This isn’t a blog about me going postal or losing my mind as I’ve sat in this chair for the last 3 weeks. No, this is about the best 2 weeks in sports. For the first time, I will be home 24/7 for the Madness, and even though my knee hurts, I’m going to run out of sick leave soon. All of the pain and annoyance with my injury is almost worth it that I can watch the entire Madness.
Live look at me taking in all of the college basketball knowledge
So I don’t go insane. We have decided to break the bracket in half. I will be taking the right side, and Henry will be taking the left side. After 6 years of working for the USPS, my mind is fragile and probably already at the breaking point of madness.
My first gut reaction from the South division is that I love UNC. The matchup is great with Wisconsin. Wisconsin has played pretty shitty this year, going 10-10 in conference games. Now is that because the Big 10 is that good, or are the Badgers not that good this year? UNC plays a big lineup with 4 out of 5 of their players in rotation being over 6’10” or taller. That will cause a matchup nightmare for the Badgers. It’s not only me who thinks that UNC is going to win this game. Vegas has UNC as the favorite at -140. After UNC beats the Badgers, they will have to upset Baylor. This will be no easy task, but I believe it’ll be UNC if anybody can do it. If everything breaks right for UNC, they could go against Ohio State in the elite 8. I love UNC to at least make it to the Elite Eight.
Florida vs. Virginia Tech game is a game where if you need to do errands, that’ll be a good time to do them. Florida isn’t the same powerhouse they were when Billy Donovan was the coach. Neither team has any stars that jump off the page, partly because of the scary injury that Keyontae Johnson had. Whoever wins that game is more than likely going to get smoked from Ohio State.
Another team that I can see getting smoked is Colgate. Just a quick little aside, I laugh every time I see their name. Why the fuck are they named Colgate? Colgate went 11-1 in the regular season. Don’t let that record fool you. The Patriot division made big changes because of Corona, so Colgate only beat 3 teams.
A smaller school that doesn’t have the name recognition that could make a splash in the South division is Winthrop. Winthrop is the regular season and the tournament conference champions of the Big South Conference. They play at a 10 pace and are highly rated on both ends of the court. They will be going against Villanova, who Georgetown eliminated in the Big East tourney. Shoutout to Patrick Ewing. Villanova will be without one of their best players in senior guard Collin Gillespie.
So to sum my long-winded thoughts on the south division. I think that UNC will be the dark house, I have no faith in Colgate or Florida, and I think that Winthrop could be a fun upset team.
My gut reaction for the Midwest section of the bracket is the polar opposite of the South. I think it’s going to be very chalk. I see Illinois winning this division, with their biggest challenge being Oklahoma State. Illinois won the Big 10 championship battling through as they beat Ohio State in overtime. Illinois is getting hot at the perfect time, and I can see them rolling through the bracket. The only team I see being a dark horse in this division is Oklahoma State.
One single player can make the biggest difference for a team in basketball. This isn’t football, or baseball where you need a well oiled machine to win it all. In basketball if one player gets hot, they can carry an alright team to a championship. We have seen it before with Kemba Walker, and Carmelo Anthony could Cade Cunningham be that same player? If you’re a casual fan, and haven’t watched much of college basketball, this man can get buckets whenever he wants.
The thing that I’m hoping for the most is that we can get a battle of Chicago with Loyola and Illinois playing in the 2nd round. I think that the bottom half of the bracket will be chalk, with Houston making their way into the Elite Eight. Syracuse will be a team that many people will select to upset teams, but I don’t see that happening. I will be shocked if they make it out of the first round. Syracuse limped into the bracket.
In conclusion, for the Midwest division, I see Illinois winning this division, with Oklahoma State being a dark horse, an Elite Eight game with Illinois and Houston. I see Syracuse getting killed, and I’m hoping and praying that we get a battle of Chicago with Loyola and Illinois.
To read the write up on the left side of the bracket make sure to check out Henry’s write up.