upset minded Vermont Catamounts, who I love against Purdue.

I don’t care about injuries either, Dillon Brooks is a top 5 player in the country, and I think he gets Oregon to the Sweet 16. I think a second round matchup between Louisville and Michigan; a national title rematch will serve a test for who Oregon will see in the Sweet 16.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 1.17.31 PM.pngSOUTH: You are out of your mind if you don’t have seeds 1, 2 and 3 going to the Sweet 16. UNC, Kentucky and UCLA are on a freight train from hell right now, and they are on a collision course for each other. SO spoiler, I have those three in the sweet 16. I like the upset in this region with Middle Tennessee and Winthrop winning, but this match-up had me pacing back and forth for about 5 minutes. These types of games are the most entertaining, let’s pray it happens. Cincinnati and Wichita State could scare some teams, but I don’t think they match-up with the Goliaths.

But before we get to the picks, heres a complimentary picture of Dickie V from a couple years ago!

138948226So much joy, so much happiness, so much Dick Vital. So now, without further ado….HERE ARE THE PICKS!

EAST: Villanova(1), Florida (4), USC/PC (11) and Duke (2)

WEST: Gonzaga (1), West Virginia (4), Maryland (6) and Arizona (2)

Midwest: Kansas (1), Iowa State (5), Oregon (3) and Michigan (7)

South: UNC (1), Middle Tennessee State (12), UCLA (3) and Kentucky (2)

Go ahead, berate me. I like who I have in the Sweet 16. Next week is a toss-up. So try to stay handsome and happy Tourney season!