denzel valentine

Selection Sunday is upon us and the field for the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is set.  These are my predictions for March Madness:

SOUTH

Contenders: Kansas, Miami, Cal, Maryland, UConn

Pretenders: Villanova, Arizona, Iowa

The South is fucking loaded.  There are 5 legit title contenders in this part of the bracket alone.  Kansas caught a raw deal having to potentially play an en fuego UConn team in the 2nd round, and I’m predicting the upset now.  I also like the winner of the Vandy/Wichita St game to topple 6 seed Arizona in the first round.  2 seed Villanova will lose to Iowa in the 2nd round, leaving this bracket open for lower seeds to advance.  If Maryland can get past Cal in the 2nd round, they will fulfill my pre-season prophesy and make it to the Final Four after beating Miami in the Elite 8.

My Pick: Maryland

WEST

Contenders: Oregon, Oklahoma, Duke

Pretenders:  Texas A&M, Texas

I don’t mess with Texas.  The Longhorns and Aggies will not make it out of this cupcake bracket.  I have Northern Iowa taking out Texas in the first round, and the Aggies falling to Buddy Hield’s Sooners in the Sweet 16.  The committee loves Duke, and gave them a pretty easy road to the Final Four, but after beating Oregon in the Sweet 16 I see Oklahoma taking the Blue Devils out and punching their ticket to Houston.

My Pick: Oklahoma

EAST

Contenders: UNC, West Virginia, Kentucky

Pretenders: Xavier, Indiana

The East is pretty loaded, but not as quite loaded as the South.  UNC will make it out of this region, but they are going to have to win some battles in order to get to Houston.  They’ll have to knock off a tough Indiana team in the 2nd round, then take out a talented Kentucky team in the Sweet 16.  A date with West Virginia in the Elite 8 is likely, as I see Xavier getting knocked off in the second round by a scrappy Wisconsin squad.  Take the ‘Heels, thank me later.

My Pick: UNC

MIDWEST

Contenders: Virginia, Michigan State, Iowa State

Pretenders: Utah, Purdue

MSU got fucked over royally by the committee by not getting a 1 seed, and the Spartans are going to take it out on the 2nd weakest region in the tournament.  They have one of the easiest roads to the Final Four, as I see them facing underdogs Dayton and Seton Hall before battling UVA in the Elite 8.  I expect Utah and Purdue to fall in the 2nd round, and a scrappy Iowa State team taking UVA to the wire in the Sweet 16.  But Sparty takes this one with ease because they’re really, really good.

My Pick: Michigan State

FINAL FOUR

Buddy Hield gets the best of Melo Trimble, ruining my prophesy of the Terps winning it all.  Denzel Valentine puts the team on his back as Sparty topples UNC.  In an instant classic, MSU beats Oklahoma in a thriller as Tom Izzo cuts down the nets in Houston.

National Champions: Michigan State

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