Moseying Down To The Sweet Sixteen

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As expected, the opening weekend of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament produced a lot of excitement, a handful of upsets and some good stories to take away from the action. Not much of a surprise to me, but when the weekend drew to a close the SEC had no teams left, the ACC had only Duke and North Carolina, while the Big East still had five teams standing.

NCAA basketballBeing away from home last weekend, I got to hear some of the games in my car instead of watching them on television. Not bad – the play by play was well done and I didn’t mind missing seeing the action. I was just glad to be able to catch the games at all, keeping up with what the top teams were doing.

What I find funny is that some fans are upset that not one Cinderella team cracked the Sweet Sixteen. We’ve seen them in the past – a Davidson or George Mason advance, generating a ton of excitement and letting students, faculty and alumni at their respective schools to share in the fame. But, as we all know, the NCAA tournament is so tough that eventually Cinderella’s slipper breaks, sending her packing.

This weekend I should be around to catch some of the action on ESPN, although I won’t be watching all twelve games. Depending on who makes it to the Round of 8 will also determine which games I tune into as the weekend wears on.

My Sweet Sixteen Picks

I did not fill out the brackets before the tournament began, but I will now share with you who I think will advance to the Final Four. Let’s begin with the Sweet Sixteen (regional semi-finals) first:

East – Pitt over Xavier and Villanova over Duke. Yes, I’m predicting that Duke will fall to ‘Nova for no other reason in that I think the Blue Devils will be outplayed tonight.

South – North Carolina over Gonzaga and Syracuse over Oklahoma. Something tells me that the Orangemen may have enough to go all the way.

Midwest – Louisville over Arizona and Kansas over Michigan State. The Jayhawks have come alive when it counts.

West – Connecticut over Purdue and Memphis over Missouri. Like, Syracuse I believe Memphis could win it all.

On the Road to the Final Four

Tempting as it may be, I won’t pick an all Big East Final Four. But, I’ll go with three of those teams advancing.

East – Villanova over Pitt – upset special!

South – North Carolina over Syracuse – a very close contest, decided in the waning moments.

Midwest – Louisville over Kansas – The Cardinals smell a national championship.

West – Connecticut over Memphis. Another close game that could easily go the other way.

The Final Four

I’ll hold back from predicting my Final Four picks for now, but I will say this: I give North Carolina the edge to win it all.

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