March Madness: Who’s your Final Four?

March 16, 2010

NCAA/The Ides of March may be looming for Greece and the EU, but stateside this month means only one thing: March Madness. It is estimated that as many as 50 million people will fill out a bracket for the collegiate basketball tournament this year. This has led to wild speculation that this annual event could cost companies millions of dollars in lost productivity.

March Madness is driven by several factors. Alumni bias comes into play, as pride and tradition associated with their collegiate teams drives fan into a frenzy. Others tend to be more analytical, attempting to predict the inevitable upsets and shockers.

So who do I think will win? Let me share some quick thoughts broken down by region. Please feel free to let me know where I’ve gone wrong.

Midwest:

Kansas (#1 seed) is the powerhouse of this region and a general favorite to win it all. Georgetown (#3) and Ohio State (#2) could both pose a serious challenge to Kansas. I think the potential Georgetown-Ohio State game could be one of the most entertaining of the entire tournament.

West:

Syracuse (#1 seed) leads the region, but don’t be surprised if there are several upsets here. Minnesota (#11) made it into the tournament after a solid thrashing of Purdue and might give Xavier (#6) a difficult challenge in the first round.

East:

Led by freshman phenom and potential #1 overall NBA draft selection John Wall, Kentucky (#1 seed) is surely a favorite to make it to the Final Four. Cornell (#12) nearly beat Kansas earlier this season and West Virginia (#2) has momentum after winning the Big East Tournament.

South:

This region is dominated by Duke (#1 seed) and Villanova (#2), though Villanova struggled down the stretch as rebounding and defense became a concern. Louisville (#9), led by Rick Pitino, has been up and down all season, but did manage to beat Syracuse twice. Don’t overlook Baylor (#3) who could work their way into the Final Four while busting a large number of brackets.

I will post my predictions below in the comments section. Feel free to post yours as well.

PHOTO: Ohio State University guard Evan Turner cuts down the net after the championship game against the University of Minnesota in the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis March 14, 2010. REUTERS/Brent Smith

8 comments

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Round One Predictions:

All favorites except:
UNI (over UNLV)
Wake Forest (over Texas)
Cornell (over Temple)
Louisville (over Cali)
St. Mary’s (over Richmond)

Close calls:
UTEP vs Butler
Minn vs Xavier
Washington vs Marquette
San Diego St vs Tennessee

Posted by RichCato | Report as abusive

This was a very good article. I think you are right when you say that Minnesota can beat Xavier, and due to how big of an upset it would be I understand why you list this match up as a close call. Here are my final four teams that I have listed in my bracket. Syracuse,Kansas,Kentucky, and Baylor. I know that these consist of mostly number one seeds; but I think given the nature of how these teams have been playing season long it is a safe bet that they will reach the final four. Baylor has been a prominent team that made a very good Texas team look quite bad in the conference tournament. Expect another tournament of number one seeds making long runs.

Posted by JosephCato | Report as abusive

Love the Cornell shout out! I think Butler is gonna hold on though. Nice article. Good luck and enjoy the games.

Posted by DaveNewm | Report as abusive

Scottie Reynolds will lead Nova to the Final Four…. and break Kerry Kittles record while he’s at it ;-)

Posted by vubeanie | Report as abusive

I’d love to say ‘Cuse is going to the final but unless they can ride the underdog current through the whole tourney, they’re doomed. My final teams are Kansas/Kentucky and between both, I feel that Kansas deserves it more this year.

Posted by bfte44 | Report as abusive

After giving it some more thought, I’m going with Texas over Wake in round one and think Xavier will dominate Minn.

As for my Final Four, I have a few combos in different brackets, but most of them seem to come down to Kansas, Kansas St., Kentucky and Duke. I predict Kansas vs Duke in the finals with Kansas taking the title.

Ohio State and Syracuse we close calls. The top 3 seeds from the East and South all could make a solid argument, as well as Wisconsin as a long shot.

Kentucky is solid (big fan of Cousins), but I think scenarios play out where they could lose to Wisconsin, New Mexico or West Virginia.

A Louisville upset of Duke is becoming a popular upset prediction. I’m worried about Nova’s rebounding and Baylor’s guards are still underrated. Duke vs. Baylor would be fun to watch.

Posted by RichCato | Report as abusive

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Posted by xlsm11 | Report as abusive

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