NCAA 2019 Tournament Thread

Jan 2016
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43,912
Colorado
#1
The bracket has been revealed. Now it's time to pronounce my picks for the tournament, which will start on Tuesday with two 'play-in games'. Two more of those on Wednesday, and then on Thursday the REAL fun and games with begin, with 16 games on that day and 16 more on Friday. There are 68 teams in the field, of which 32 are 'automatic qualifiers', by virtue of winning their conference tournament championship. I will note right off the bat that MANY observers were nothing less than SHOCKED that the committee chose to put Duke and Michigan State in the SAME region. Duke and Michigan State won the two toughest conferences in the entire country. [Sorry, Big Twelve, you're a CLOSE third!] They should not have to meet until the Final Four. One of the bracketology commentators said that putting Duke and Michigan State in the same region was unfair to BOTH teams. Yeah. Yeah, I agree.

Anyway, here are my predictions for what are now known as THIRD round games, when the field is being whittled down from 32 teams to 16 ('the Sweet Sixteen'). By indicating these games, I am also clearly indicating who I think is going to win the first round and second round games. So, here goes:

East Region:
Duke vs Virginia Commonwealth
Virginia Tech vs Liberty
Louisiana State vs Belmont
Michigan State vs Minnesota

South Region:
Virginia vs Mississippi
Wisconsin vs UC-Irvine
Purdue vs Villanova
Tennessee vs Cincinnati

Midwest Region:
North Carolina vs Utah State
Kansas vs New Mexico State
Houston vs Iowa State
Kentucky vs Wofford

West Region:
Gonzaga vs Syracuse
Florida State vs Murray State
Texas Tech vs Buffalo
Michigan vs Nevada

The games that will whittle the field down from the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight:

East Region:
Duke vs Virginia Tech
Michigan State vs Belmont

South Region:
Virginia vs UC-Irvine
Tennessee vs Purdue

Midwest Region:
North Carolina vs New Mexico State
Wofford vs Iowa State

West Region:
Gonzaga vs Florida State
Michigan vs Buffalo

The regional finals that will give us the Final Four:

East: Duke vs Michigan State
South: Virginia vs Tennessee
Midwest: North Carolina vs Iowa State
West: Gonzaga vs Michigan

The national semifinals:
Duke vs Michigan
Virginia vs Iowa State

In the National Championship game, I think Duke will prevail over Virginia, and boy, will I HATE that. I would hate the NC game being between two ACC teams!

You will note that I AM picking SOME Cinderella teams to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, but no further. My Elite Eight teams are all power-conference teams. The Cinderella teams in the Sweet Sixteen are: Belmont, UC-Irvine, New Mexico State, and Buffalo. [Though some would argue that Buffalo is not a true 'Cinderella', as they have been ranked almost all year.]

I am glad that the committee found room for a team like Belmont, that had an EXCELLENT season but lost in their conference tournament final to Murray State. Belmont DESERVED to be in. I do wish the committee had found room for a team like N.C.-Greensboro-----I think they should have been in, too, maybe ahead of a team like Florida or Oklahoma. BTW, Dick Vitale agrees with me on that. He was actually MAD tonight that N.C.-Greensboro was not in the Big Dance.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2016
47,957
43,912
Colorado
#2
Gosh, is there no one else here even interested in the Big Dance?!? It's the most exciting sports event in the world!

That's in my very humble opinion, of course. Very humble!

I'm wondering if any other PH posters want to try their hand at picking the tournament, like I did above. Are thee chicken? Are thee craven? Are thee cowardly slinking dogs?

Sigh. Anyway, my Iowa team drew a very tough draw, in facing Cincinnati in what they now call the second round. [Those play-in games tomorrow and Wednesday are now the 'first round' games.] Immediately when the bracket was announced, the 'bracketologists' were a bit shocked by Cincinnati's low #7 seed, given that they had just beaten Houston, handing them only their 3rd loss of the year. Cincinnati should have been a #6 seed, most of them thought, and I think they're right. To make matters worse, the game is in Columbus, Ohio, so the crowd is going to be very much pro-Cincinnati and anti-Iowa. It's a road game for Iowa, and a home game for Cincinnati, basically. And Iowa is a #10 seed, when a lot of folks thought they were going to be a #9 seed. I'm not going to complain too much about that, because the Iowa Hawkeyes lost their momentum down the stretch run of the season, losing five of their last six games. Not good to go into the tournament like that. Michigan absolutely demolished them in the Big Ten tournament. [Of course Michigan did the same----even worse, actually-----to Minnesota, in the next round.] So I think Iowa is an early out. I give them only about a 20% chance of winning that game and advancing.

They SHOULD be a much better team next year, though. They only lose ONE senior, and he (Nicholas Baer) was really only their number seven guy, not even their 6th guy. So it's a very YOUNG team. IF they're not one of the top four teams in the Big Ten next year, why, Iowa should fire Head Coach Fran McCaffrey.
 

boontito

Future Staff
Jan 2008
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Most Insidious
#3
I'll be entering two bracket contests at work. I'll probably post some results here too. It is one of the best sporting events, hands down.
 
