It’s still the most wonderful time of the year, no matter how bad I’m doing with my bracket right now. As expected, I started off hot, but ever since day 2 of the first round I’ve been cold as ice. I picked approximately 16 upsets (seed-wise) in the first and second rounds (depending on what games you count as upsets) and there’s only been about 2 legit upsets happen so far (Liberty, UC Irvine). I wouldn’t count Oregon, Ohio State or Murray State winning as upsets even though they were the higher seeds. And what makes this all even worse is that I did very little research this year over all the tournament games. I tried my best not to overthink and not overlook the lower seeded teams and that led me to picking lots of upsets, just how it’s been every year in March. But this year has been different. The better teams have won and have played their best game they could to advance. If you would’ve told me every 1,2 and 3 seed would make it to the sweet sixteen and there’d only be 2 teams that are a 5 seed or higher in the sweet 16, I would’ve laughed at your small college basketball mind. The good news is I still have all my final four teams left playing (UNC, Michigan, Duke and Virginia) so that’s great. LOTS OF BASKETBALL LEFT.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. March Madness is back again for another round. I’ve already made my bracket and thankfully I didn’t make the mistake of creating 6 or 7 different ones but stuck to just one bracket. I won’t tell you who I picked to win it all but I will tell you who would be smart to pick and who not to pick. I won’t give you every game but will do most of them.
Let’s start in the East Region.
Duke is the #1 seed here and #1 seed overall. I expect them to make it out of this region but after that, I think it gets dicey. First, Liberty has bells ringing in my ears for some reason (see what I did there) so I like them in a first-round upset. Also, I REALLY like Belmont mostly because I don’t like Maryland at all. The last time they were a 6 seed (2017) they lost. I also like LSU and Minnesota. My Big upset in this region is the Gophers over Michigan State. Michigan State as a 2 seed just smells like failure to me (Let us not forget 2016, the last time they were a 2 seed).
Now the West Region.
Gonzaga will either make it to the Final Four or lose in the 2nd round and I’m taking the latter. The Marquette and Murray State game should be a doozie but the blue and gold team will win ;). I LOVE Michigan. It’s just something about Jon Beilein in the tournament. Buffalo can be really sneaky and my one upset is Northern Kentucky over Texas Tech.
Time for the Midwest Region. I love the Tar Heels in this region. Coby White and Cameron Johnson look too good to me. Ohio State and Iowa State will be the most exciting game and was definitely a difficult one to decide on. Auburn is my sleeper and Georgia State led by Ron Hunter is my upset.
Finally, the South Region.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Purdue will either lose in the first round to Old Dominion or the second round to Villanova. I just have no trust in them and I know that hurts the Lewis family to hear. The only reason I like Virginia is becuase of how they lost last year to 16th seeded UMBC. I’d like to see them bounce back from that game in a big way. My upset in this side of the bracket is Oregon over Wisconsin and even though seed wide it looks like an upset, these two teams are pretty good and should give us a good game. I don’t like Tennessee due to how crazily up and down they’ve been this year. Also, I think Cincinnati could turn some heads this year.
Some other friendly reminders: Root for the underdog and don’t have all 1’s and 2’s in your Elite Eight (Jay Williams and Jay Bilas ((IDIOTS)).
AND, Join my Tournament Challange League before it’s too late! Search JLew League on the ESPN Tournament Challange app. Password is onetwothreefour. $5 an entry or $10 for 2 entries. Winning bracket will receive around $100.