This is it! My favourite time of year. The time of year where I make sure to clear my schedule, study the brackets, load the fridge with munchies and beverages and basically put my life on pause for the duration of arguably the greatest tournament in all of sports (sorry Olympics, World Cup). By the end of it, my eyes feel like their going to pop out of my head from over use and fresh air becomes a distant fading memory but it's totally worth it.
This season's tournament promises to be as wide open as one come remember. There is no such thing really as clear cut favourites and upsets are sure to occur and one or two Cinderella's will steal the show.
I'm gonna break things down for all the blogging world to see, fearless predictions and players to watch. If my picks are right, I'll gladly say 'I told you so' if I'm way off I welcome all y'all vilifying me mercilessly. LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!
UPSETS:Now some of these so-called upsets may not be overly bold on my part but they involved lower seeds I think will knock off their higher ranked opponents in the first round.
Midwest: #12 Arizona ov #5 Utah (Utes are overrated), #10 USC ov #7 BC (Hackett will shut down Rice).
West: #13 Miss St. ov #4 Wsh (Varnado will play return to sender with Brockman),
#11 Ut St. ov #6 Marq (Eagles miss James),
2nd Round Special: #5 Purdue beats #1 Uconn (Purdue rounding into form and the Huskies miss Jerome Dyson).
East: #12 Wisc. ov #5 FSU (Badgers have edge in tournament experience),
2nd Round Special: #7 Texas ov #2 Duke (Horns have major edge inside)
South: #12 WKU ov #5 Ill. (Hilltoppers were in sweet 16 last year),
2nd Round Special: #7 Cle ov #2 OK (Sooners too reliant on Blake Griffin)
Regional Special: #4 Gonzaga ov #1 UNC ( Heels health and depth are a concern )
Players To Watch: We're gonna break this down region to region and let you know who to keep you eye on and who you won't be able to take your eyes of.
Terence Williams G/F Lousiville: Many think Earl Clark has more upside at the next level but for me T-WILL is the all-around package. He can handle, pass, score and he's a leader.
B.J Mullens C Ohio State: From Oden to Koufos and now Mullens is the next in line of Buckeye big men who will bolt to the NBA after one year in Columbus.
Demar Derozan G USC: As explosive an athlete as you will see, not only in college but anywhere! Period! Future NBA Dunk Champion.
Hasheem Thabeet C Uconn: The 7-3 swatting machine is the ultimate game-changer and a fluid athlete for a man his size.
Jerel Mcneal G Marquette: Underrated Senior guard has shut-down perimeter defender written all over him.
Tyreke Evans G Memphis: Hands down the most impact freshmen in the nation. One and Done.
Dejuan Blair F/C Pitt: An absolute monster glass-eater who seems like a classic tweener at the next level.
James Anderson G/F OSU: Maybe the best player no one outside of Stillwater has heard of. This could be his coming out party.
Gerald Henderson G Duke: For a die-hard Heel fan like myself it's painful to give props to a dukie but this one deserves it. Will be even better at the next level.
James Harden G ASU: Is to Sun Devils what Dwyane Wade is to Heat.
Johnny Flynn G Syracuse: As far as point guards go, this guy has all the tools and has NBA scouts salivating in anticipation.
Blake Griffin C Oklahoma: Speaking of salivating in anticipation, make sure you don't miss the best player in college basketball and the No. 1 pick in this summer's draft.
There now that I've shared with you my fearless predictions and players to watch, let the madness begin my friends! And don't shy away from it, embrace it. I know I will.