Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Big Dance Breakdown with a chance of Raining 3's

It is slowly becoming a tradition here at the Sports Night Blog, and who am I to change tradition?

Well, I run this blog, so I guess I could, but I won't.

News 14 Meteorologist Josh McKinney has laid out his thoughts about the upcoming NCAA Tournament. These are his thoughts and predictions, so they should be taken with the same degree of certainty as his 7-day forecast (had to get at least one zinger in there, J-Mac!)

Here now, the Hoop Thoughts of a Weatherman.....

Forecasting the Road to the Final Four…

First and foremost, I want to thank the News 14 Carolina Sports team for allowing a weather nerd the chance to weigh in on the 2012 NCAA tournament. It’s not often the guy on the far end of the bench gets the nod to sub in.

From top to bottom, this is an outstanding field assembled by the selection committee. There’s a tremendous amount of depth and skill from each conference, but it wouldn’t be a shock if higher seeds fly into Louie Armstrong International before getting ready to hit the floor at the Superdome. Only 3 teams passed the baton at the top of the AP poll throughout the entire season and all three earned number one seeds: North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky. The final number one seed is a pretty tough squad and a team UNC defeated at the Carrier Classic on Veterans Day last November in San Diego.

Must See Game, Second Round:

The last team to hear their name called to the Big Dance was NC State. San Diego State is a great draw for the Wolfpack and it’s a winnable game for ‘em. Momentum from the ACC tournament should carry over, leading to a great game. The deciding factor here will be free throws and foul trouble! I believe the tournament committee rewards a team with a decent third round if they can get past the first game. This is a perfect example of this ideology. If Mark Gottfried and his team can capitalize on a game one win, I see NC State making it to the second weekend and the Sweet 16.

Lucky #7: Florida

After a couple looks at the bottom half of the west, Florida jumps off the screen as a team ready to make a run. Why? Virginia is beatable; Missouri and Murray State have great shooting guards, but lack size in the interior. Florida has a lot of balance when compared to other teams in that half of the draw. Billy Donovan and the Gators have all the ingredients to reach the Elite 8, and maybe the Final Four.

That’s a lot to take in and I’ve still got to get my picks on the blog… So we’ll take a tour of the South, West, Midwest and East.

South: Committee message to UK, if you’re the best- prove it!
Second Round Winners: Kentucky, UConn, Wichita St., Indiana, UNLV, Baylor, Xavier, Duke
Third Round Winners: Kentucky, Wichita St., Baylor, Duke
Regional Finals: Kentucky, Baylor (No rematch with Duke, 20 years after “the shot”)
South Regional Champion: Kentucky

West: Higher seeds on upset alert?
Second Round Winners: Michigan St., Memphis, New Mexico, Louisville, Murray St., Marquette, Florida, Missouri
Third Round Winners: Michigan St., Louisville, Murray St., Florida
Regional Finals: Michigan State, Florida
West Regional Champion: Michigan State

Midwest: A few early upsets…
Second Round Winners: North Carolina, Creighton, Temple, Michigan, NC State, Belmont, St. Mary’s, Kansas
Third Round Winners: North Carolina, Michigan, NC State, Kansas
Regional Finals: North Carolina, Kansas
Midwest Regional Champion: North Carolina

East: Chalk of all regions early on.
Second Round Winners: Syracuse, Kansas St., Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Florida State, Gonzaga, Ohio State
Third Round Winners: Syracuse, Wisconsin, Florida State, Ohio State
Regional Finals: Syracuse, Ohio State
Regional Champion: Ohio State

Final Four: Kentucky vs. Michigan State / Ohio State vs. North Carolina

National title game: Kentucky vs. North Carolina

National Champion: University of Kentucky

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And I wouldn't be a weatherman without one mistake... It's Louis Armstrong International Airport. Sorry to all the fans of his great music! I'm a fan myself, but my fingers flew a little faster than my brain thinks. - Josh McKinney