Here's my new system of doing the tournament. Treat seeds as irrelevant and treat them as such, i'm going to rank the teams as i see their chances and i throw in a little bit of randomness just like how when you predict the tournament. When these teams meet on whatever the bracket may be that's released this afternoon, i will go by who's higher on my list:
1. Kansas-I just have them pegged to win this year. It's been a while since they've won and I just like the success story of Brandon Rush trying to right his brother's wrongs.
2. UCLA-I feel like even more than Florida, they'll be hungry to get back there and depth is big
3. Ohio State-I'm basing some of my picks off the Carmelo Anthony rule: A talented NBA-level freshman can change the course of the entire tournament and I think that's Greg Oden. He shouldn't even be in the tournament except for the new rule
4. Florida-They're my favorite team but conventional wisdom says that they're vulnerable and won't repeat. Still, it's such a talented group of players who show strong resolve and teamwork. I like Noah as a person but i don't think he can repeat his performance and i don't think he's really a star player that can carry his team. Perhaps Humphrey or Horford can
5. Wisconsin-With the senior trying to do carry his team (see Mateen Cleaves) possibilities are big, but I'm usually not used to linking Wisconsin and final four team in the same words. It was done once before on an extreme fluke.
6. Pittsburgh-They were my dark horse final four team. They've been a 2 or 3 seeded team with somewhere around Sweet 16 credentials for about 5 or 6 years now, the law of averages shows that like Louisville in 2005, Texas in 2003, Indiana in 2002, Stanford in 1998, that if you keep finishing the season in the 10 or 12 teams, sooner or later you'll make the final four
7. Washington State-I don't know, they'd just make a good story
8. Memphis-Haven't been tested that much, it's some of the same strong group that put on a good performance last year
9. UNC-Not placing much stock in the ACC this year, all those talented freshman though, could do good but they also could do bad
10. Texas-Subscribing to the Law of Carmelo Anthony with Kevin Durant, i'm putting them high
11. Oregon-Aaron Brooks is one of those talented players who could turn on
12. Oklahoma State-They'll be ranked incredibly low which means only that they've had a few bad weeks down the stretch, but they've also had some good moments and have hung with the best of them. They have a penchant for doing well at the tournament and i'm inclined to pick them to do well
13. Air Force-They were once really good, and i don't think injuries or anything have changed them significantly. I'd like to see a team representing the Armed Forces do well in the tournament for once. It's a hopeful, wishful thinking sort of thing
14. USC-OJ Mayo isn't there yet, which will be the irony. Karma will reward USC for it's dissapointing football season with a good basketball season
15. Nevada-Of the mid-majors hoping to do well in the tournament, i have the most faith in Nevada. It's conference doesn't suck as much as Butler's or Creighton's
16. Vanderbilt-A sleeper in the SEC. They've done devestating stuff to Florida
17. Marquette-I don't know, there recent losses never convinced me that they were a bad team. Big East is a tough conference, i feel.
18. Stanford-Has had a lot of losses, but some quality wins. They're also a team that has had a lot of bad luck in the tournament since their 1998 final four run. Karma will be generous with them
19. Duke-Tradition of winning is too powerful to ignore
20. Kentucky-Same for this program as well
21. Southern Illinois-I'll put them around here. Normally a Missouri Valley Team is an underdog making an upset but with a 3 or 4 seed, it'll be reverse as they'll be waiting to be taken down
22. Maryland-Star power is what gets a team to the final four. They have at least a little bit of it
23. Texas A & M-Congratulations to the Aggies on their unusually good season but this post-season, i see you as one of the unlucky beneficiaries of a Cinderella
24. Indiana-It's the Hoosiers, come on. Give them some love.
25. Boston College-Jared Dudley might make the difference.
26. Kansas State-Bob Huggins is desperate to prove critics wrong, and this team almost hung with Kansas
27. Louisville-I love the Cardinals, usually, but they weren't ranked in the preseason and I think it's generally a rebuilding team. They're only hot as of late.
28. Arkansas-They've beaten all those teams in the SEC like Alabama, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. And look at them in this tournament.
29. Georgetown-As with people who predict upsets, i'm predicting a bit of randomness in Georgetown's losing. Like Louisville they haven't been good the whole season and just the flavor of the moment. I also just never really liked the school and am rooting against them. I'm from Washington D.C. and I don't know why locals here like the University. I think Georgetown is a snobby and secluded college (and neighborhood) that really doesn't interact or organically blend that much wiht the rest of Washington.
30. WVU-Since WVU made the elite eight, i'm always rooting for that WVU magic as someone who went to college 13 miles from the West Virginia Border
31. VCU-I think statistically, it might be unlikely that the tournament's big Cinderella will come from the same conference twice, but as a Cinderella this team has proved resillient and reliable and has stayed atop a conference that is getting better and better.
32. UNLV-I'm placing them low, i concede but just don't have any confidence in them even though they won the SEC tournament
33. Creighton-They’re in the Missourri Valley which has a tradition for upsets
34. Notre Dame-A solid team, not entirely upset-resistant
35. Virginia Tech-They have no experience whatsoever playing in the NCAA tournament and haven’t had any in years
36. UNLV-I'm placing them low, i concede but just don't have any confidence in them even though they won the SEC tournament
37. Syracuse-Jim Boheim has NCAA experience
38. Texas Tech-Bob Knight and Company usually have a lot to prove
39. UVA-I’m a Virginian, and even I concede that we rarely are ever good. Do we have any really good players?
40. Davidson-For getting the league bid over Applachian State
41. Butler-Hello?! It’s the horizon league. They’re not nor were they ever that good