Thursday, 17 March 2016

NCAA 2016 Tournament Bracket Breakdown

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The 2016 NCAA College Basketball tournament might not be one for the ages but it will still strive for that one shining moment to add to the pantheon of great college basketball players.

In a mixed season that has seen seven different teams ranked No 1 at one time or another, the last few weeks has seen some semblance of balance return with the Kansas Jayhawks triumphing in the Big 12 for a 12th consecutive season. They also won their end of season tournament to cement their position as the overall No1 seed in the tournament. The combination of offensive efficiency and stifling defence while not totally relying on a star player speaks volumes of the unity of the squad and the control Bill Self has over his squad. If Perry Ellis is off colour then Wayne Selden will step up.

As for the other No1 seeds you have Virginia, again but in need of a deep tournament run to ward off calls of being chokers; North Carolina who were dominant down the stretch in the ACC winning their tourney for the first time in years. The last team was Oregon who fill the West region obviously but this does a disservice to the Michigan Spartanswho won the Big 10. The committee must feel the Pac 12 is a tougher league than the Big 10, that is my eyebrow raising at that suggestion.

Other odd seedlings abound. A 13 loss Syracuse side get a 10 seed. Texas A&M who lost to Kentucky are a 3 while the Wildcats themselves are a 5 with a possible round of 32 clash versus Indiana awaiting.

South Region
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Kansas are the top seed in this tourney and No2 is Villanova. I fear Villanova will not go deep,due to their over reliance on the 3 point shot, they could face Temple in the second round and possibly Arizona who will have great speed in transition. Kansas, meanwhile, will have to contend with UConn in the second round, a great match up to watch and then Maryland possibly. Still believe Kansas will find a way to win.

Team to Houston: Kansas Jayhawks

West Region
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Buddy Hield - Player of the Year contender

Oregon are top seed but prospective Player of the Year, Buddy Hield and his Oklahoma Sooners are seeded 2. This region is a fire sale of bad apart from Hield. You have a less than stellar Duke team who on paper got a favourable region but they will be found out when they face a team full of size and intensity, they face Yale first who will have size and press forcing errors. Elsewhere watch out for  Northern Iowa, seeded 11, to surprise Texas who fluff their lines regularly at the dance.

Team to Houston: Oklahoma Sooners

East Region
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This is possibly the deepest region with names aplenty. North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Xavier. Good luck picking one team out of that slate. John Calipari isn't happy and neither are a lot of fans. Should make for great games but the team with the best players usually win out in these situations. That is North Carolina, although if they get past Kentucky they will then have to contend with the press of West Virginia.

Team to Houston: North Carolina Tar Heels

Midwest Region
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Key man for Spartans - Denzel Valentine
Or the committees attempt to rock the Virginia apple cart. You give them a one seed but to get to the final four you will have to win three games and then defeat a likely opponent of Michigan State in Chicago, a virtual home game for Tom Izzo and his Spartans. That being said the Spartans have ridden the storm of possibly losing Denzel Valentine to injury and will have enough experience and nous to advance to the Final Four. Watch out for Gonzaga to upset No6 Seton Hall in the first round.

Team to Houston: Michigan State Spartans

Final Four
In a rematch of two classic regular season encounters I see Kansas again overcoming Oklahoma. And they will face Michigan Syate who defeat North Carolina. As for the Championship match my heart
says Kansas but you never count out Tom Izzo and the Spartans.

Image result for tom izzo v Image result for bill self

2016 National Champions: KANSAS JAYHAWKS 

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