Category Archives: March Madness

Final Four Predictions

FINAL FOUR – Alamodome San Antonio, TX
Memphis vs UCLA ( -2 ) 6:07 PM


Chris – This game is going to probably be an ugly one. Both teams play hard scrappy defense, barrel through screens, and love to drive and finish around the rim. This game will turn into a turnover-laced, foul-laden slugfest.

The Tigers are at their best when they’re playing aggressive defense, crashing the boards hard and sharing the ball through their dribble-drive motion offense. The Bruins are battle tested, throughout this year’s tournament, as well as this being the third straight year the Bruins have been in the Final Four, being eliminated by eventually back-to-back champion Florida Gators.

This game will be low scoring, close through-out, down the final possessions game and will come down to who will make the big time buckets down the stretch. I see the Tigers strength and balance to prevail.
The Pick: Take the Tigers, the points, and the outright win. MEM 66  UCLA 62

Brian – I am currently still in first place in my bracket and all the naysayers nipping at my heels have UNC as their champ.  My champ however is UCLA, so I am sticking with them no matter what to win this game and will be pulling hard from my couch. 

I am a little nervous though as Memphis looked GOOD against Texas, almost making it look easy at times.  Derrick Rose is the real deal and he took over whenever Memphis needed a key bucket early.  Besides Joey Dorsey being a freak of nature, Taggert (had a great game off the bench against TEX) and Dozier inside will be tough for Kevin Love to take on by himself. 

Darren Collison will need to step it up defensively on Rose and the combination of Mbah a Moute, Russell Westbrook and Josh Shipp need to contain CDR.  Take out one of Memphis’ big three (Dorsey, CDR or Rose) and its lights out for the Tigers. 
The Pick:
UCLA to win outright, Memphis’ horrific FT shooting finally catches up with them, in the biggest game of their season.  UCLA 78   MEM 71

Kansas vs North Carolina (-3 ) 8:47 PM


Chris –  Roy Williams against his former school for the first time, two of the most talented teams in the nation are facing off on the biggest stage.

With these two powerhouses of college basketball facing off, look for this game to be more anti-climatic once it starts.

The Tar Heels with Ty Lawson just look unbeatable. With his dribble ability he can seemingly break any full court pressure on his own. Combine that with the excellent wingman Green and Ellington, as well as all-American Tyler Hansborugh on the inside, the all-around Tar Heel game will be too much for the Jayhawks.

This game is controlled by UNC pretty much from start to finish. Kansas might make things interesting in 2nd Half, but Williams and his talented gang will march onto Monday night’s title game to play for their second national title this decade. The Pick: Take the Heels at -2. UNC 78  KAN 70

Brian – As mentioned above, I am atop the leaderboard in my bracket with my buddies and everyone’s champ is UNC besides me.  So take a wild gander as to who I am pulling for in this one?  Thats right folks, the Kansas Jayhawks will prevail.  First of all, I think the most certainly can, and WILL win and here’s why. 

Almost every game in this tournament has been won or lost behind the 3 – point line.  Kansas is deadly from behind the arc, whereas UNC is mediocre at best, with no real threat from deep.  Kansas has the luxury of four great 3 point shooters in Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Russell Robinson and Sherron Collins.  Chalmers and Rush are straight deadly and if you leave Robinson or Collins open for a second, they will burn you. 

If the bigs for Kansas (Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun) can frustrate ‘Psycho T’ Tyler Hansbrough, we should be in for a thriller.  Another aspect I consider favorable for Kansas is that UNC relies way to much on very few players.  Besides Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough, and Wayne Ellington, UNC doesnt have any legitimate scoring threats.  Every player in Kansas starting five and even well into their bench is capable of putting up 20 on any given night. 
The Pick: Kansas throws way too much depth at Pyscho T and  Ty Lawson.  Kansas gets hot from deep and wins outright.  KAN 84   UNC 79

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Which 1 Will Come Out on Top?

Davidson had Kansas by on the ropes last night only to lose it in the final 90 seconds of play.  I don’t care what anyone says, Stephen Curry is the real deal and proving to a lot of big-time coaches, that the little kid with a naughty jumper can still play and DOMINATE games.  He has to be the unanimous decision for tourney MVP after dropping 40 on Gonzaga, 30 on Georgetown, 33 against Wisconsin, and 25 against Kansas.  This kid has a bright future and just put himself on the map as the NBA Draft nears.   Sources say that Curry has made himself an early 2nd round pick after not even being on any draft boards prior to the Tournament.  Scratch that, according to, Curry says he will return. Look out for Davidson next year folks.

