By: Jordan Hagen
At this time of year, everyone is trying to frantically fill out his or her brackets in the most accurate way possible. It is difficult to really determine the actual outcome, some say you have a better chance of winning the lottery than filling out a completely accurate bracket, but no doubt there will be valiant efforts to do so this year. Here is my tournament bracket, along with some reasons as to why certain teams prevail over others.
Some upset explanations:
Pitt over Colorado: I think that Pitt's team is more equipped to win at this level right now, with Colorado's injuries and the end to their season being less than satisfactory. 8 and 9 seeds are hard to predict, however I see this one playing out in the 9 seeds favor.
Iowa or Tennessee over U Mass: I see the Hawkeyes winning the first round game over Tennessee, however I believe either team will come out and beat U Mass third round. Both teams had much tougher schedules than U Mass, and I feel just overall better prepared to play at this level during the tournament.
I see Duke, with Coach K leading them, are never out of the chances to make the final four and this year is no exception. They have a strong line-up of guys led by Jabari Parker, and I don't see them losing before the final four if they play their cards right and come out with their team aspect that makes them so tough.
Arizona is an easy pick in my final four, as they have proven throughout the season that they are a sold team that is capable of anything, with a few bumps along the road (but who doesn't have those). The Wildcat's are one of the strongest teams in the tournament and I just don't see them not making the final four when they are on their A-game.
Michigan St. is a team that may have gotten a little jipped with their tournament seed, as they have beat plenty worthy opponents this year and have proven their worth in the Big 10, which is one of the toughest conferences in the country I believe. They are a solid team who can make it to the final four if they play as they did towards the end of the season with big wins against Ohio St and Michigan.
Last but not least, Florida rounds out my final four. The Gators are tough as always this year, and are surely a team to beat in the tournament. They have proven their strength time and time again, and after watching their tournament championship the other day, I see them as the team to beat this year (Along with U of A).
I predict that the Gators and Wildcats, of Florida and U of A respectively, are the teams who will facilitate a fantastic championship game in this year's tournament. They are two very strong and outstanding basketball teams, who will make each other work for every possession in this game. I think it will be close, but the Wildcats will prevail and be the victors. With Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon leading the way, the Wildcat's can be this years National Champions-wouldn't that be sweet for U of A and the city of Tucson!