until Texas vs Kansas

Wednesday, March 23


Sweet 16 matchups

I’ve needed nearly a week to recover from that miserable loss to Nevada, but I think I’ve finally found my voice again. Since there isn’t much to say about Texas sports right now (even the #1 ranked baseball team is slumping, swept by Baylor this past weekend), I’ll turn my full attention back to general March Madness. Those of you who were fortunate enough to see my bracket know that you can make a lot of money betting on the opposite of what I predict, so read carefully:

The road to the final four for Illinois has been pretty easy so far, and it’s not about to become much tougher in the Sweet 16, as Illinois gets a home game against a #12 seed. It’s the end of the road for the pleasantly surprising UW-Milwaukee squad. Don’t kid yourself: it’s going to be a sea of orange in Chicago. Those of you who were in San Antonio in 2002 know what that’s like.

Meanwhile, we get a tourney treat when #2 Oklahoma State and #3 Arizona square off for the right to play Illinois. Should be one of the better games of the tourney. If Oklahoma State scores 75+ points, they’ll win it.

Buckle your seat belts, place your seats forward, and put your trays in the upright and locked position. Washington and Louisville is going to be a fun, fun game to watch. Two of the best offenses and hottest teams in the country match up in what would be an even better regional final. Those who thought Louisville was seeded two low were justified. Washington features the most balanced scoring attack in the country. No prediction on the outcome here.

Meanwhile, two of the more surprising Sweet 16 teams match up in the bottom of the bracket, as Texas Tech and West Virginia square off. Big East or Big 12? This should go a ways toward settling that debate. I’ve said it all year—the Big East is overrated. Tech wins it.

Smart bracketeers knew that Villanova entered the tourney on a hot streak and would make the Sweet 16. Clearly, I was not one of them. But now Villanova has to face up with the most talented team in the country. Fortunately, that team is coached by Roy Williams. I don’t know what the line is, but I’ll be checking it. If the Heels are favored by 8 or more, I’m putting money on Nova.

Wisconsin and NC State round out the bottom of the bracket, in a game I have absolutely no interest in. I kind of like that cracked out heroine look of Julius Hodge, though, so I’ll pull for the Wolfpack.

The sanest of the brackets thus far, and two stellar games for those of you who get to go to the games. The Dukies will face a physical and experienced Michigan State team that will give the Blue Devils all they can handle. I picked Duke to win it all, but I won’t be surprised if the Spartans take them out. Another line I’ll be watching. If I can get 5 or more points on Michigan State, I’ll take it.

My Kentucky Wildcats face Utah for the sixty-third straight year in the tournament in the bottom of the bracket. I’m jealous of those of you who will get to see the Bogut monster up close and personal. Utah can win this game, but they may have trouble scoring. Tubby Smith doesn’t get enough credit for the job he does. Look for a low scoring and highly entertaining game. I’ll root for the Cats, which means they’ll probably lose.


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