With the Kansas Jayhawks ending Davidson’s miracle run last night 59 – 57 at Ford Field in Detroit, we now have our Final Four set.  For the first time in NCAA Tournament history we have all four #1 seeds in the Big Dance. 


Ben Howland’s UCLA Bruins will face John Calipari’s gangsta squad, Memphis, at 6:07 PM on Saturday from the Alamo Dome.

Roy William’s Tar Heels and Bill Self’s Jayhawks will follow with the tip-off scheduled for 8:47 PM.

Predictions to come Friday.


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NCAA Tourney Talk: Midwest and South Regions

MIDWEST Region – Ford Field Detroit, MI
Davidson vs. Wisconsin (-5.5) 7:10
Sharp Shooter Eyes Badgers

Chris – Can Stephen Curry, who has dropped 70 points in Davidson’s first 2 games, continue the Wildcats magic carpet ride going? No. The physical, hard-nosed Badger led by perhaps the best defensive player in the country Michael Flowers, will keep Curry in check and look for the Badgers to cruise into the Elite 8 on Sunday.

Curry is the fourth-leading scorer in the nation at 25.7 points a game, and is first with 152 3-pointers. And he has willed Davidson to victory with memorable 2nd half performances against Gonzaga and Georgetown. The mighty Badgers however, allow only 53.9 points a game, best in the country, and have allowed only seven opponents to score more than 60 points. Don’t necessarily look for Davidson to be kept in the 60’s, but going to far over would be surprising. The Badgers strong defense and their unheralded, solid, balanced offense will prevail. Badgers cover easy.
The Pick: Badgers cover easy. WISC 76 DAV 63

Brian – UPSET SPECIAL. Sorry Badger fans, I am just not sold on Wisconsin yet. Yea they have some big guys, and yea they have a great defender in Flowers and a good coach in Bo Ryan but they play in the BIG TEN people.

Davidson has a great coach of their own in Bob McKillop and a phenomenal scorer in Stephen Curry (my MVP of the tourney so far). Davidson also has a very tough schedule throughout the year playing a lot of ACC and tobacco road teams. Everyone said that when Davidson beat Georgetown it wasn’t that big of an upset. Well why should this game be any different, Wisconsin and Georgetown are very similar in a lot of ways. In my mind Davidson is the underdog with the best chance of advancing to the Elite 8, so I am sticking with the Cinderella here and going out on a limb.
The Pick: Upset city here, Curry goes off for 27. DAV 74 WISC 68

Villanova vs. Kansas (-12.5) 9:40
Reynolds Ridin’ Dirtyyyy

Chris – Alright 215 fans, Friday night, prime-time main event, Wildcats vs. Jayhawks. Villanova is looking to pull the biggest upset in NCAA tourney history since… they knocked off Georgetown in ’85.

It’s not going to happen. Rock, chalk, Jayhawks will be sung all night as Brandon Rush, Darrel Arthur, and Darnell Jackson will be too strong inside. Villanova’s only stones throw of coming close a victory will be if Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher catch fire and combine to drop 60. Doubt that will happen, Nova’s unexpected run ends tonight in Detroit.
The Pick: Jayhawks cover. KAN 81 NOVA 61

Brian – Well sorry to say, the last Philly school will be bounced from the tourney tonight. Jay Wright has his kids playing great right now, but I just don’t think there is any way they can match up against Kansas, arguably THE most talented team in this tournament.

Dante Cunningham will have his work cut out for him with Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun inside.

Is Corey Stokes going to match up on Brandon Rush? Corey Fisher on Russel Robinson or Mario Chalmers?
The Pick:
The Jayhawks control the game from the beginning. Dante Cunningham gets in early foul trouble and Kansas takes huge advantage going on a big run. Villanova cannot get back into it and the Jayhawks move on. KAN 83 NOVA 67

SOUTH REGIONAL – Reliant Stadium Houston, TX
Stanford vs. Texas (-2) 7:10

Chris – On paper, this looks like the match-up of the night, the Cardinal who was runner-up in the Pac-10, and Texas the runner-up in the Big 12. I see Texas easily handling Stanford in this one as well.

