Here we are. It’s only Day 3. My brain hurts. The NCAA tournament makes less sense than when I started this endeavor. However, I must press on.
Here it is folks:
Sports Tsar’s NCAA Mega First Round Preview Part 3: Midwest Region!
16 Lamar vs. 16 Vermont
The winner of this game gets to play North Carolina, a sexy pick to win the tournament in the next round. Lamar famously had Coach Knight chewing out his seniors earlier in the year and since went on to win the Southland Conference and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. But as Pat Knight would tell you “they’re still terrible and they’re going to get the shit kicked out of themselves.” Okay, I made that up but I guarantee it’s something along those lines. You gotta stick with what works.
8 Creighton vs. 9 Alabama
I like these kind of match-ups because you get a team that everyone should know versus a team that you shouldn’t think much about. Unfortunately for Alabama, they’re the latter. Creighton is a legitimately good team. They just sound like an Asian person with a heavy accent trying to say my first name. Still, to many, they’ll pick Alabama because Alabama is good at football and so you’d expect basketball to follow. Too bad Alabama has had more starting line-ups this season that GOP frontrunners.
12 California vs 12 USF
What does it say about your bracket when you have 2 play-in games? Seriously. You have to wonder what the committee was thinking here. It seems to just weaken the competition in this region. Maybe North Carolina is the committee’s pick. Who knows? VCU did make it to the Final Four last season despite playing in the play-in game. Plus, why is a Play-In game deciding a 12 seed? The last 8 teams in should play the play-in games for the 16 seeds in each region. The numbers do mean how good the team was right? Is Cal really better than SDSU, a 14 seed? I like the idea of play-in games, I just don’t think we have the process right yet.
Anyways, USF realistically isn’t that good. They play in the Big East and get a lot of credit for it, but beyond that, they didn’t beat a single ranked team beyond Louisville and are statistically atrocious. Cal has an easy path here but I have a feeling the committee is just giving the Pac-12 a little love. It’s like when the Big 12 only sent 1 team to the BCS and therefore got better bowl match-ups and a nice bowl record. It gives people a false idea of talent.
4 Michigan vs 13 Ohio
I’m not going to make a joke about Brady Hoke. I’m not going to make a joke about Brady Hoke. I’m not going to make a joke about Brady Hoke. I’m not going to make a joke about Bra-
BRADY HOKE WEARS SO MUCH SPRAY TANNER, HE MAKES JOHN BOEHNER LOOK LIKE AN ALBINO.
I’m sorry, I don’t know what got into me. Michigan has a lot of talent, but I’m not sure they win this one easy. They seem to play well against big teams but have a hard time putting away some weird teams. I still think they win, I just think it might be a Gus Johnson moment. Oh wait, he’s not doing the tournament. We get Jim Nantz. You know, because he just exudes March Madness!
6 San Diego St vs 11 NC State
I’m not sure if this was clear in my Bowl column. NC State wins championships.
I think San Diego State wins this one and it’s honestly a credit to their coach, Steve Fisher. He had a lot of success at Michigan and has turned SDSU into a legitimate program. They lost a lot of talent and were able to make the tournament. Regardless of what happens, SDSU deserves a good hard looking going forward. It’s only a matter of time before they start getting recruits (SD is an awesome town) and competing on a national scale.
3 Georgetown vs 14 Belmont
I think Georgetown finally has a significant year. The bracket is set-up in their favor and they’re having a big year. I don’t mean to knock Belmont, I’ve just never heard of them
7 St. Mary’s vs 10 Purdue
I think it’s pretty cool how the WCC conference did this year. That being said I think it’s even cooler what Purdue has done. Plus, St. “Mary’s” that doesn’t sound intimidating at all!
2 Kansas vs 15 Detroit
If this was the Detriot Lions? Maybe I’d pick them. Detroit Pistons? Still not sure. All I know is that Kansas has been inconsistent all year with frustrating losses. Just none to a team like Detroit. Kansas goes on to the next round, and for the first time, I care.