3/26/13 in NCAABB   |   ChrisMT7   |   11 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsLike many, I spent last Monday – Wednesday carefully analyzing the 64 teams and matchups in the hopes of picking a perfect bracket or to win my bracket group. Only several hours and a couple games in, 12th seeded Oregon had defeated 5th seed Oklahoma State, and with that loss, my dream of having a perfect bracket would once again have to wait another year. By Friday night, after Florida Gulf Coast University had defeated the 2nd seed Georgetown, most likely everyone’s chances of having a perfect bracket was also gone.
The first 3 rounds of tournament play have already offered some very close, exciting, and memorable moments and games. Now that we all have been able to watch these teams and can better assess them, these would be my new picks for the rest of this year’s NCAA Tournament bracket:

In the East region, the top 3 teams have all made it to the Sweet 16 round, and have done it very convincingly through the first 2 games. The only surprise team is 12th seed Oregon who defeated 5th seed Oklahoma and 4th seed Saint Louis. Oregon has looked good but Louisville has looked great. Given 4 days to rest and prepare I see Oregon’s run ending here and Louisville to advance to the Elite 8. The other game in this region is a much tougher pick. You have two of the best Tournament time coaches in Coach Izzo and Coach Krzyzewski facing off and either team can win this game. Coach Izzo is 1-6 all-time against Coach K (1-1 in the tourney) so I will give the slight edge to Duke advancing. In the Elite 8 round, I have Louisville with their great defense to hold on to defeat Duke and move onto the Final 4.
-----> Winner Prediction: Louisville Cardinals

In the South region, very similar to the East, 3 of the 4 top seeds have made it to the round of 16. The major headline being that for the very first time in NCAA Tournament history a 15th seed has advanced to the Sweet 16 round. Even though I will be rooting for Florida Gulf Coast University to win (and how can you not?) against the 3rd seed Florida Gators, I have to use my better judgment and pick the Gators to win this game. In the other matchup between #1 Kansas and #4 Michigan, once again I will lean towards defense, and pick the Kansas Jayhawks to muster up just enough offense to get past Michigan. In the Elite 8 round, I have Kansas easily defeating the Gators to move onto the Final 4.
-----> Winner Prediction: Kansas Jayhawks 
The West region has been by far the craziest and hardest to pick region of the bracket. Only one of the top four teams (Ohio State) has advanced to the sweet 16 round, and they only barely survived versus 10th seed Iowa State. Although Gonzaga did not play like a 1 seed, Wichita State has shown to be a very good team and I see them defeating La Salle to move on. I also have Ohio State defeating Arizona. In the Elite 8 round, I think Ohio State will pull out the win in a very close game and move onto the Final 4.
-----> Winner Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes 

The East region of the bracket has been the most straightforward of all the regions. There has only been two total “upsets” and all 4 of the top seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16. Both games here will be incredibly hard fought and most likely come down to the final seconds, if not the very last second. It is very difficult to predict these close games as it could come down to a simple missed free throw or even sometimes a referee blowing a call. My prediction is for Indiana to get a late defensive stop like they did versus Temple and defeat Syracuse. I also lean towards Miami winning against Marquette and advancing. In the Elite 8 round, my pick is Indiana to win against Miami and move onto the Final 4.
-----> Winner Prediction: Indiana Hoosiers

#1 Louisville defeats #2 Ohio State
#1 Indiana defeats #1 Kansas
#1 Louisville Cardinals vs. #1 Indiana Hoosiers
I have Louisville versus Indiana in the National Championship game with Indiana winning their 6th National Title and first since 1987.
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