Let the Madness begin!
I love this time of year. Scratch that, I live for this time of year! I'm Andy Gamm, and I am a basketball-aholic. I can't wait for the action to start and to catch every single game via my Directv March Mega Madness package. All in HD. Love it!
I also love that the Big Ten got seven in. I think Penn State got screwed by the likes of Arizona and a Mississippi State run in the SEC, but hey, we can't have everything.
As for my predicted top four seeds per region... I nailed the Midwest, got many of the other teams right but was WAY off on a few. Still fun to play Joe Lunardi once in a while. I also nailed MSU and Michigan, was close on Minnesota and Illinois, even if way off on Wisconsin (holy dangerous 12 Batman) and Ohio State (who got screwed and rewarded all at once).
Before I get into my team by team picks, I will say this - kudos to Buckeye Nation who got 8 of the 10 B10 Tourney games right and correctly had Purdue beating his Bucks in the final. I like what OSU has for the future. MSU and OSU should be battling at the top for the next few years... with a little Purdue sprinkled in!
Michigan State: I hope the Spartans get to Detroit for many, many reasons. The first of which is to shut up the likes of Digger and Dickie V. I do have MSU taking care of business all the way to the Final Four, where they lose to UConn.
Purdue: I like the Boilers to do some damage and it wouldn't shock me to see them pick off UConn. But I have them bowing out in the Sweet 16. Watch out for them next year if they can stay healthy.
Illinois: Illinois got a tricky draw with a Western Kentucky team that pulled an upset from the 12 slot last year, and then there is Gonzaga. If Chester Frazier is able to go in round two, Illinois can advance. If not, it will be a win and a second round exit for the Illini.
Ohio State: As I said above, OSU got screwed and rewarded all at once. This team is better than an 8 seed that has to face a tough mid major in Siena and then if that, play number one overall Louisville. The reward? Home cooking in Dayton. If the Bucks get hot, they can pull off a shocker in round two. But I think they are a season away.
Minnesota: Tough draw for the Gophers, but you know they are happy to be there. I like Texas to do some damage in that bracket, so one and done for Minnesota.
Michigan: Yes, even for a Spartan, I felt good for my U-M friends on Sunday. Clemson is no picnic though, and I think here too it is one and done for the Big Ten.
Wisconsin: Florida State has to be saying things I shouldn't write in a blog to the tournament committee. The Badgers, one of the last teams in? I have them making the Sweet 16.
At the end of the day, the Big Ten shows well and quiets even Bobby Knight, who has been dogging his former conference...
My Final Four is MSU, UConn, Pitt and UNC with UNC beating UConn on Monday night.
Let the Madness ensue!