You may be asking yourself, why is someone who watched about six total college basketball games this year writing about the NCAA tournament? Because when it comes to the March, every person who has even seen a basketball has as much expertise as the analysts on television. No way, you have Kansas winning it all? What a leap you made there!
That was actually an excerpt from a similar article I wrote last year, and it seems like nothing has changed. Not even the Kansas pick.
I lied. One thing has changed: I’ve watched LESS than six total games this year. College basketball is unwatchable once you get used to the NBA. But for the next two weeks, I’ll watch some games, and some games, I mean highlights of buzzer beaters on Twitter.
You’ve heard the plethora of March Madness clichés enough this week so I’ll save you the time and myself the writing and delve into the first round picks for the tournament.
*Winners highlighted in BOLD*
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Princeton
Surprised Notre Dame wasn’t a 4 or 8 seed. Not going to fall for the Ivy League upset again. Irish all the way.
No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNCW
Taking Wilmington based on the fact that Virginia plays the most boring unwatchable basketball on the planet and they have no business being on national television for more than one game this tournament.
No. 4 Butler vs. No. 13 Winthrop
— Butler Blue III (@ButlerBlue3) March 12, 2017
As long as they bring their mascot, Butler cruises to victory.
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 South Dakota State
If you ever wanted to see a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed, this may be your best chance. With the crazy sports moments this year, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Still taking the Zags though.
No.4 West Virginia vs. No. 13 Bucknell
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins needed help off the floor and medical attention late in the first half against Texas. He appears to be ok. pic.twitter.com/qSOd4nMgxj
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) February 21, 2017
West Virginia head coach, Bob Huggins, had a heart attack during a game this season. Losing in the first round to Bucknell could kill him. I’m sure he will remind his players of that before tip-off.
No 4. Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State
East Tennessee is basically Atlanta so this is a battle for the “Florida-Georgia Line”. The Gators will “Cruise” to an easy victory.
No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State
East Tennessee State? Middle Tennessee State? How many state school does Tennessee need?
There was some outrage on Selection Sunday over Minnesota’s seeding being too high, but I still don’t think that miscalculation will be enough to stop the Gophers. Maybe if they were playing Central Northwestern Tennessee State.
No. 8 Northwestern vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) March 12, 2017
Battle of the nerds.
This is Northwestern’s first trip to the tournament in school history and hopefully it ends as quickly as it started. I don’t need to hear from Darren Rovell and half of staff on ESPN’s payroll bragging about their prestigious journalism school if the Wildcats somehow make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Yes, this means I’m rooting for Skip Bayless’ alma mater, but I don’t need to worry about hearing from him since I still haven’t figured out what channel Fox Sports 1 is on.
No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier
There’s a soft spot in my heart for Scott Van Pelt’s Terrapins, and since Matt Stainbrook won’t be taking a break from his side-hustling for Uber to strap on the rec specs for the Musketeers, it’s hard to predict an upset in this game.
No 1. Villanova vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s
An easy first round for the Wildcats but the question remains: Can Villanova win the big one?
No. 7 St. Mary’s (Calif.) vs. No. 10 VCU
It’s impossible for VCU to make a Cinderella run unless they warmup in the play-in game.
Did you know Shaka Smart is now the head coach of Texas?
No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont
As long as none of the referees aren’t members of the DNC, the Bernie Bros of Vermont will pull off the upset against the Boilermakers.
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 6, 2017
Dunk City Part Two!
Florida Gulf Coast will have to postpone their return to their campus/vacation resort for a couple of days.
No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech
This matchup would be an extremely painful football game to watch, so I expect the same kind of entertainment in basketball form.
No 2. Arizona vs. No. 15 North Dakota
This game should be such a cakewalk for Arizona.
Sooooooo… Sean Miller is kinda sweaty. pic.twitter.com/D6aEdsnjFR
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 18, 2016
I don’t think Sean Miller will even be sweating through his dress shirt
No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada
Deonte Burton with the flying hammer, WVU defender nearly kilt pic.twitter.com/YBn40wiSu3
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 12, 2017
Yeah, I think the Cyclones win this one. They want to postpone their return to Ames,Iowa as long as possible.
No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State
Michigan is the hottest team in basketball right now. Everyone’s trendy pick. When everyone zigs, I zag.
