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Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Bracket'd -- Midwest

Final of a the series. I did this region last on purpose. I didn't want to get flooded with E-mails about my picks. You'll see.

  • (1) Illinois vs. (16) Faireliegh Dickinson -- Thursday, 8:40 PM - Indianapolis, IN
    Ummm.. Illinois.
    Prediction: Illinois
  • (8) Texas vs. (9) Nevada -- Thursday, 6:10 PM - Indianapolis, IN
    Texas is a lot like Iowa in that they lost their top player mid-season. The difference is they've been consistently mediocre since his departure. Mediocre is not good enough to take out Nick Fazekas and Nevada.
    Prediction: Nevada
  • (5) Alabama vs. (12) Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- Thursday, 11:25 AM - Cleveland, OH
    I have yet to pick a 12 over 5 upset. I think this is the most likely upset, but there is a very good chance that the 12s strike out this year. UW-M plays a trapping style defense and likes to cause a lot of turnovers, so anything is possible. Alabama is very athletic though.
    Prediction: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • (4) Boston College vs. (13) Pennsylvania -- Thursday, 1:45 - Cleveland, OH
    Penn tore through the Ivy league this season, and BC is normally the type of team (one who struggles late falling from a high ranking) that I like to pick to get bumped early from the tourney. I just don't see it in this game though.
    Prediction: Boston College
  • (6) LSU vs. (11) UAB -- Thursday, 8:40 PM - Boise, ID
    UAB likes to run, but LSU should be comfortable with that. That's what they said last year in the UAB/Kentucky game, but UAB gave Kentucky everything they could handle. The floor at Boise is known for it's upsets. I think this has something to do with nobody wanting to make a trip to Boise. LSU and UAB figure to play to a crowd of people who've never been to Baton Rouge or Birmingham. Advantage: UAB
    Prediction: UAB
  • (3) Arizona vs. (14) Utah State -- Thursday, 6:20 PM
    Utah State plays good defense. Salim Stoudamire is the best shooter in the country. I don't know if there's a defense that can stop him.
    Prediction: Arizona
  • (7) Southern Illinois vs. (10) St. Mary's -- Friday, 1:50 - Oklahoma City, OK
    I really hate this pairing. These were two of my mid-major upset picks. They are supposed to be playing a power conference team. There's no reason that one of these teams couldn't have been stashed in another 7v10 game. As it is, I've seen more of SIU, and I know a couple players on the team, so...
    Prediction: Southern Illinois
  • (2) Oklahoma State vs. (15) SE Louisiana -- Friday, 11:30 - Oklahoma City, OK
    Um... OSU
    Prediction: Oklahoma State

Second Round
  • (1) Illinois vs. (9) Nevada -- Saturday - Indianapolis, IN
    Nevada is a good team, but Illinois has beaten good teams all year long. At least Nevada will be among good company
    Prediction: Illinois
  • (4) Boston College vs. (12) Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- Saturday - Cleveland, OH
    Boston College has struggled since their first loss of the season at the hands of a Notre Dame team that folded like a cheap tent down the stretch. That Notre Dame loss was only a harbinger of things to come. (I also know a player on UW-M, so I may just be overrating them)
    Prediction: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • (3) Arizona vs. (11) UAB -- Saturday - Boise, ID
    Zona has dealt with teams that can run before (see Washington). Did I mention that they had the best shooter in the country?
    Prediction: Arizona
  • (2) Oklahoma State vs. (7) Southern Illinois -- Sunday - Oklahoma City, OK
    Southern is the mid-major version of OSU, but this game is going to be played in OK City.
    Prediction: Oklahoma State

Sweet Sixteen
  • (1) Illinois vs. (12) Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- Chicago, IL
    Looks like the Illini get an easy march into the Elite 8. Even if UWM doesn't make the run I've predicted, I don't think 'Bama or BC pose much threat to Illinois. Even if they did, this is practically a home game for the Illini
    Prediction: Illinois
  • (3) Arizona vs. (2) Oklahoma State -- Chicago, IL
    I live within 10 mile from the Rosemont Horizon. (It will always be the Horizon to me.) This game, along with the to follow later in the weekend would almost be worth what the scalpers are charging. Oklahoma State can handle Channing Frye on the inside even though they don't have the size to do so. The Graham brothers play bigger than they appear. OSU is the best three-point shooting team in the country.
    Prediction: Oklahoma State

Regional Final
  • (1) Illinois vs. (2) Oklahoma State -- Chicago, IL
    Two weeks ago before anyone had beaten Illinois, my father asked me if anyone could beat them. Without hesitation, I replied simply, "Okie State would kill 'em on a neutral court." Well the game isn't going to be held on a neutral court, but I don't think it's going to be enough to overcome OSU.

    I read in Sporting News last week that the first six players for OSU average 22.1 in age. The Chicago Bulls first six average 22.2! This is one experienced team.

    Just as Thad Matta was the first to defeat St. Joe's last season, he did the same to Illinois. Eddie Sutton and Okie State were the team that knocked St. Joe's out of the tournament in the Regional finals. History repeats itself.
    Prediction: Oklahoma State