2008 NCAA Bracket Predictions: Second Round ~ BitterSweetLife

Monday, March 17, 2008

2008 NCAA Bracket Predictions: Second Round

OK, we still have time before the NCAA Tournament actually kicks off, but if you're like me, you want to have a dozen brackets picked and submitted already. Also, small detail, they need to be winning brackets that can support the weight of some smack talk. Ready for tourney analysis with swagger? Let's get to it.

Yesterday I showcased my predictions for the first round of the NCAAs--today let's move on to the later rounds. Just remember, what you're seeing here is based on my advice from yesterday.

Here's how things play out in the second round of the East Regional.

#1 North Carolina beats #8 Indiana. IU has a handful of NBA players but UNC has a roster of them.
#5 Notre Dame beats #4 Washington St. Not a huge upset but a very plausible one.
#3 Louisville beats #6 Oklahoma. The Sooners' Blake Griffin will match up well against the Cardinals' David Padgett, but Padgett has a better supporting cast. Or so everyone thinks... Alternatively, this could be a decent upset pick.
#2 Tennessee beats #7 Butler. After a perceived #1-seed-snub, the Vols will have more than enough fuel in the tank for a deep tournament run.

In the Midwest Regional, here's how it goes:
#1 Kansas beats #8 UNLV. This will be a tune-up game for the Jayhawks.
#5 Clemson beats #13 Siena. The upset magic ends here for the Saints.
#3 Wisconsin beats #11 Kansas State. Michael Beasely won't be able to stop Wisconsin's tough, hungry attack by himself.
#2 Georgetown beats #10 Davidson. Reality will hit the Wildcats hard, in the form of Roy Hibbert.

Here's how the ball bounces in the South Regional.
#1 Memphis beats #9 Oregon. Memphis' easy conference schedule gave them plenty of practice beating teams like the Ducks.
#12 Temple beats #4 Pittsburgh. We've been conservative so far, but some of those over-achieving seeds always advance. This year it's Temple.
#3 Stanford beats #11 Kentucky. Having offset a wild first year with a tourney win, Billy Gillespie's Wildcats make their exit (after some spitting and scratching).
#2 Texas beats #7 Miami (Fl.). This could be a blowout.

Finally, here's how things go down in the West Regional.
#1 UCLA beats #9 Texas A&M. The Aggies will run with UCLA for about ten minutes before the ampersand in their name lets them down. (Similar to the hypen, the ampersand is a typically a bad bracket omen.)
#5 Drake beats #4 Connecticut. In a minor upset that will surprise no one.
#3 Xavier beats #11 Baylor. This year, the Bears will will have to satisfy themselves with simply having made the tournament and notching a win.
#2 Duke beats #10 Arizona. Both teams have talent, but Duke milks theirs for all its worth.

There you have it--a moderately brave set of NCAA picks that can bear the weight of some bracket bravado. If you want to live a little more dangerously, take the #6 Oklahoma/#3 Louisville upset I hinted at. It's hard to go wrong with a handful of strategic upset predictions, since they happen every year! (Picking the right ones is the hard part.)

Check back for the regionals and national semifinals, coming up. You can bookmark or subscribe to stay posted. Good luck with your own NCAA brackets, and if you need another tournament pool to compete in, feel free to jump in here.

UPDATE: NCAA Bracket Predictions, Third Round (Regionals) are now up.
Also, picks for the Elite Eight, Final Four, and National Championship are posted.

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Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see some Bracketology excitement. As an University of Arizona student, I have agree with you. We do have crazy talent, but it's been a frustrating season.

Here's my bracket-buster: SIENA.

Will Hicks said...

I heard our main receptionist griping about how UCLA (in the first round) and Texas (in the Sweet 16) have home-court advantage.

Her husband must have forced her to watch SportsCenter last night.

I love this time of year.

Ariel said...

@ alpa: I agree, I expected more from Arizona this year. Budinger hasn't been playing to his talent level, but I really like Bayless. I'll be picking Siena too...seem like a decent bet for one win.

@ Will: This is an awesome time of year. My entire family is sick and I'm still enjoying the tourney atmosphere (here at my monitor, anyway).

When K-State plays USC in Omaha, they'll enjoy a pretty good home court advantage. Then there's USC in Raleigh... See, I watch SportsCenter too. ;-)


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife