The Big Dance: College’s Super Sweet 16.
It’s Sweet Sixteen time, baby! And you know in this case there are no birthday cakes, cute presents, or super spoiled kids living it up on MTV.
We’re talking hardcore, fast and furious, make it or break it time.
Only 16 teams left. And only 8 spots remain to be filled in the Elite Eight. Who will make it? I give you my predictions below, after watching the action-packed first two rounds of the tourney.
First of all, we can finally settle the debate on which conference is the best this year, and possibly even in history. For the first time in the history of the NCAA tournament, five teams from one league advanced to the Sweet 16. The Big East is home to Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Villanova, all of which made the cut and will play in the regional semifinals on Thursday and Friday.
The ACC, which was the other conference in the debate, only has two of its members left, although they are reputably two of the best college teams and have one of the biggest rivalries in sports history: UNC and Duke. (Sidenote: dark blue is wayyy better than that gross baby blue color. Eww.)
Anyway, do you remember last year when, surprisingly, all four #1′s made it to the Final Four? Well, this year marks the first time all the 1-, 2-, and 3-seeds are in the Sweet Sixteen. Looks like Cinderella is going to be hard to find this year.
But what a great first two rounds it’s been.
Does anyone remember Demetri Goodson’s last-second game-winner in that 83-81 second round Gonzaga victory over Western Kentucky? Or how Ty Lawson came back from a toe injury and permanently quelled rumors with his 23 points, 6 assists and 0 turnovers against LSU? And when Clemson’s Terrence Oglesby was ejected from the Michigan game for elbowing off the screen and cried about it like the little girl he is in the locker room afterwards? Ok, maybe I’m being a little harsh on him. It’s just because no one looks man enough next to the almighty Gerald Henderson.
Now for my picks:
East- Pitt over Xavier, Duke over Villanova (gotta go with the Dukies).
Midwest- Louisville over Arizona, Michigan State over Kansas (it’s over for the defending champs).
South- Syracuse over Oklahoma, UNC over Gonzaga (the Orange winning in 6 overtimes?Mad props).
West- UConn over Purdue, Memphis over Missouri (the Mizzous will give Memphis a run for their money, but the higher seed will prevail in the end).
No Cinderella this year, it looks like. But it’s ok; the chalk bracket will be a heck-of-an event to watch. I guarantee it.