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March Madness: Who’s your Final Four?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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