Before I post my bracket projections I will admit that I am Kentucky fan and in years when they have a team with a legitimate chance to win it all I never pick against them.
1st round – Rhode Island over Creighton, MTSU over Minnesota, Wichita St over Dayton, UNCW over Virginia, Marquette over South Carolina, Princeton over Notre Dame
2nd round – UNCW over Florida, Iowa St over Purdue, Michigan over Louisville, MTSU over Butler, Cincinnati over UCLA
Final 8 – Iowa St, Michigan, UNC, UK, Villanova, Baylor, WVU, Arizona
Final 4 – Villanova, Arizona, Iowa State, UK
Championship – UK over Arizona
My biggest concern with this is not UK, but Iowa St. I think Kansas has a chance to lose before the Final Four. I almost had Louisville out there, but decided to go with the hot team of Michigan and their 3 point shooting instead. Once UL is gone, Oregon is the next best, but I still had a feeling that Michigan will stay hot. I made the decision to jhave Kansas go down to Iowa St and that means it is Iowa St vs Michigan, it ended with Iowa St in the Final Four. I’m sure that bracket will be my downfall.
Here are my projections for March Madness this year:
Upsets: Buffalo over WVU, BYU over Xavier, UC Irvine over Louisville, SF Austin over Utah, Eastern Washington over Georgetown.
Second round upsets: Wichita St over Kansas, Arkanas over UNC, BYU over Baylor, NC state over Villanova, Michigan State over Virginia.
Final eight: UK, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Arizona, Northern Iowa, Michigan State, Duke, Gonzaga
Final Four: UK, Arizona, Northern Iowa, Gonzaga
Championship: UK over Gonzaga
Before my projections I have to say this is a horrible bracket. Very unbalanced, teams poorly seeded. Just a very bad job by the committee.
First round upset specials:
Stephen F Austin over VCU
W. Michigan over Syracuse
Harvard over Cincy
St Joseph’s over UConn
New Mexico St over San Diego St
BYU over Oregon
Xavier over St Louis
Mercer over Duke
Second round upsets:
Stephen F Austin over UCLA
New Mexico over Kansas
Baylor over Creighton
UK over Wichita State
Florida, New Mexico, Virginia, Iowa St, Arizona, Baylor, Louisville, Michigan
Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Michigan
Florida over Michigan
I think I have too many one seeds in the final four, but I’m sticking with it.
I am likely very wrong because I did not pick many major upsets.
First Round upsets – New Mexico St over Indiana, Xavier over Notre Dame, WVU over Gonzaga, Purdue over St. Marys.
Second Round upsets – none
Final 8 – UK v Baylor, MSU v Missouri, Syracuse v FSU, UNC v Kansas
Final 4 – UK, Missouri, FSU, Kansas
Championship – UK over Kansas.
I must be missing a 12 over a 5. I think Harvard over Vandy is the most likely, but couldn’t pull the trigger on picking it. Georgetown will likely lose earlier than I predicted because they always do. Regardless of my picks, with the exception of UK I will be pulling for the upset in every game.
I thought I would feel better about my bracket with Kentucky not playing. I usually worry I have them going too far or not far enough based on personal feelings toward the team. This year there is no UK and I even have the hated Louisville Cardinals in the championship game, so no bias issues that I can see. My problem this year is that I have the Elite 8 with no seeds lower than a 5. I know that will not happen, but I don’t want to alter my entire bracket to try to pick the right upset. So, here are the highlights of my bracket predictions for 2009:
First round upsets:
Dayton over West Virginia
Miss St over Washington
Utah St over Marquette
Minnesota over Texas
WKU over Illinois
Michigan over Clemson
After that is where the problem starts. I have picked no big upsets in the 2nd round. This round may be revisited later today. I doubt that revisiting will change my final four, so here it is:
Louisville, Memphis, Pitt, Oklahoma
Louisville v Oklahoma in the championship with Oklahoma winning.