NCAA Tournament: Bracket Bluster

How far can the Midwest's No. 2-seeded Louisville go?

The Cardinals will go as far as their defense will take them. As most people know, Louisville likes to pressure opposing teams into doing things they don't want to. That's also known as "extortion."

Louisville will cut down the nets in Kansas City, and Rick Pitino will celebrate while wearing protection, or at least using a tablecloth.

Is Duke, the No. 2 seed in the East, playing well enough to win it all?

Mike Krzyzewski's back is feeling great, which means he can pin losses on opponents instead of an assistant coach. So, yes, Duke can win it all.

Here what's interesting about the Blue Devils in the East Region. Also in that region is the University of Southern California Trojans, who face Providence in a play-in game for the right to face Southern Methodist, the No. 6 seed. Who is a graduate of USC? The late actor John Ritter. What is Ritter's most famous role? Jack Tripper. And that brings us to Grayson Allen. Duke's tiny-mouthed agitator is actually playing well, keeping his head in the game and legs to himself.

So, in short, Duke's tournament potential is indefinite. Fear not, Duke fans, this time "indefinite" does not mean "one game."

The Blue Devils advance to the regional final before falling to Villanova.

What is the toughest region?

Clearly the South, which features the No. 1-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 UCLA, plus a defensively-tough Cincinnati team, as well as two 30-4 teams, Wichita State, the No. 10 seed, and Middle Tennessee State, the No. 12 seed.

Who advances from that region?

Kentucky, taking out UCLA and North Carolina in the process.

Speaking of UCLA, can Lonzo Ball lead UCLA to the Final Four?

According to Lonzo's father LaVar, the answer is "no," because he thinks Lonzo can lead the Bruins to the NCAA title.

LaVar Ball has claimed that Lonzo is better that Steph Curry, and if they switched places, Lonzo would lead the Warriors to the NBA championship. That's "ludicrous," which could also be the name of a fourth Ball son.

LaVar also said he would "kill" Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one. That's pure "hyperBall-e."

What's an intriguing potential matchup in the East?

Assuming Villanova and Virginia win two games, the Wildcats and Cavaliers will meet in the regional semi-finals. What's so intriguing about this game? Nothing is intriguing about the game itself. The interest lies in the heads coaches, Jay Wright and Tony Bennett, the two most handsome coaches in the tournament.

Here's what's ugly, though. Virginia's game. UVA won't make it out of the first round, losing to UNC-Wilmington in the first round.

How do you feel about Syracuse being left out of the field of 68?

If me and 31 of my closest friends voted on our feelings about this, I'm sure the result would be 18-14 either way.

How can Kansas make it out of the Midwest Region?

If you're asking about the Jayhawks' keys to victory, don't ask Kansas freshman Josh Jackson, because he shouldn't be anywhere near keys.

Kansas has a knack for underperforming as a No. 1 seed under Bill Self. So, Jayhawks, note to Self, don't Self-destruct.

Gonzaga is 32-1 and the top-seed in the West? How far can the Bulldogs go?

If Gonzaga makes it the regional final, they could very well run into a hot Arizona team looking to avenge a regular-season loss to the Bulldogs. Many experts think Gonzaga would win this matchup. I don't. Where those experts "Zag," I'll "zig," and take the Wildcats to represent the West.

First-round upsets?

East: No. 12 UNC-Wilmington over No. 5 Virginia.

West: No. 11 Xavier over No. 6 Maryland

South: No. 12 Middle Tennessee State over No. 5 Minnesota.

No. 11 Kansas State over No. 6 Cincinnati

Midwest: No. 11 Rhode Island over No. 6 Creighton

Final Four

Villanova, Arizona, Louisville, Kentucky


Kentucky over Arizona

Comments and Conversation

March 16, 2017

Marc James:

Wow, a non-Kentucky guy actually picking Kentucky. Everyone is sleeping on them this year, I mean everyone. I hope you’re right.

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