Our long, national nightmare is over. There is going to be a men’s basketball tournament and Virginia will no longer be the reigning national champions.
Every year, for men’s college basketball lovers, Selection Sunday is akin to Christmas Day. You never know exactly what’s going to be unwrapped, but it never disappoints. For 68 teams and their fans, hope abounds.
And that’s where we come in. We’re here to take a first blush run at every first round game. And since we’re currently living in 500 square feet of bliss with a 13-month old, a dog, and the ability to get beers out of the fridge in the kitchen without having to stand up from my spot on the couch in the living room, we’ll just go ahead and make FInal Four picks today too because we’re probably not going to post the rest of the week.
Let’s jump right in:
Gonzaga vs. Norfolk/App State: Gonzaga
This matchup means we were dangerously close to a Michigan v. App State 1/16 matchup, which would have been amazing. Alas.
Oklahoma vs. Missouri: Oklahoma
Isn’t this a conference matchup? Lon Kruger for the win.
Creighton vs. UCSB: UCSB
Rules dictate you must pick one 5/12 upset, and Creighton just lost to Georgetown by a million. And Patrick Ewing isn’t walking through that door for Georgetown. Or. Wait.
UVA vs. Ohio: UVA
The Bobcats have a history of upsetting 4-seeds in the NCAA Tournament. That history won’t repeat itself.
USC vs. Wichita/Drake: Wichita/Drake
A theme you’ll become familiar with…we have no faith in the Pac 12. So, whoever wins this play in game beats Southern Cal.
Kansas vs. Eastern Washington: Eastern Washington
This Kansas team seems ripe for an upset, and not just because they’re in the middle of a COVID outbreak.
Oregon vs. VCU: VCU
Gotta pick the hometown team (still #GoSpiders), plus, Pac 12.
Iowa vs. Grand Canyon: Iowa
Bryce Drew isn’t allowed to play, and pretty sure Grand Canyon hasn’t played anything close to Luka Garza.
Michigan vs. Mt. St. Mary’s/Texas Southern: Michigan
Michigan’s ceiling may be limited with Isaiah Livers, but they won’t have issues here.
LSU vs. St. Bonaventure: St. Bonaventure
Everyone’s going to pick LSU. Don’t be everyone. Go Bonnies.
Colorado vs. Georgetown: Georgetown
Ok, let’s pick another 5-12 upset!
FSU vs. UNCG: FSU
Really wanted to pick UNCG, but this is a bad draw for the SoCon Champs.
BYU vs. MSU/UCLA: MSU
The Spartans have beaten teams way better than UCLA and BYU this year. Problem is they have lost to teams worse than both UCLA and BYU, which is why they are in a play-in game.
Texas vs. Abilene Christian: Texas
Ok, cool. Hook ‘em.
UConn vs. Maryland: Maryland
We’ll be honest. We haven’t seen one second of UConn play this year, which tells you how far UConn’s program has fallen in stature.
Alabama vs. Iona: Iona
Rick Pitino is back in the tournament, and as good as Alabama is, Pitino will have his Gaels ready to go. Upset city.
Baylor vs. Hartford: Baylor
Baylor can win this game by as many points as they want.
UNC vs. Wisconsin: UNC
Given our modest bias, we turned to Friend of the Hangover Cheston who says, “Wisconsin just seems to lose a lot in a good league.” Good enough for us!
Villanova vs. Winthrop: Nova
The 5/12 upsets come to a screeching halt. Earlier this season, we discussed Nova as a national title contender. WIth Colin Gillespie out, they are no longer a national title contender.
Purdue vs. North Texas: Purdue
The Mean Green will not have an answer for Trevion Williams.
Texas Tech vs. Utah State: Texas Tech
Last time we saw an NCAA Tournament, the Red Raiders were playing in the national championship game, which does not get enough attention. Guns Up!
Arkansas vs. Colgate: Arkansas
As surprised as we are that Arkansas is a 3-seed (they may deserve it, but we just haven’t watched them), we were more surprised when we actually looked at Colgate’s schedule. They have played 14 games, 7 of which were against Boston University. The other 7 were against Army, Bucknell, Holy Cross and Loyola.
Florida vs. Virginia Tech: VT
It wasn’t THAT long ago that Florida’s best player was in the hospital for a heart condition that caused him to collapse on the court. Fortunately, he’s ok, but his team’s season is about to be over.
Ohio State vs. Oral Roberts: Ohio State
Uncle Oral is good, but not that good.
Illinois vs. Drexel: Illinois
Illini just might cut down the nets when this is all said and done.
Loyola-Chicago vs. Georgia Tech: Loyola-Chicago
Cheston chimes in that this is the strongest 8/9 game he’s ever seen. As impressive as Josh Pastner’s team has been this year, we’re sticking with Sister Jean.
Tennessee vs. Oregon State: Tennessee
The Beavers went on a Cinderella run through the crappy Pac 12 to punch their ticket. Happy to be there kind of team, who won’t be so happy to play against Yves Pons.
Oklahoma State vs. Liberty: OSU
How far can Cade Cunningham take the Pokes before it gets vacated due to impending NCAA penalties?!? At least past Liberty (and probably into the Sweet 16).
San Diego St vs. Syracuse: San Diego St
SDSU was robbed of a legitimate chance to make the Final Four last year, so we’ll give them at least one win this year. That should make up for it.
West Virginia vs. Morehead St: West Virginia
Coach Huggins was snubbed for the College Basketball Hall of Fame, despite winning over 900 career games. Maybe when he takes West Virginia to the Final Four this year, he’ll convince the voters.
Clemson vs. Rutgers: Rutgers
This was a Big 10 over ACC pick, and nothing else. Just a better league this year.
Houston vs. Cleveland State: Houston
Pretty impressive what Kelvin Sampson is doing at Houston. We just hope he still has nightmares of Jordan Poole.
West Region: Gonzaga
East Region: Florida State
North Carolina Baylor
Midwest Region: West Virginia
Lots of the experts are taking lots of 1-seeds, but we’re not. An expert, or taking 3 1-seeds. People, have we learned nothing about the world in 2020-21?!? Have we forgotten how this tournament works? It was called March Madness, so let’s get mad. Also, apparently
Gonzaga vs. Baylor: Gonzaga
All season long, there was a conversation of Gonzaga/Baylor vs. the field. Then, Baylor lost a couple games and all of a sudden, college basketball media was trying to find other teams to include in that conversation. Well, field, you lost. It’s going to come down to the two teams that we all assumed were best all year anyway. And in the strangest season ever, a frisky little underdog from Spokane, Washington wins it all and completes the first undefeated season since 1976.