Give me ‘Nova

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Okay, as the sports guy (or one of them) at the newspaper, I feel it’s my duty to tell you who is going to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament.

It has become a rite of passage throughout the country, but especially here on Tobacco Road to take a peak at the field of 65 and then make a &uot;logical&uot; choice about who is going to win the NCAA tournament.

I’ve had the bracket on my desk all morning, but I’m going to make my projections as I write this because that seems as good a way to make them as any.

I just went through the first round games. I picked all but 10 of them without much thought. By-in-large they are games in which I picked the higher seed, with these exceptions:

* Bucknell over Arkansas – I always pick Bucknell in the first round;

* San Diego State over Indiana – I don’t like Indiana or Mike Davis;

* Alabama over Marquette – Just a gut feeling the Tide isn’t going out in round one;

* UAB over Kentucky – Tubby Smith did a good job with not much this year, but it ends early;

* Seton Hall over Wichita State – I’m a big fan of the Hall and I think they have a good shot to upset Wichita;

* Montana over Nevada – I just like me some Montana;

* Wisconsin-Milwaukee over Oklahoma – I have a variety of reasons, but they begin and end with my affection for W-M;

Those were the knee-jerks, but I’m sure there will be others.

I also think Texas A&M is better than Syracuse. I know the Orange just beat Connecticut, but I still believe A&M is better.

Also, I’m taking Kansas in my bracket, but wouldn’t be at all surprised if Bradley wins. Ditto for Michigan State over George Mason.

I also took Winthrop over Tennessee. There always seems to be a two seed going down and I like Winthrop’s chances.

In round two I was pretty conservative. I took the top four seeds in Oakland. In Atlanta, I went with all of them except I have Texas A&M upsetting LSU in the second round.

Over in the Washington, D.C. bracket, I took the usual suspects except again advancing Winthrop in an upset.

In the Minneapolis region I went crazy taking only two of the two four seeds. I have Villanova and Boston College getting to the Sweet 16 along with Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Georgetown.

I have repeatedly said no Atlantic Coast Conference teams would reach the Elite 8, but now that I fill my bracket out I have two – North Carolina and Duke.

I took the Blue Devils and Iowa in Atlanta to go with Memphis and Gonzaga in Oakland.

Over in Washington, I’ll take the Tarheels and the Illini while in Minneapolis I’ve got Georgetown meeting Villanova.

As we head to the Final Four, I’ll take Iowa, Memphis, Illinois and Villanova to take that prestigious trip.

As we reach the round of four, I’ll take Memphis over Iowa and Villanova over Illinois and then pick Villanova to win the national title.

As a disclaimer, I’ve picked this bracket in about five minutes so I refuse to be held to any of it. I hope you have more time and energy as you make your selections for the office pool.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome. You can reach me at or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.