Let me start this off by saying one thing, I am wrong. These picks will not end up being correct, and neither will yours. You, your mother, Jay Bilas, and the octopus that picks the World Cup games every year will all end up being wrong. That’s part of the magic of the NCAA Tournament, literally nobody knows anything. You think Warren Buffet is just offering a billion dollars of his own money because there’s a chance somebody has a perfect bracket? All you can really hope to do is pick a few upsets, watch your team win a couple games and make a nice run, and enjoy some shining moments along the way.
I never said it wasn’t fun to make picks though!
We’re down to my Final 4. Kansas, Iowa State, Wisconsin, and Duke. Kansas’s best big man is hurt, Wisconsin struggles to score, Duke can’t play defense, and Iowa State has zero big tournament game experience on its resume. All four of them are flawed, but the way things shook out; these four teams have a great chance of moving into the Final Four.
DeAndre Kane averages 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists on 50 percent shooting. Those are pretty insane numbers for a college kid (also probably the numbers Lance Stevenson needs to average if Indiana wants to beat the Heat). There aren’t a lot of players around that can put that on the back of their basketball card. Kansas has beaten ISU twice already this season, both at home and on the road, but lost to them in the Big 12 tournament. These teams are clearly familiar with each other
While the Cyclones have my heart, the Jayhawks have my brain. I don’t know why, I really truly don’t. Kansas hasn’t shown any reason all year for anyone to have any confidence in them at all. They’ve been inconsistent, they have bad losses (West Virginia) and they have losses to some other high seeds (Villanova, Florida), but even without Joel Embiid, they have tons of talent. I’m still a believer. Give me Kansas to move on to the championship. I picked them to win it all in the beginning of the season, I can’t back down now right?
Wisconsin is a simple team. They play their style. They make you earn it on offense, and they either slow it down to a crawl on offense. You will end up playing the Badgers style of basketball when you play them; there are few teams that have gotten Bo Ryan’s teams out of their rhythm over the years. That being said, it all comes down to hitting jump-shots for them. If they are shooting a respectable percentage from outside, and even on those 17 foot jumpers, they are very very tough to beat. They aren’t hiding it. That’s why it’s so impossible to really pick them to win A GAME, let alone make it all the way here.
This year though, they have something they usually never have, and that’s Nigel Hayes. Hayes is a 6’7 athletic swingman freshman who can come in off the bench and really put the clamps on the opposing team’s best player. He’s going to be counted on to guard Doug McDermott in the Sweet 16, and then Jabari Parker in this hypothetical situation. The Ace up Bo Ryan’s sleeve if you will.
Duke can’t play a lick of interior defense. Relying on a PLUMLEEEEEEE brother to protect the rim is never going to end well (Honestly he probably won’t get very many minutes at this point, I just couldn’t help myself taking a shot at that family). If Frank Kaminsky has a big game, Duke will be in trouble. Wisconsin has the size advantage, Duke has the superstar advantage. It’s Bo Ryan, probably the most underappreciated coach on the planet, against Coach K, probably the best coach on the planet. Give me Wisconsin to move on. Too much size, too much shooting, too much homer-ism. (Hey, it’s my article on my website. Like I said yesterday, suck it)
Give me Kansas over Wisconsin in the title game. Main reason being that I hate myself (one of my best friends is a Kansas fan and I’ll literally never live it down if this scenario becomes a reality), and other reason being athleticism and talent. Right around Elite 8 time, after all the madness is over with, it usually comes down to talent. Wiggins has a huge game and gets it done playing for the first overall draft pick.
Have fun this weekend everybody. Call off work, skip class, and sit down in front of the TV. Let the Madness begin.