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Basketball: My picks, for better or worse

By Jeff Faraudo
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 2:27 pm in Basketball, NCAA Tournament.

OK, I have posted my picks on the Hoops Hysteria bracket and I present them to you here.

But I must provide this disclaimer: I no longer enter office pools since the year a fellow employee’s dog won first prize. That was all the beating my hoops ego could take.

If you’d like to play,  click on this link, register and take your best shot at the Hoops Hysteria bracket challenge.

My picks:

MIDWEST REGION

First round
KU d. Lehigh (by 54 points!)
Northern Iowa d. UNLV (a tough call)
Michigan St. d. New Mexico St. (12 rebounds for Wendell McKines in defeat)
Maryland. d. Houston (The Cougars’ magic run ends here)
Tennessee d. San Diego St. (Aztecs are trendy pick — too trendy)
Georgetown d. Ohio (Be real)
Oklahoma St. d. Georgia Tech (GaTech was temping)
Ohio St. d. UCSB (The Grouchos go out fast)

Second round
KU d. Northern Iowa (Good big guy beat good little guy)
Michigan St. d. Maryland (Tom Izzo knows how to win these games)
Georgetown d. Tennessee (Vols are too flighty)
Ohio St. d. Oklahoma St. (Evan Turner vs. James Anderson)

Regional semifinals
KU d. Michigan St. (Sherron Collins is the difference)
Ohio St. d. Georgetown (Evan Turner vs. Greg Monroe)

Regional final
Ohio St. d. Kansas (You know, Evan Turner is pretty good)

WEST REGION

First round
Syracuse d. Vermont (The ‘Cuses blocks 11 shots here)
Gonzaga d. Florida St. (Embarrassed Zags regroup)
Butler d. UTEP (If the Miners are so good, why were they seeded No. 12?)
Vandy d. Murray St. (Billy Kennedy’s squad comes up just short)
Xavier d. Minnesota (Watch out for Jordan Crawford)
Pitt d. Oakland (If this was our Oakland, maybe it’d be different)
BYU d. Florida (Cougars finally win a first-round game)
K-State d. N. Texas (I’m pulling for any team with a relative of Roberto Clemente)

Second round
Syracuse d. Gonzaga (Time for Mark Few to decide if he wants the Oregon job)
Butler d. Vandy (The Bulldogs haven’t lost since Dec. 22)
Pitt d. Xavier (A tough pick)
K-State d. BYU (Hey, BYU, we gave you one)

Regional semifinals
Syracuse d. Butler (Have you seen Wesley Johnson on the court?)
K-State d. Pitt (Have you seen Frank Martin on the sidelines?

Regional final
Syracuse d. K-State (If the Orange is healthy, few are better)

EAST REGION

First round
Kentucky d. E.Tennessee St. (A dunk-a-thon)
Texas d. Wake Forest (The Longhorn show a little pride)
Temple d. Cornell (Would love to see  . . . nah)
Wisconsin d. Wofford (Are you kidding?)
Washington d. Marquette (Huskies will be a crowd favorite in San Jose)
New Mexico d. Montana (Lobos too much for Griz)
Clemson d. Missouri (The Tigers win . . . either way)
West Virginia d. Morgan St. (Bozeman’s club in for a buzzsaw)

Second round
Kentucky d. Texas (Goodbye Longhorns)
Wisconsin d. Temple (Too much badgering from Badgers)
Washington d. New Mexico (A good matchup for UW)
West Virginia d. Clemson (No fun playing Bob Huggins’ teams)

Regional semifinals
Kentucky d. Wisconsin (They’re not freshmen anymore)
West Virginia d. Washington (The Pac-10 exits)

Regional final
Kentucky d. West Virginia (A Wall-to-Wall victory)

SOUTH REGION

First round
Duke d. Arkansas-PB/Winthrop (Duke: The Notre Dame of hoops)
Cal d. Louisville (Time for Randle to show what he’s got on the big stage)
Texas A&M d. Utah St. (The Aggies don’t get to play this at home)
Purdue d. Siena (Even without Robbie Hummel)
Notre Dame d. ODU (The Irish are clicking at the right time)
Baylor d. Sam Houston St. (A Texas-size mismatch)
Saint Mary’s d. Richmond (They’re gonna love Omar Samhan in Providence)
Villanova d. Robt. Morris (Sorry, Bob)

Second round
Duke d. Cal (No 1993 replay)
Texas A&M d. Purdue (Now they miss Hummel)
Baylor d. Notre Dame (Not enough Harangody)
Villanova d. Saint Mary’s (This may be closer than you think)

Regional semifinals
Duke d. Texas A&M (Aggies are tempting)
Villanova d. Baylor (Villanova has nearly as bad as the past three weeks)

Regional final
Villanova d. Duke (Told you)

FINAL FOUR
National semifinals
Ohio St. d. Syracuse (Turner is this year’s transcendent tournament star)
Kentucky d. Villanova (Just how big is DeMarcus Cousins?)

National championship
Kentucky 81, Ohio St. 75 (The top two NBA draft picks on the final night of the season)

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  • SteveNTexas

    Why was UTEP seeded low ? Guess no respect for the conf or the 16 game winning streak. Experts are mixed on this game. My friend Jim Forbes played for UTEP & 72 olympics) and briefly in the NBA before a knee injury made him a coach and he thinks Butler will be tough. He likes Michigan State and and Tennessee as his sleeper/

    The playin game is starting now to decide who Cal will play in the 2nd round. Will the Golden Bears meet Ark Pine Bluff or Winthrop? LOL ok Duke has a chance here too.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I applaud you, Jeff. Let’s see if Wilner, Tafur, Ratto or any other writers will show up. I am doubting it.

    No worries on results, all smack talk will be with an undertone of affection. Only a fool would think bracket results reflect knowledge and insight. There is a small component, but it always comes down to luck.

    The most maddening is when someone picks straight with the seeds and wins because everyone else takes too many chances.

    Of course, Jeff, really? Minnesota going down in the first round?

    Still time folks. “Bay Area Bracket” on espn’s challenge. Nothing quite like public humiliation to clense the soul.

  • billbox

    the east region is in san jose?

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Yes Billbox,
    It seems that members of the NCAA Selection Committee did not get much out of grammar-school geography. In the world of “pod” seeding, teams are sent to first weekend locations regardless of which region they are placed in. All very confusing. All ridiculous. They could make a lot more people happy by seedng the top 4 in each region and then letting geography dictate most of the rest of it. But as long as they’re making $$$ doing it this way, I guess it doesn’t much matter of most fans cannot afford to travel to watch their teams. A dirty, rotten shame, I say. Seriously!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    D’oh

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Jeff, I don’t mind a misunderstanding making me look foolish. After all, public humiliation does cleanse the soul. Yet, you could have at least noted you editted this post, so as to not make me appear a liar.