Tourney picks that are sure to fail

Update: I made some last minute changes Thursday morning.

I’ve had a checkered past picking the NCAA tournament.  My only win came in ’05, when I correctly picked 3 of the final 4, and nailed the championship game (UNC over Illinois). Most years I have to settle for being in the lead heading into the final weekend, then watching my champion lose in the final 4.  

But thats the point.  You have to pick the champion correctly to win.  The pool winner is always the guy (or girl) who gets the champ right, and does just good enough in the early rounds to beat out everyone else who also picked the winner.  Unless your pool rewards picking upsests (mine doesn’t), then your best bet is usually a safe bracket that doesn’t rely on a cinderella team.  Don’t pick all four numbers 1’s to make it (even if it happened last year).  Pick some 12’s over 5’s and 11’s over 6’s. Then take a 7 over a 2 in the 2nd round just for fun.

With this strategy, I’m almost always in the lead heading into the final 4.  If that happens and I pick the champ correctly, I’ll win.


Enough with my (non-existant) strategy, on to the picks:


2nd round

1 Louisvile over 8 Ohio St.

4 Wake over 5 Utah

3 Kanas over 6 West Virginia

2 Michigan St. over 7 BC

Elite 8

1 Louisville over 3 Kansas

1 Louisville over 2 Michigan St.


The toughest bracket for me to pick.  I’m a BC grad, and I’ve love for them to pull off an upset, but Michigan St. always goes farther than I expect.  Everyone else is picking Arizona over Utah, so I went the other way.  If Wake was in the East or West, I’d have them in the final 4.

Edit: I flipped my Kansas/Michigan St. pick



2nd round

1 UConn over 8 BYU

5 Purdue over 4 Washington

3 Mizzou over 11 Utah St

2 Memphis over 10 Maryland

Elite 8

2 Memphis over 1 UConn


I don’t trust UConn, I think the top 2 seeds should have been switched.  I think Utah St. is risky upset, but I don’t see the winner of that game beating Mizzou anyway, so it won’t hurt me much if I lose that one.



2nd round

1 Pitt over 8 Oklahoma St.

4 Xavier over 12 Wisconsin

3 Nova over 6 UCLA

7 Texas over 2 Duke

Elite 8

1 Pitt over 3 Nova


I hate Pitt and Duke, but someone has to win this region.  Florida St. is ripe for an upset.  I always pick a #2 to go down in the second round.  This time, I think its Duke.



2nd round

1 UNC over 9 Butler

5 Illinois over 4 Gonzaga

6 Arizona St. over 3 Syracuse

3 Syracuse over 11 Temple

2 Oklahoma over 7 Clemson

Elite 8

1 UNC over 2 Oklahoma


A lot of teams I don’t trust here.  UNC is the clear favorite.  I think ‘Cuse will be worn out, and AZ St. killed my Streak for the Cash run, so I’m going with them.  No one likes Oklahoma, but Blake Griffin is a beast.  A big time player can carry a team in this tourney (see Stephen Curry, Davidson), and I think he’ll do that for the Sonners.

Edit: I forgot about Dionte Christmas, so I picked Temple to take down Az St.



UNC over Louisville


UNC was the clear number 1 when the season started, and I don’t see anyone stopping them now.  Louisville is getting hot at the right time, and that momentum will carry them to the championship game, but it won’t be enough against the Tar Heels.  As long as Ty Lawson stays healthy, I see UNC taking the whole thing.  Obama agrees with me.


Finally, to get you pumped up for the tournament, here’s a classic Gus Johnson call: 

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