Now that the not-so dramatic Opening Round game is over, the main draw of 64 teams is complete. Morehead State will try to defeat Louisville in their second matchup of the season. Since I will be heading up to Philadelphia tomorrow for the first round on Thursday, it's time for me to reveal my picks for this year.
Before we get to my 63 winners for this year, let's review how I did on my Banana Peel List picks for the non-major conference auto bids.
America East: Binghamton
Belmont East Tennessee State
Weber State Portland State
VMI Actual: Radford
Long Beach State Actual: CS-Northridge
Drexel Actual: VCU
Butler Actual: Cleveland State
Metro Atlantic: Siena
Buffalo Actual: Akron
Mid-Eastern: Morgan State
Creighton Actual: Northern Iowa
Northeast: Robert Morris
Ohio Valley: Morehead State
Davidson Actual: Chattanooga
Sam Houston State Actual: Stephen F. Austin
Alabama A&M Actual: Alabama State
Summit: North Dakota State
Sun Belt: Western Kentucky
West Coast: Gonzaga
Western Athletic: Utah State
11 for 22 is, by definition, average, but I'll take it especially considering the amount of upheaval that usually happens during Championship Week.
Now in terms of tournament picks, I've had an up and down three years.
- 2008 - 36-27 (.563)
- 2007 - 46-17 (.730)
- 2006 - 34-29 (.540)
Since it's an odd year, I'm certainly anticipating good results! So, without further delay, here are my picks (for entertainment and ridicule purposes only). Upsets are in bold
Louisville over Morehead State - sorry Morehead
Michigan State over Robert Morris - It will be a short stay for the Colonials.
Louisville over Ohio State- The Cardinals will survive the hostile crowd and a game Buckeye squad.
Louisville over Arizona - While the Wildcats will make a run, the Cards will have too much for them.
Michigan State over West Virginia- The drive to play in their own backyard continues.
Louisville over Michigan State - But the drive hits the roadblock the Cardinals will put up. The 'Ville appears to be peaking at the right time, and the Spartans are having a lot of issues, especially with Raymar Morgan struggling.
UConn over Chattanooga - Since I'll be at Wachovia for this, I'm hoping this isn't the case. It would be great to be in the crowd for a 16 over 1 upset.
Memphis over CSUN - The Matadors second trip to the tournament will end much like their first.
UConn over BYU - What would Trent Plaisted have done against Hasheem Thabeet? The world may never know.
Washington over Purdue - The Huskies have shown they can beat grind it out-style teams.
Missouri over Utah State - The Tigers will wear out the Aggies in the end.
UConn over Washington - The third Sweet 16 matchup between these two ends just like the first two editions.
Memphis over UConn - This is where not having Jerome Dyson will hurt the Huskies. The Tigers will be motivated for this one.
Pitt over Tennessee - The Panthers will outmuscle the Vols.
Florida State over Pitt - Sorry, I don't trust Pitt getting past this round, at least until they get over the hump.
Villanova over Florida State - The Final Four has a party crasher this year.
North Carolina over Radford - Artsiom Parakhouski's presence won't be enough for
the Highlanders in this one.
North Carolina over Butler - Even if this wasn't in Greensboro, the Bulldogs wouldn't have much of a chance.
Gonzaga over North Carolina - The Heels defensive issues create problems against the Zags.
Oklahoma over Gonzaga - Blake Griffin creates too many problems for the Bulldogs.
Louisville over Oklahoma - The Cardinals are just the better overall team at the moment, peaking at the right time.