Sunday, March 16, 2008

2008 NCAA Tournament Predictions

by Jason Jones

My apologizes ahead of time, apparently Blogger and Microsoft Word on not happy with one another today and everything is skewed a little.

Every sports fan is entitled to root for and be loyal to any team or sport that they prefer. On one hand you cannot sway me on who my favorite team(s) are, without question. If I say I love the Cleveland Browns win lose or draw, there is nothing you can say that will make me change my stance and begin rooting for the Seattle Seahawks. Just is not going to happen. On the other side of the coin, there are things that can be changed. If someone says that they prefer explosive big ball baseball including lots of homeruns and high scores, I could probably convince them of the value in small ball and pitchers dueling it out inning after inning. Today we are talking about something that you cannot change me on. The Super Bowl (and preceding playoffs)maybe the highest rated champion crowning event. The NBA Finals (preceding and playoffs) may induce the most excitement from moment to moment. The World Series (and preceding playoffs) may be most engaging of the playoff runs. One thing, in my opinion, cannot be debated. THE NCAA TOURNAMENT IS THE BEST CROWNING OF A CHAMPION THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN, regardless of the specifics. For me, I get sucked in during the marathon that is, the games played in the first two days. What better way to skip school or call of work sick than to spend it watching college basketball in a whirlwind manner from 10am-10pm for two days straight? I remember, about 10 years ago, when I officially realized that my sports playing career was over…I elected to have reconstructive surgery. My doctor recommended that I have the surgery on the 3rd of February. I said, emphatically, NO! I will have it the morning of the first day of the NCAA tournament in mid march. He wondered why, and I asked him if he watches college basketball. He said “no”, he always had to work. I said, “do yourself a favor and call off for those two days”. I specifically scheduled reconstructive surgery to coincide with my surgery…so that I would have an acceptable excuse to not leave the house for the majority of the end of March and specifically, I was not going move from my couch except to use the bathroom during the first round. As I said earlier, there is nothing you can say that will convince me that the men’s NCAA Tournament is not God’s gift to sports fans. Since this will take some time, I will get right into the picks. By no means to I want you to see the following picks as THE CORRECT PICKS. I have won bracket challenges and/or pool’s before, but none of them ever had more than 2 of the final four. I don’t want to find a comment on this blog about how you lost money because of me. So this is your warning: These picks are for entertainment and recreational usage, not to be confused with a floatation device.

Eastern Region-Round 1

1. UNC (winner)
16. Play In Game Winner
Indiana (winner)
9. Arkansas

5. Notre Dame (winner)
12. George Mason

4. Washington St.
13. Winthrop

6. Oklahoma

11. Saint Joseph
’s (winner)

3. Louisville
14. Boise St

7. Butler
10. South Alabama

2. Tennessee
15. American

Notable points:

-#1’s don’t lose to #16’s, and that’s all there is to it. UNC is not losing their first round game, and I don’t care who they end up playing.

-Arkansas is a nice little team, but Eric Gordon has a future lottery pick contract to play for. Not to mention, the players of Indiana feel they have something to prove since Samson was let go.

-What George Mason did last year should last them 50 years. So, Notre Dame by a decent margin. We may never see a run like George Mason made again, it definitely won’t start this year.

-I’ve never been a fan of the champion of the southwestern polytechnical mountain pacific theological athletic conference getting an automatic bid. Needless to say, a small conference champ really has to impress me; Winthrop doesn’t.

-I really like Saint Joseph’s and this one is all about the matchup. Oklahoma has been all over the place this season. I am banking on a less than great performance from Oklahoma.

-Bottom line, Louisville gets the coaching edge by miles and miles.

-Butler has been one of the surprises of the season. They have been consistently solid…and ranked.

-I have played at American University, although I can appreciate them making the tourney, Tennessee is going to send them packing for home by halftime.

Midwest Regional-Round 1

1. Kansas (winner)
16. Portland St

8. UNLV(winner)
9. Kent St

5. Clemson (winner)
12. Villanova

4. Vanderbilt (winner)
13. Siena

6. USC
11. Kansas St.

3. Wisconsin (winner)
14. Cal St.

7. Gonzaga (winner)
10. Davidson

2. Georgetown (winner)
15. Univ. of
Maryland Baltimore County

Notable points-

-The whole 1 vs. 16, Kansas wins in a route.

-Good placement for Kent St. Too bad they won’t win.

-If Villanova plays well, this game could be fun to watch. Clemson showed its ceiling

beating Duke. Clemson beats Villanova

-Since I went to College, I have had a soft spot for Siena…but it won’t be enough.

-Kansas St. vs. USC may be the best game of the first round. My first real upset,

Kansas St. will beat USC.

-Wisconsin, in a down year for the Big 10 wins this one easily.

-Davidson has had moderate success in the tourney, but it won’t be enough to beat


-I love anything Maryland college sports wise. Not even I can believe that UMBC

could do enough to beat Georgetown, even if Hibbert gets in foul trouble.

South Regional-Round 1

1. Memphis (winner)
16. Univ. of Texas Arlington

8. Mississippi St.
9. Oregon

5. Michigan St. (winner)
12. Temple

4. Pittsburgh (winner)
13. Oral Roberts

6. Marquette
11. Kentucky

3. Stanford (winner)
14. Cornell

7. Miami (FLA) (winner)
10. St. Mary’s (CA)

2. Texas (winner)
15. Austin

Notable points-

-Memphis will destroy UT-Arlington…period

-Oregon will win in a sloppy close one.