Stanford does not come close to having enough offensive fire power to keep up with the high scoring Longhorns. Texas has more then enough size to handle the Lopez brothers with the 6-10 Connor Atchley and 6-10, 299-pound Dexter Pittman coming off the bench.
The Pick: A.J. Abrams, D.J. Augustin, Damion James will have no problem scoring as the Longhorns will look impressive with a double digit victory. TEX 77 STAN 59

Brian – I think the Lopez twins are overrated and bunch of losers. I see Texas taking over early and controlling the game the rest of the way. Damion James will blow by both of the Lopez stiffs and look for the Texas 2 step combo of AJ and DJ to straight up school the Stanford guards.
The Pick: Texas rolls. TEX 82 STAN 68

Michigan State vs. Memphis (-5) 9:57

We Be Ballin’ Yo

Chris – Probably the game of the night. After a closer then needed to be second round victory vs. Mississippi St, many are calling for the Spartan victory. The Tigers look vulnerable and every one knows of there free throw shooting deficiencies down the stretch.

Look for this game to be on the see-saw all night as Kalin Lucas and Drew Neitzel go basket for basket with Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts in company in a game that will come down the final possessions. The question is going to be will the Tigers horrendous FT shooting eliminate them 2 games earlier then they dreamed? The answer will be not tonight as the Tigers will be able to make free throws in clutch situations.
The Pick: Look for the Tigers to advance but Michigan State to cover. MEM 73 MSU 70

Brian – Tough game to pick here, I see this being one of the better games of the eve. Highly underrated Michigan State led by legendary coach Tom Izzo is playing great team basketball right now and have basically cruised through the first two rounds. Drew Neitzel has found his stroke again and looks sensational running the Spartan offense.

However, Memphis is loaded with NBA type talent in CDR, Derrick Rose (incredible first two rounds, averaging over 17 pts per), and Joey Dorsey will be on point. Like Chris said though, Memphis’s FT shooting is the worst in the Tournament by far (of the teams left). With all of these games being very close and competitive, it could be the Achilles heal for the Tigers.
The Pick: Derrick Rose and Joey Dorsey are too much to handle for the Neitzel, Izzo and the Spartans. Due to the poor FT shooting MSU covers however. MEM 78 MSU 74

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NCAA Tourney Talk: West and East Regions

WEST Region – Phoenix, AZ
Xavier vs West Virginia 7:10 pm (WVU -1)

Jumpin' Joe Slams for two... during practice

Chris – Red hot Joe Alexander versus one of the best teams in the nation at shutting down an opposing teams star player. Although Xavier does not have a big inside presence, which teams who do have been successful against Alexander do, but they play extremely solid team defense. Xavier is also an extremely balanced with six guys averaging between 9.8 and team leader Josh Duncan’s 12.1 PPG.

This is a tough West Virginia team that Coach Huggins will have playing physical for a full 40 minutes, but XU will have too much firepower and will do too good a job spreading around the offense.
The Pick: Xavier 72  West Virginia 69. Take Xavier and the points to win outright.

Brian – Let’s see, who’s tougher; a Mountaineer or a Musketeer? 

West Virginia has been hot lately and Joe Alexander has established himself as a serious load in the paint.  West Virginia pulled off what looked to be an easy win down the stretch against Duke without one of the top players, Darris Nichols even really getting going on the offensive end.  Joe Mazzulla also came off the bench and played wonderfully, which allows Huggy Bear the ability to go deep and wear out Drew Lavender and the Musketeers.

I look for Dub V to pounce on Xavier early and control the game from the start and finally shut down this fluke that is Xavier as a 3 seed.
The Pick: West Virginia covering the 2.5.  WVU 78  Xavier 71.

UCLA vs Western Kentucky 9:40 pm (UCLA -12.5)

Chris – I think the Hilltoppers give the Bruins an interesting match up. They’re great from 3 point range, which we all know is the great equalizer in every NCAA tournament game. They’re strong inside and on the boards. Super fresh Kevin Love might be forced to make more plays from the outside. This is an experienced, veteran, senior laden Western Kentucky squad that is good enough to hang around because of their three point shooting ability, and could pull off the shocker if the backcourt gets red hot.

Look for UCLA to really sweat in this one. But eventually pull it out as they are just too talented & too deep for the Sun Belt Cinderella Hilltoppers. Look for the Bruins aggressive defense to be too much to handle for undersized PG Tyrone Brazleton for 40 minutes.
The Pick: UCLA 68  Western Kentucky 61.  12.5 is a high spread for this level of competition, take the points.  UCLA wins but W Kentucky covers.