With uniforms on damaged plane, Michigan playing game today in practice outfits pic.twitter.com/hghqTFlsXo
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 9, 2017
Unless Michigan plays in their practice jerseys, the Pokes will upset.
No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 New Mexico
Hopefully Baylor outrebounds New Mexico.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 17, 2016
Don’t want a repeat of last year.
No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Seton Hall
Only reason I’m taking Arkansas is because of their war cry.
WOO PIG SOOIE!
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 14 Iona
As long as Oregon doesn’t come out in some jerseys that give everyone watching on their computer screen at work a migraine, they should cruise pass Iona.
No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 15 Jacksonville State
Louisville versus a fifteen seed? But enough about Rick Pitino’s sex life.
No. 6 SMU vs. No. 11 Providence/Southern California
If Providence wins, SMU advances.
If USC wins, USC advances.
I’m a Trojan alum. It’s impossible to pick against your team until the second round. Is the play-in game still the first round? Have they’ve changed that dumb format yet?
(I wrote this before the play-in game started so I am assuming USC won)
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Texas Southern
HOLY CRAP WHY DID NOBODY EVER TELL ME THAT TEXAS STATE'S BASKETBALL COACH IS ACTUALLY BUDDY GARRITY pic.twitter.com/7uTfTar8nY
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) March 12, 2017
Buddy Garrity may be able to help the Dillon Panthers, but he has no chance against the Tar Heels.
No. 6 Crieghton vs. No. 11 Rhode Island
I’ve heard Rhode Island way too much the past couple of days so they must be good. This is some expert analysis you’re getting in this article.
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 NC Central/UC Davis
Everyone wants a No. 16 seed to win, but the Jayhawks usually save their heartbreak for the Sweet Sixteen.
No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Wichita State
I think this is the year Ron Baker finally makes a run to the Final Four. The Shockers are ready to stun the world.
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Troy
Every couple of years, God or whatever deity you may worship blesses us with a Duke upset in the first round, followed by the team’s whitest player dancing on the Blue Devils’ graves.
When you've just upset the 3-seeded Duke Blue Devils, you get to dance. Go crazy, Mercer G Kevin Canevari. pic.twitter.com/q21w4WtSAo
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 21, 2014
Unfortunately, I don’t think Troy are our saviors, but hopefully this Duke team doesn’t make a deep run so we can make sure Grayson Allen doesn’t kill an opponent on the court.
No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Kansas State
The only runs the Bearcats will have this March is after they eat their famous Skyline Chili.
No. 8 Miami (Fla.) vs. No. 9 Michigan State
My general rule with Michigan State is to place them two rounds farther than they should go in the tournament because Tom Izzo. Since they probably shouldn’t have been selected in the first place, it’s one and done for the Spartans.
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Northern Kentucky
As long as no one on Kentucky’s starting five declares for the draft in the middle of the tournament, the Wildcats should cruise to an easy victory.
How many of the 68 teams are called the Wildcats? At least half?
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 10 Marquette
It’s hilarious that a lot of office pools will be decided on picking between 7-10 and 8-9 matchups despite them basically being a coin flip.
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 14 Kent State
I’m not sure what would happen to LaVar Ball if UCLA lost in the first round to Kent State, but I’d pay good money to find out.
Unfortunately, despite all the garbage that has been flying out of his father’s mouth the past few weeks, Lonzo Ball is a phenomenal player and I don’t think they are destined for a first round exit. It’s not like Steph Curry is playing for the Bruins.
I am forgoing predicting further than the first round because there’s no way you should take any of these picks seriously. I wrote this in the very little free time I have because I felt it was necessary to have a March Madness themed article this week. Also predicting round by round gives you a better chance to be less wrong than making a bracket and showing it off to the public.
Don’t worry, I am not one of those psychopaths like Darren Rovell that doesn’t fill in a bracket every year.
Can't believe it's my 9th year of not filling out a bracket. Love watching games so much more. Don't anticipate going back.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 17, 2016
I’m just not going to put my money where my mouth is. I don’t want to pay for an opportunity to lose to my friends in a tournament pool. Some of my friends are degenerate gamblers. They know a lot more about the 7-10 matchup at noon than I ever will. I’m not competing with that.
I’ll just fill out a free bracket and if I win one of Warren Buffet’s millions, this will be my last article I ever write.
Don’t worry, I’ll usually get the first game wrong every year. See you next week from some highlights from the first two rounds and Sweet Sixteen predictions.
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