Sunday, March 12, 2006

Breaking Down the Brackets - Mirek Style

You knew this was coming. Here are my early thoughts on what might happen based on the seeds. Definitely, some surprises.

ATLANTA REGION
A&M against Syracuse in round 1 - this should be a great game. Can the CUSE sustain their miraculous run coming out of New York and the BIG E Tourney? Is the magic gone? What about A&M after almost beating Texas on Saturday? Are they ready to take charge and prove that they belong in the big dance? This 12-5 match-up could go either way. And, it happens every year; at least one #5 seed will go down to a #12 seed in 2006. This might be the game. The Aggies are used to 2-3 zones coming out of the BIG -12. Texas and Kansas can play some good defense.

West Virginia / Souther Illinois in round 1 - MVC versus BIG E. On paper. the Mountaineers would seem to have the advantage coming out of the mighty BIG E. But don't discount the MVC Tourney Champs in the Salukis. This team has caused a lot of trouble for many good teams in the BIG DANCE of late. Keep in mind, Bruce Weber (ILLINOIS coach) used to coach here as well. I'm hoping this will be a good game. Wouldn't surprise me if the Salukis prevail. WV isn't playing to their full potential of late.

If things hold to form in the Atlanta bracket, the SWEET 16 matchups look pretty enticing on paper: LSU versus DUKE and Iowas versus Texas. Hmmmmmm - I still like the Dukies in this region.

In the OAKLAND REGION, the round 1 game between Arkansas and Bucknell might be good. I'm also watching the XAVIER / Gonzaga round 1 game. This could be a tough challenge for the DOGS. Bama versus Marquette looks good on paper too. This region might just have the best 2nd - round games with potential matchups between Memphis / Arkansas, Pitt / Kansas, Indiana / Gonzaga, and Bama / UCLA. Coming out of Oakland, I like Pittsburgh right now. This could change. But they have the inside / outside game which could be difficult for most teams to handle. UCLA may surprise a few folks as well, but not me if they make it to the Final 4.

Turning my attention to the DC REGION, I'm looking forward to Kentucky and UAB. Both teams have had up and down seasons. Who's worthy? In the 2nd round, there are some good potential matchups between the HUSKIES and ILLNI & SPARTY versus Carolina. This region should hold true to form with Connecticut (East - coast DAWGS) prevailing en route to Indianapolis. I don't see ILLINOIS making it out of this bracket to Indy, just in case you're wondering.

Finally, the MINNEAPOLIS REGION. Arizona versus Wisconsin might be a good first-round matchup. I'll be keeping an eye on Northern Iowa against Georgetown. Hmmmm. In round two, there are some good potential matchups here as well. But the real action takes shape in the 3rd round with potential games between BC and Villanova & Florida versus Ohio State. I like the WILDCATS from Philly in this region. Nope, make that the BUCKS. Heck, I'll take the Catholics and BC.

Who will win it all? DUKE? BC? UCONN? PITT? UCLA? Ohio State? NOVA? I'm not going to disclose my National Champion here.

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