Brian – The buck stops here for the Hilltoppers.  UCLA will get back on the high horse they have been riding all year after a lackluster performance against Texas A&M.  They played awful and still managed to pull it out at the end. 

I think they get their act together tonight and get an easy win.  Darren Collison will prove too much to handle for Tyrone Brazleton and the combo of Westbrook, Shipp, and Mbah a Moute will finally cancel out Courtney Lee.
The Pick – UCLA covers the 12.5 in a statement game.  And they are my champ in my bracket, so I need to go with my gut.  UCLA 82  WKU 69.

EAST Region – Charlotte, NC
Washington St vs North Carolina 7:27 pm (UNC -8)

Chris – The most curious of the Sweet 16 match ups features the powerhouse that’s always in the national spotlight, North Carolina. We know the coach, the players, the history. Versus the no-name Washington State Cougars.

This will be a grind it out, control tempo, extremely hardnosed defense Cougars team. After holding the high powered Notre Dame offense to under 25% shooting; if they can play THAT type of defense against the Heels, we could be in for a dandy.

This is going to be an ultimate battle of willing your style into the game. The UNC offense which has been strong all season seems to be hitting its stride at the perfect time. After exploding in the ACC tournament, the offense has seemingly gotten even better in the first 2 rounds.

Ultimately with Coach Roy Williams and his staff having a week to prepare for the Cougar defensive attack, the Heels will be too much down the stretch, and the Cougars will not be able to match baskets with the North Carolina
The Pick: North Carolina 80 Washington State 69.  UNC covers easy.

Brian – UPSET SPECIAL.  Washington State in a thriller.  Actually I know nothing about Washington State.  Their games are never on TV, and being a resident of the (215) I didn’t even get to see their games so far during the tournament. 
The Pick – WAZZU 79  UNC 76.  Going out on a limb here.  Take the points though.

Louisville vs Tennessee 9:57 pm (Louisville -2.5)


Chris – The best game of the Thursday foursome. Rick Pitino’s Cardinals have been playing great basketball for the past month (minus the early Big East tourney exit). With guard Chris Lofton going to playing on a bulky ankle, many are calling for the Cardinals upset. I do not. Tennessee is loaded, playing 9 players 15+ minutes Bruce Pearl and his gang will find a way to force this into the shoot-out they want. The Smith’s; JaJaun, Tyler and Raymour, as well as Wayne Chism will be able to pick up any slack Chris Lofton has as result of a sore foot, achilles, and ankle (which might be none at all) and the Vols will shoot their way into the Elite 8.
The Pick: Tennessee 84 Louisville 82. I think it will be close, I’m going with Pitino and the points.

Brian – Completley agree with Chris above that this is the best game of the night.  We better get plenty of live look-ins into this one. 

I see Bruce Pearl’s gangsta ass squad of the Smith’s and Chism combined with Chris Lofton’s ankle being fine (probably a Tom Brady strategy) running and gunning all night long.  They are too big and too athletic and ultimatley… will be too much.
The Pick – TENN 83  L’VILLE 74.  Tennesee getting points,  TAKE IT.


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Let the Madness Begin….

On a beautiful St. Patrick’s day here in the (215), I was finally able to sit down and take some time to dissect the official bracket.  There are some incredible first round match-ups and I am super juiced that I took off Thursday and Friday in order to watch.  A three day work week followed by the best two days of college basketball followed by the weekend.  Ahh can’t get much better then that folks.  In the following post I will take an inside peak at some of the first round match-ups that you CANNOT miss as well as an in-depth look at the Philly schools and their respective match-ups.  I will also disclose some of my upset picks for the first round of play to take place later this week. 

1st Round Must See TV

  • No. 6 USC vs No. 11 Kansas State – Freshmen sensations Michael Beast-ley and OJ Mayo will grace the court together in Omaha on the first day of tourney play Thursday.  The top two freshmen phenoms in the country square off against each other in what could possibly be the most talked about first round match-up in decades. 


    Not only will this game feature the top two freshmen, another storyline that is intriguing is that K States other freshman stud, Bill Walker, has been best friends with OJ Mayo since elementary school.  The two were teammates at North College Hill High School in Cincinnati and, as you can prbably guess, North College Hill was pretty damn good. Behind Mayo and Walker North College Hill won two state titles and ranked among the nation’s best teams. But before their senior seasons, the Ohio high school association had ruled Walker ineligible, and Mayo bolted to Huntington High (W. Va.).  This game is going to be amazing to watch and I am pumped already, too bad one of these awesome freshmen has to take an early exit. 