-Michigan St. has looked great at times. Even when they don’t, they still look good. Michigan St. and it won’t even be that close.

-Pittsburgh has been up and down, but they will eliminate the Tourney’s punch line Oral Roberts. You can finish the joke if you’d like.

-Kentucky had major struggles early in the season, but they will be fine defeating Marquette.

-The two twin towers (and I do mean twin) will dominate Cornell.

-Miami gets its only win of the tourney over the undeserving St. Mary’s.

-Texas will destroy Austin Peay, good thing the networks will jump around so you won’t actually have to watch this one.

West Regional-Round 1

1. UCLA (Winner)
16. Univ.
of Texas

8. BYU
9. Texas
A&M (winner)

5. Drake (winner)
12. Western Kentucky

4. UConn (winner)
13. San Diego

6. Purdue
11. Baylor

3. Xavier
14. Georgia

7. West Virginia University
10. Arizona

2. Duke (winner)
15. Belmont

Notable points-

-UCLA in a route

-Texas A&M squeaks out a close win over BYU

-Although, this one looks very unentertaining, Drake has been solid an will have a solid win.

-This is not the UConn of old, but they will get a relatively easy win over San Diego.

-Baylor is a far cry from the team they had 5 years ago and will win this game for themselves.

-Xavier has been very nice this season, but do not underestimate what happened when Georgia won a back to back in the SEC tournament.

-Arizona over a overhyped West Virginia team.

-I really hate Duke, especially with the 2007-08 team that wants to reinvent the wheel. However, they are not going to lose to Belmont.

East Regional-Round 2

North Carolina (winner)

Notre Dame
Washington St.

Saint Joseph’s



Notable points-

-Gordon and the Hoosiers just aren’t enough to defeat the balance of UNC.

-This one is garbage, but as I have been informed, Washington St. will feel more at

home in the Mile High City than Notre Dame. Cougars win easily.

-Rick Pitino is worth at least 10 pts in this one, which will be enough.

-Butler is alright, have been all season. Tennessee is sick, Tennessee rolls again.

Midwest Regional-Round 2

Kansas (winner)

Clemson (winner)

Kansas St. (winner)


Notable points-

-Kansas is too good for this to be close

-Clemson riding high on their Duke win.

-Kansas St. got a raw deal in seeding, but if they can get past USC, it will work to

their advantage.

-Like Kansas, Georgetown is too good to lose this one.

South Regional-Round 2

Memphis (winner)

Michigan St.



Notable points-

-Memphis still riding high, Oregon just doesn’t have enough to hang.

-Michigan St is too strong with their inside/out approach.

-Kentucky has worked hard to be better than they were in the beginning, but it won’t

be enough. Stanford is too strong.

-Texas doesn’t have enough to get to the Final Four, but they win this one.

West Regional-Round 2

UCLA (winner)



West Virginia

Notable points-

-UCLA is just too good.

-Drake had a nice run, and they might have even improved recruiting, but UConn will

find a way.

-Georgia is going to be in the midst of a noteworthy NCAA run.

-Duke will win…for now.

East Regional-Sweet 16

UNC (winner)
Washington St

Tennessee (winner)

Notable points-

-UNC still rolling…

-Tennessee will have some struggle, but will find a way to win.

Midwest Regional-Sweet 16

Kansas (winner)

Kansas St. (winner)

Notable points-

-Kansas still skating through the bracket.

-Kansas St creates matchup issues that the Hoyas cannot answer.

South Regional-Sweet 16

Memphis (winner)
Michigan St


Notable points-

-Michigan St. has looked great, but Memphis is the team of the year.

-Great guard play from Texas will unseat Stanford.

West Regional-Sweet 16



Notable points-

-UCLA just keeps truckin’ along and a not-so UConn team just won’t have enough.

-Duke, as much as it pains me, will end Georgia’s run.

East Regional-Elite 8

UNC (winner)

Notable points-

-Tennessee has been very strong. They are good enough inside, but they will need

Lofton to be great…he won’t be against UNC’s speed.

Midwest Regional-Elite 8


Kansas St. (winner)

Notable points-

-Kansas St. has beaten Kansas at Kansas. Location will not mean much. Beasley will be huge and enough to get past Kansas…again.

South Regional-Elite 8

Memphis (winner)

Notable points-

-Memphis is very good and firing on all cylinders at this point. Texas’ inconsistency will hurt them this time.

West Regional-Elite 8

UCLA (winner)

Notable points-

-Duke has escaped and proceeded due to an easy path. UCLA has size that coach K’s 5 small shooter won’t be able to handle.

Final Four


Midwest-Kansas St.




Kansas St.



Notable points-

-Kansas St. has played to this point on Beasley’s shoulders and a good supporting cast. It just won’t be enough to get past UNC’s balance.

-UCLA is good and balanced, which is normally a winning blend…Memphis is just too explosive. Memphis looked beyond Tennessee at the end of the game earlier in the season…they won’t look past UCLA.

Championship Game:



Outcome: Memphis has been destined to win since the preseason. Derek Rose will be tournament MVP and control the game in a way UCLA is not prepared for. Memphis will be your 2008 National Champions and the best Memphis team of all time.

You may or may not agree with the result, but it should be fun to watch unfold.

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