I don't know how many of you will appreciate the title of my post. But for those P.O.D. fans out there, I'm sure you will enjoy it. Because we are, we are, the Youth of the Nation. But away from hardcore Christian rock music, and moving on toward the NCAA Tournament. More in particular, the South Region. Ahh, yes, the south. It reminds me of home. I think I'm going to like this and I hope you guys will too.
The South Region
Yes, Lawson will return after UNC's 30+ point win over Radford, but no, he will not remain healthy as he will re-aggravate his toe in a Sweet 16 victory over Gonzaga.
Western Kentucky will make it two consecutive years with a first round upset by beating Illinois.
Come on people, it's a 5 vs. 12 matchup. Every year you need to pick at least one. And THIS is the one you need to pick. Western has beaten teams like Louisville, Georgia, and Campbellsville! Ok, I don't know Campbellsville. But a win is a win, right? Western has a legit squad and will shake up some people's brackets this year by not only beating the Fighting Illini but by possibly upsetting Gonzaga as well. Picking Western is a more clear cut decision than picking what the heck their mascot is supposed to be.
The past two National Player of the Year recipients (Hansbrough in 2008 and Griffin in 2009) will face off in the Elite Eight when North Carolina meets Oklahoma.
I do believe that one of these teams will be in the Elite Eight, but not both. Like I stated earlier, if Lawson stays healthy, UNC will make a run and probably make it to Detroit. However, I don't feel that Oklahoma will be as lucky. We learned towards the end of the season that Oklahoma is not this perrenial powerhouse like we built them up to be. However, Griffin is still a beast. Don't get me wrong. It's just the Sooners don't get enough production from their bench to go deep in the tournament.
Syracuse is out of gas from their conference tournament and will not have enough to make it past the Sweet 16.
What is all this talk? A team not having enough gas in their tank? By the time 'Cuse plays, they will have had about a week off. They showed that they can play in 7 overtimes in 2 games in as many days and still win both games. (And against two of the best teams in the country!) Heck they almost beat Lousiville in the Big East Final. They had a solid lead going into the half. If they didn't shoot sub 30% in the second half, then you are looking at your Big East Champions and a #2 seed in the Big Dance. This team has enough heart and enough energy to hang with everyone they face all the way to the Final Four.
The Bubble Team, Michigan, should just stay in Ann Arbor as they will have a first round exit to Clemson.
Michigan go into the tournament by the hairs on their chinny-chin-chin. But their house is going to get blown down by the huffin' and puffin' Clemson Tigers. Then again, the Big Bad Tiger will not be able to blow down the brick house that Oklahoma has built this year.
A 16 seed will not beat a 1 seed this year in any region.
Wouldn't it be nice, for once, if one year they put Duke at 16 and UNC at 1. Or Kentucky vs. Louisville, UConn vs. Pitt, Mizzou vs. Kansas, Oklahoma vs. Texas? Gah, that would bring a little more excitement to those first two days of games.
This year's National Champion will emerge from the South Region.
The team from this side of the bracket that will go to the National Championship will be from the East. However, I know for sure that the South will produce at least one team in the Final Four. Book it!
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Well there it is. The future. Pretty crazy, huh? Just consider me your older Biff coming back in time to hand you Gray's Sports Almanac. "Just bet on the winner, and you'll never lose!"
Have fun and be safe. And know the rules at your workplace before betting on an NCAA bracket poll.