Thursday, March 20, 2008

This beef ain't over...

Each year I take every college coach's advice when filling out my bracket: "We're just trying to take things one game at a time... ." Unfortunately, that's about the only cliche that works come tourney time. But while some teams might look ridiculous in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, if you just go a game at a time, sometimes things don't seem so crazy.

So here is my rendition of the Final Four, which are the four teams that make my bracket better than yours, seeded in order:

(4) Texas. They come in as my No. 4 because I'm guessing that there are plenty of people out there that are probably seeing this the same way I do. Texas heads to Little Rock, Ark. for its first and second round match-ups. Since it's hard to see them having any problems whatsoever with (15) Austin Peay or (7) Miami, that brings them back in state for the duration of the tourney. Texas is good as it is. With a home court advantage, I have them headed to the championship final.

(3) Davidson. Probably one of the most talked about first round games (besides Kansas State and USC, which we'll get to in a minute) out there. I think that Davidson is too good to lose in the first round. The only managed a 10-seed, but they played a suicidal schedule. I love it. Knowing that you're playing for a tournament spot from day one and not being scared to take on the big dogs. For me, that's gonna pay off. Not only when they top Gonzaga, but really when they upset Georgetown in Raleigh to head to the Sweet 16.

(2) Connecticut. San Diego? No brainer. Drake? Not exactly going out on a limb. UCLA? That's balls, buddy. Haven't seen any statistics, but I would think that UCLA would be one of the most popular picks to go all the way. The way I see it, if you want big rewards, you have to take big risks. That's why I have Connecticut pulling of the huge upset and following it up by knocking off Xavier on its way to San Antonio.

(1) Kansas State. Can't win if you don't have a sleeper. I admit, K. State/USC is a crap shoot, and certainly set up on purpose. Should be a great game considering the talent on display. I see Michael Beasley out-dueling O.J. Mayo and getting on a roll. From round one, they'll ride that confidence to a second round upset of Wisconsin to meet Davidson in the round of 16. And in one of the most exciting games of the tournament Kansas State will outlast Davidson, setting up another meeting between Kansas and Kansas State. That will give Beasley one last shot to put his money where his mouth is. But I'm not going that far. Putting them in the Elite 8 shakes my bracket up just fine, thank you. Kansas should win easily to join North Carolina, Texas and Connecticut in the Final Four.

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