Well, it's that time of year again. The day when we all furiously fill out bracket after bracket, all in the hopes of picking the correct Final Four and having bragging rights over all of our buddies. And, inevitably, almost all of us will have our brackets destroyed by something ridiculous like a 15 seed upsetting a 2 seed, or a 9 seed from a small little town in Iowa that no one outside of here has heard of (speaking from experience... more than once, unfortunately). With that in mind, I figured that my post for today should be my run-down of the teams that I have picked to go to this years' Final Four in Atlanta.
The first team I have is the overall number 1 seed, Louisville. I struggled with this pick longer than any of the other picks I made throughout the entire bracket. I really wanted to have both Duke and Louisville in my Final Four, but thanks to the selection committee, they will meet in the Elite 8. Being forced to pick only one of them, I have to give the nod to Louisville in part because of their excellent performance in the Big East championship game, but also because of the fact that Duke in recent seasons has a tendency to under-perform in their biggest games (see this season's ACC tournament or last season's NCAA tournament as examples).
For Louisville's opponent in the Final Four, I have the New Mexico Lobos coming out of the West bracket. Steve Alford has done a tremendous job down in New Mexico, and very few people have acknowledged this. The Lobos finished at the top of their conference in both the regular season and the conference tournament. They only lost five games for the entire season, while playing the second toughest schedule in the nation (Contrast that with Gonzaga, who had a SOS of 76th). New Mexico isn't a traditional power-house, and the Mountain West conference isn't one of the "Big 6" so their successes are generally ignored by the majority of people. Coupling the exceptional play of the MWC this season with how much I don't trust the Gonzaga team (as good as they are) to go through the bracket has me pushing the Lobos through in a close game versus those 'Zags.
Next up in the national semi-finals I have Georgetown. My reasoning for picking Georgetown is much the same as my reasoning for picking Louisville over Duke, the tendency to choke in big situations. Kansas has a history of choking in the NCAA tournament and killing my brackets (specifically their loss to UNI a couple years back). So I must admit, this is a choice made largely because of my own personal beef with the Jayhawks. I don't necessarily like the Georgetown Hoyas to make it to the Final Four as much as I really DON'T like Kansas' chances of making it. The only other team that I see having a chance to come out of this region might be Michigan, but I ultimately decided to take Georgetown over the Wolverines.
The final team in my Final Four is Miami. For most of the season I thought that the Hurricanes were the best team in the nation. They became the first team ever to beat both Duke and North Carolina by more than twenty points in the same season. They won the conference outright in the regular season and won the conference championship. I still think that they deserved to be a 1 seed over the Indiana Hoosiers. So, for these reasons, I have the Hurricanes rounding out my bracket.
Well, there you have it folks, my choices for the Final Four. Just for good measure, I will add that I have Louisville winning the National Championship. I have them winning a tough, close game against the Miami Hurricanes. Anything you disagree with here? Feel free to discuss!
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.