By MyFM's Jake Archer - I know this seems absolutley ridiculous and you're probably wondering why I would ever want to publicize who I think is going to win these March Madness games. This year has seemed to be especially crazy and so far my bracket's only saving grace is that both of my final two teams are still alive. Everything else about what I thought ended up being extremely wrong, so why should I continue to pick games? Well, because it's fun and it gives me a chance to reset here in the Sweet Sixteen and gain some rooting interest in contests that don't matter to me otherwise. Anyway, here's the picks for today and tomorrow's matchups...
11 seed Loyola Chicago over 7 seed Nevada
Normally I would think this is the time to go against the Cinderella teams because they have done a lot so far and are probably out of momentum. However, Nevada is just not striking me as that good. They beat Texas in the first round and honestly even though the Longhorns have a great coach and some NBA level talent in Mo Bamba, I wasn't sold on them as being much. Then Nevada went on to beat Cincinnati, which is an accomplishment because the Bearcats were a 2 seed. However, I think they might have been one of the worst 2 seeds I've ever seen and it didn't really surprise me to see them get upset.
Meanwhile, Loyola Chicago just has that look and that feel of this year's "It Team." I guess their competition wasn't all that staggering in Miami and Tennessee, but c'mon are you going to go against Sister Jean the 98-year-old superfan?
3 seed Michigan over 7 seed Texas A&M
I guess I don't really have to get into much detail here. I picked Michigan at the start of this thing and I'm going to stick with them until I can't anymore. They survived on a miracle in the second round to get by Houston and I'm just going to hope they don't scare me like that again.
5 seed Kentucky over 9 seed Kansas State
It feels like Kentucky is going to mess this up somehow. Their entire region has been blown up and they are the best team standing. They should go to the Final Four just based on who they are and what kind of talent they have, but I feel uneasy about it. Regardless, I'm taking UK today because of that talent and I don't feel it's time for them to bow out just yet.
4 seed Gonzaga over 9 seed Florida State
This is another one that I'm picking just based on talent. Gonzaga is the better team but I feel like this might be their last win of the tourney. They aren't getting far and replicating last year. The only reason I like them tonight is because I've seen the Seminoles play a few times this year and I was not impressed.
5 seed Clemson over 1 seed Kansas
Kansas is a deeply flawed one seed this year and Clemson is maybe the most boring team left. This is 100% a gut pick because I just feel it in my bones. That's all I really need to say in March Madness. What analysis!
1 seed Villanova over 5 seed West Virginia
This is the game I feel the strongest about in terms of rooting interest. I do not want Villanova to win at all because again, I am petty and do not want Philadelphia sports fans to experience anything nice. You've had enough, it's over now. West Virginia on the other hand is extrememly likable. Sadly, Villanova just looks like an absolute behemoth and I don't see them losing anytime soon. They are right there with Duke as the best teams in the nation. This should be a good game, but the Wildcats will move on.
2 seed Duke over 11 seed Syracuse
There are a few teams in sports that I really hate. These are two of them. Honestly though, I think I hate Duke much less than Syracuse and their painfully annoying zone defense. I'm also rooting for the Blue Devils based on the fact that I've got them in my actual bracket and the only hope I have is for them to lose to Michigan in the title game. Apart from my rooting interest, I just think Duke is way too good. They'll win this one, but it'll probably be decently close.
2 seed Purdue over 3 seed Texas Tech
I don't think I could feel more 50-50 about a game. Purdue is shorthanded but they seem to really be battling hard. Texas Tech is a fun team to watch but fun doesn't really mean much. I'm rolling with Purdue just because I feel like they constantly get knocked down in the Sweet Sixteen and this is the year they move on for some weird reason. Again, analysis!
So have a great time watching the games today and tomorrow. Hopefully I do okay so that when I show my face on this site again I don't have to answer for my mistakes. Maybe I'll just go into hiding, I don't know. In all seriousness, I'll write up half of an Elite 8 preview tomorrow and who knows, if I am doing well maybe I'll throw that other half up here on Saturday morning. We'll see.