The beauty of the NCAA tournament, the largest sports betting period short of the Super Bowl, is the dozens of ‘experts’ who make picks, despite seeing less than 10 of the now 68 teams that play in the tournament actually play a game.
I, confidently, am one of those experts, and I will break down not only who will win, but why.
I have done countless (more like three) hours of research to decide who will win the tournament, but first, the most dangerous teams in the tournament.
Duke returns as the defending National Champions, led by Senior guard Nolan Smith. Smith averaged 21.3 points per game and 5.2 assists per game on the season, and has the experience of winning it all last year. It says here that the Blue Devils will not repeat.
The Connecticut Huskies are led by graduating third-year guard Kemba Walker, a household name after leading the his team to five victories in five days in the Big East Tournament, a feat that had never been accomplished, and scoring 130 points while doing it. Walker will not hold the NCAA championship trophy in Houston, however.
Ohio State is led by Freshman power forward (and NBA rookie next year) Jared Sullinger, who won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award after averaging a double-double with 17.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. It says here the Buckeyes will not win it all either.
It says here that the Syracuse Orangemen will upset North Carolina, then Ohio State at the Prudential Center in Newark to earn a berth to the Final Four. A talented team with size and quickness will score enough for Syracuse on the offensive end. The vaunted 2-3 Zone will wreck havoc for all of their opponents, led by the bruising Senior Rick Jackson, our pick to win Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
In the past, I’ve been correct with my predictions to win the tournament, but far more often I’ve been wrong. That’s not what the tournament is about. In the opening rounds, it’s about the 16 games Thursday and Friday and the 8 games Saturday and Sunday that will produce memories that last a lifetime, like Hampton University (the school I almost attended over New York University) upsetting Iowa State in 2001.
Pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage, and have your favorite snacks nearby, because the Madness of March has already begun.