  • No. 7 Gonzaga vs No. 10 Davidson – Davidson, one of the top mid-major schools of this year, gets to face off against the top mid-majors of last year, Gonzaga.  We will once again get to see the sharp shooting of Del Curry’s son, Stephen, who is averaging 25.1 points per game on the season.  This game will basically be a home game for Davidson as they only have to travel 100 miles to Raleigh and could prove to be a huge advantage while the Zags have to venture 2,000+ miles cross country for their first round match-up against a team that cannot be taken lightly.

How does the (215) stack up?

  • No. 5 Michigan St. vs No. 12 Temple – My immediate reaction to this game is that it is going to be an awesome one.  Temple is coming off of an Atlantic 10 Championship and have not lost a game since February 23rd.  Michigan State led by legendary coach Tom Izzo and PG Drew Neitzel recently just lost to boring Wisconsin and Brian Butch butch.jpg(such a loser) in a semifinal Big 10 match-up.  Fran Dunphy will definitely have his teams spirits high and ready to rock and roll. I am taking the Owls with the first round upset here over the Spartans because Big 10 basketball is a joke this year and absolutely sucks to watch.  Who can honestly say they watched the Big 10 Tournament this weekend when the ACC and Big 12 Tournaments were being televised at the same time?  Besides Indiana, its slow, boring, and downright awful to watch.  Temple’s uptempo brand of city basketball should be able to stun the Spartans and pull off the upset.  C’mon Temple, make me look good here.
  • No. 5 Clemson vs No. 12 Villanova – Clemson made a great run in the ACC Tournament beating Duke and losing a heart-breaker to UNC on Sunday.  They were in that game until the end and had a legitimate shot at knocking off the #1 ranked Tar Heels but could not make their free throws down the stretch and could not seem to box out Player of the Year favorite, Tyler Hansbrough.  Clemson is very athletic and big inside and could be tough for the smaller Wildcats of Villanova.  Although Villanova’s speed and shooting should make this game a thriller.  Villanova made a remarkable comeback against top seed Georgetown in the Big East tourney but came up short in the final ten minutes of the second half.  I am once again going with the (215) and my heart in this first round match-up and picking ‘Nova to advance with the win.
  • No. 6 Oklahoma vs No. 11 St. Joe’s – Sorry Hawk fans, but St Joe’s is the only Philadelphia team I see losing in the first round of play.  The unfavorable match-up of perennial Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma does not look good for Phil Martelli’s squad.  Blake Griffin is a beast inside and I don’t see anyone on St Joe’s being able to stop him.  It doesn’t make any sense to me how St. Joe’s warranted a #11 seed after losing to Temple (a #12 seed)  in the Atlantic 10 Championship game.  They both went 21-12 on the season yet Temple had a better conference record of 11-5 (St. Joe’s 9-7).  Either way, Temple should have been ranked higher, however, I feel they have a move favorable first round match-up against Michigan State from the Big 10.  

Upset City

  • No. 14 Cornell over No. 3 Stanford – Stanford is full of stiffs aka the Lopez Losers.  People that think this guy Brook is going to be a serious NBA player.  Puhh – lease, at best a career backup center reminding me of a one Bill Cartwright.  He can’t move, has maybe two moves from the post and is most likely a douchebag in real life.  I believe Cornell also got robbed by receiving the 14 seed and definitely deserved higher.   They themselves have a 7 footer who looks much cooler then the Lopez’s combined, so I’m going with Cornell.   
  • No. 14 Georgia over No. 3 Xavier – Xavier is a very overrated 3 seed in my mind.  They recently just lost to St. Joe’s by 8 and never really seemed to get on track in that game.  Georgia on the other hand is hot right now, coming off two huge wins in the SAME day over Kentucky and Mississippi State and taking the SEC Championship.  After going 4-12 in the SEC during season play Georgia could be one of the hottest teams at the moment and I am taking them with the HUGE upset over Xavier.
  • No. 10 St. Mary’s over No. 7 Miami – Hey look who’s back, the Miami Hurricanes.  It has been a while since Miami has been able to place a contender in the field of 65 and even though they cracked the bubble this year, I see them taking a very early exit thanks to the Gaels of St. Mary’s. 

Other Close Match-ups and Possible Upsets

  • No. 7 WVU vs No. 10 Arizona (sorry Snakes – buddy is a huge WV fan)
  • No. 4 UCONN vs. No. 13 San Diego (SD is good)

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