March Madness Predictions
The madness is in the air and companies and corporations alike are going to lose astronomical amounts of money in lack of worker productivity and across-the-board absenteeism. Every year, America eats up this event like we literally eat (hey, we are an obese nation; it’s a fact). With all this hype in the air, you've got to figure that we at Immersion Online just couldn’t leave it alone. So, without further adieu, here are the Immersion Online predictions for the NCAA tournament from a different (and perhaps a tiny bit warped) perspective.
1. Louisville vs. 16. N.C A &T or Liberty
Louisville seems like the team to beat this year. They are absolutely filled to the brim with talent. I think a man coming out of a 20-year coma could predict how this one will turn out. Louisville will win this one by double digits.
8. Colorado State vs. 9. Missouri
Colorado State has seniors and the ability to rebound the ball, but I just don’t see them edging out the Mizzou squad. Missouri will win this one.
5. Oklahoma State vs. 12. Oregon
Oregon is red-hot right now as they won the automatic bid by winning the Pac-12 tournament, but Oklahoma State comes from a tough conference. Oklahoma State wins a close one behind the play of all-star guard Marcus Smart.
Winner: Oklahoma State
4. St. Louis vs. 13. New Mexico State
St. Louis is a tough team to beat. They have quality wins and also won their respective tournament. I believe St. Louis will advance.
Winner: St. Louis
6. Memphis vs. 11. St. Mary’s
Although they have a terrible defense, they have enough offensive weapons to make it past St. Mary’s. Memphis moves on.
3. Michigan State vs. 14. Valparaiso
Michigan State moves on easily. Tom Izzo. Need I say more?
Winner: Michigan State
7. Creighton vs. 10. Cincinnati
Cincinnati is a tough team from a very strong Big East conference; I think the scrappy MVC team gets it done (though they will major need help from Doug McDermott).
2. Duke vs. 15. Albany
Last year, Duke fell to a 15-seed in a shocker for the ages, but I really don’t see that happening this year. Duke advances.
1. Gonzaga vs. 16. Southern
Gonzaga wins. A 16-seed has never beaten a one-seed in the history of the tournament, and I don’t think it will happen this year.
8. Pittsburgh vs. 9. Wichita State
Pittsburgh has beaten Georgetown, hung with the monstrous Louisville and has a long-standing history of a winning basketball program. On the other hand, Wichita State does have some credibility with quality wins over a couple of tournament teams (VCU and Creighton). My guess it that this one will be close, but Pitt prevails.
5. Wisconsin vs. 12. Ole Miss
Ole Miss shocked the world by winning the automatic bid in the SEC tournament (by defeating a tough Florida team), but I think they may have run out of steam. Look for Wisconsin to wear them out in this one.
4. Kansas State vs. 13. Boise State or La Salle
Kansas State steamrolls whomever advances in the First Four. Both La Salle and Boise State lack quality wins and have yet to prove themselves as a rightful tournament team.
Winner: Kansas State
6. Arizona vs. 11. Belmont
Belmont is playing well. They won the Ohio Valley conference tournament in a hard-fought overtime win over Murray State. Although Belmont may be riding high right now, I think Arizona will edge them out in the end.
3. New Mexico vs. 14. Harvard
New Mexico rolls over the ivy-league eggheads. New Mexico is another one of those teams to watch out for, as they are a well-coached and versatile team.
Winner: New Mexico
7. Notre Dame vs. 10. Iowa State University
This one hits close to home for me. I am a proud graduate of Iowa State and will bleed red and gold until the day I die. Call me biased, but I think the Clones take this one. GO ISU! (I realize the lack of journalistic integrity in that prediction, but I believe that even if I weren’t a huge fan, I would still pick them to win).
Winner: Iowa State University
2. Ohio State vs. 15. Iona
Ohio State has been playing well all year long. They earned their number-two status by wiping out Wisconsin to take the Big 10 championship. Anything can happen in March, but it’s difficult to see this one not ending with an Ohio State victory.
Winner: Ohio State
1. Indiana vs. 16. LIU Brooklyn or J. Madison
Indiana is the team that many are predicting to be in the big game at the end of the tournament. I don’t think either LIU Brooklyn or J. Madison really stand a chance against them.
8. N.C. State vs. 9. Temple
I like the Wolfpack in this one. They have a handful of players that average double digits scoring. I could see it being close, but the well-balanced offense of N.C. State is the difference in this one.
Winner: N.C. State
5. UNLV vs. 12. California
UNLV seems to have California’s number in this one. They edged them out in a close one back in December (Cal lost by a single point) and I wouldn’t doubt UNLV winning another close one.
4. Syracuse vs. 13. Montana
This is my sleeper pick. I think Montana has enough firepower to steal this one from Syracuse. I just got a feeling and in March, I’ve found that it’s best not to ignore the Madness intuition.
6. Butler vs. 11. Bucknell
I won’t ever underestimate Butler again. They have broken my bracket two times now. The one-time unknown has somehow found a way to make it to the championship game in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Coach Brad Stevens knows how to build a tournament-ready team with the endurance to go the distance.
3. Marquette vs. 14. Davidson
No sleep here. Marquette will win this game with ease. Marquette is a tough team from a tough conference. I could be wrong though; Davidson has won 17 in a row.
7. Illinois vs. 10. Colorado
Illinois wins this one. With wins over Gonzaga, Ohio State and Indiana this season, they can be an extremely dangerous team if they heat up.
2. Miami vs. 15. Pacific
Miami is another heavy-hitter on the list of teams to beat. The Hurricanes will live up to that in this game.
1. Kansas vs. 16. Western Kentucky
Kansas wins. I don’t think there is any follow of the tournament that would disagree.
8. North Carolina vs. 9. Villanova
Many bracketologists differ in this one (eight and nine-seeded games are often hard to predict), but I think Villanova wins in a close one. Immersion writer Levi DeYounge disagrees. I guess we will see what happens.
Winner: North Carolina
5. VCU vs. 12. Akron
VCU definitely made history by proving the importance of the First Four by making it to the Final Four last year. Besides having a solid year, they also almost stole the tournament final game after rallying against St. Louis and just falling short. I think they will find a way to win.
4. Michigan vs. 13. South Dakota State
Michigan has been a solid team all year. Look for them to move past South Dakota State. I always couldn’t stand the bracket-players that picked based off of mascot names, but a Wolverine gets in a fight with a Jackrabbit — Who’s your money on?
6. UCLA vs. 11. Minnesota
UCLA proved had the best conference record in a conference with five teams in the tournament. They will march past the Golden Golfers.
3. Florida vs. 14. Northwestern State
Florida has been playing good ball all season and would’ve taken the SEC tournament if it hadn’t been for the streaky Ole Miss. I think they get back to their winning ways against Northwestern State. They are a good team, two straight Elite Eight appearances can’t be a coincidence.
7. San Diego State vs. 10. Oklahoma
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger will find a way to lead Oklahoma to a win. He has now led five different Division I team to the tournament. Both of these teams are good, but I think the advantage belongs to Oklahoma in this case.
2. Georgetown vs. 15. Florida GCU
Georgetown moves on or expect a snow-day in Hell.