Jul 2014
34,447
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midwest
#4
I'm gonna avoid the rush and burn my brackets before Thursday.

Don't know how anyone can pick against Duke as long as their shoes hold up.

That said, I'm hoping Mich St gets em...
 
Likes: steezer
Jul 2014
34,447
8,964
midwest
#5
I'll be entering two bracket contests at work. I'll probably post some results here too. It is one of the best sporting events, hands down.
It is THE best sporting event.

Super Bowl or college football Championship is sometimes great, sometimes not.

March Madness ALWAYS has amazing upsets (look out Virginia), buzzer beaters, miracle shots...

Never fails to deliver, and the best part is it lasts 2 weeks.

Americas productivity goes down.
 

boontito

Future Staff
Jan 2008
103,909
92,747
Most Insidious
#6
It is THE best sporting event.

Super Bowl or college Championship is sometimes great, sometimes not.

March Madness ALWAYS has amazing upsets (look out Virginia), buzzer beaters, miracle shots...

Never fails to deliver, and the best part is it lasts 2 1/2 weeks.

Americas productivity goes down.
I don't know. It's near the top. I'm still pretty partial to 5 year old soccer. One soccer ball and 18 kids chasing it as a group with no plan or strategy on what to do with it when they get it
 
Likes: BigLeRoy
Jul 2014
34,447
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#7
I don't know. It's near the top. I'm still pretty partial to 5 year old soccer. One soccer ball and 18 kids chasing it as a group with no plan or strategy on what to do with it when they get it
In a different category, but yeah, those are pretty good.

Also T-Ball where the kiddos don't knew why, where or when to run.

And there are so many people screaming at them, that it just makes it worse.

Our team didn't really want to play until they found out there were snacks after the game.

That was far more important than the game itself.

Plus, they had no idea who won the game...and didn't really care.
 
Likes: boontito
Jan 2016
47,957
43,912
Colorado
#8
I'm gonna avoid the rush and burn my brackets before Thursday.

Don't know how anyone can pick against Duke as long as their shoes hold up.

That said, I'm hoping Mich St gets em...
I have Duke beating both Michigan State AND Michigan on their way to the title. And I HATE that. But they just look to me like the best team right now. Michigan State lost a good player in Ahrens. That has GOT to hurt their chances, even though they're a very resilient team.

But I'm still pissed about both Duke and Michigan State being slotted into the same region. Almost EVERYONE has been criticizing that. Everyone seems to think Michigan State should have been the #2 seed in the West Region, behind Gonzaga. The reasoning being that Gonzaga was the lowest ranked of the #1 seeds, and Michigan State was the highest ranked of the #2 seeds. [Or, flip the two.]
 
Jan 2016
47,957
43,912
Colorado
#9
It is THE best sporting event.

Super Bowl or college football Championship is sometimes great, sometimes not.

March Madness ALWAYS has amazing upsets (look out Virginia), buzzer beaters, miracle shots...

Never fails to deliver, and the best part is it lasts 2 weeks.

Americas productivity goes down.
My offer still stands, by the way! I said earlier that I was willing to bet anyone that Virginia WILL make it farther into the tournament this year, than they did last year.

So far, no takers.

:cool:
 
Jan 2016
47,957
43,912
Colorado
#10
By the way, here are now the longest winning streaks going into the tournament, if you are the kind of person who likes to bet on 'hot teams':

Wofford, from the Southern Conference, has a 20 game winning streak, with a record of 29-4.

New Mexico State, from the Western Conference, has a 19 game winning streak, with a record of 30-4.

UC-Irvine, from the Big West Conference, has a 16 game winning streak, with a record of 30-5.

Buffalo, from the Mid-American Conference, has a 12 game winning streak, with a record of 31-3.

Three teams have an 11 game winning streak: Murray State, from the Ohio Valley Conference, with a record of 27-4; Colgate, from the Patriot Conference, with a record of 24-10; and Prairie View, from the Southwestern Conference, with a record of 22-12.

Two teams have a 10 game winning streak: Utah State, from the Mountain West Conference, with a record of 28-6; and Iona, from the Metro Atlantic, with a record of 17-15.

That's enough. That's all the teams with a double-digit winning streak.

I think Wofford, New Mexico State, UC-Irvine, Buffalo, Murray State, and Utah State, make a nice list of potential Cinderella teams in the tournament. EVERYONE loves to see a Cinderella team (or two or three!) advance in the tournament, and I certainly do, too! It's David vs Goliath, baby!

In fact, I have often thought how FUN it would be to have a little tournament just for these LITTLE schools! I'd LOVE to see Wofford take on New Mexico State, and for UC-Irvine to tangle with Murray State, and then pair off the winners, and so forth. That would be great fun.
 

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