2015 NCAA Tournament Preview

ncaaThe 2015 NCAA Tournament is here (whoo-hoo!!!).

And while I won’t use this time to bitch over undeserving teams getting in the tournament (Indiana and Purdue I am looking right at your asses), I will use this space to give the people what they want: a comprehensive NCAA preview that is second-to-none.  Well, maybe second to A FEW…

At any rate, here is how I see the 2015 NCAA tournament turning out:

(By the way, join my NCAA Tourney Pick’em challenge NOW…)

Midwest Region

Top four seeds

  1. Kentucky
  2. Kansas
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Maryland

Dark horse: Wichita State

Analysis:  Kentucky is the prohibitive favorite to win the NCAA title, and I do not see any squad in this region that will challenge them.

However, there are some intriguing matchups.  I am looking forward to the possibility of Wichita State and Kansas getting it on in the second round (Bill Self and the Jayhawks can’t run from the Shockers much longer).  Maryland had its best season ever, and Notre Dame is looking to build off its ACC tournament title.

Having said all that, this region is nothing more than a bunch of sacrificial lambs for Kentucky.

Region Winner: Kentucky

East Region

Top four seeds

  1. Villanova
  2. Virginia
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Louisville

Dark horse: Northern Iowa

Analysis:  I know Villanova had a gaudy record this season, and the Big East is not a bad conference on paper, but I don’t think the Wildcats are #1-seed material.  Let’s be honest here, the Big East is not the Big East from my childhood.  Butler and Creighton, as well as watered down Marquette and a so-so St. John’s?  Pul-leeze.

I think this region will come down to Virginia and Louisville.  Both teams are tough as nails, and hails from the ACC: one of the strongest conferences in college basketball.

Northern Iowa poses a credible threat of preventing an all-ACC regional final from happening, and a Louisville-No. Iowa Sweet 16 matchup would be epic.

Region Winner: Virginia

West Region

Top four seeds

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Arizona
  3. Baylor
  4. North Carolina

Dark horse: VCU

Analysis:  Wisconsin is one of a few teams that could take out Kentucky.  It is long, big  and fundamentally sound.  Unfortunately it is in what is arguably the most difficult region seeded with the likes of UNC, Arizona, Baylor, Oregon, Arkansas and VCU.

As we all know, the tournament is all about matchups, and I do not see the Badgers matching up well with the likes of UNC, Baylor and Arizona.  I wouldn’t be surprised if UNC takes out Wisconsin in the Sweet 16.  In fact, I expect the Tar Heels to do just that.

I will be keeping my eyes on VCU.  Led by head coach/soul brotha #1 Shaka Smart, the Rams can’t be counted out and are riding high after winning the Atlantic-10 tournament.

This should be an entertaining region to watch.

Region winner: UNC (I just threw up in my mouth)

South Region

Top four seeds

  1. Duke
  2. Gonzaga
  3. Iowa State
  4. Georgetown

Dark horse: SMU

Analysis:  Outside of Iowa State – and MAYBE Gonzaga – I do not see any team challenging Duke in this region.  Sure the Blue Devils wet the bed in Raleigh last season, falling to Mercer (Mercer?!) in the opening round.  I just do not see any team who could counter Jahlil Okafor in the post and backcourt tandem of Tyus Jones and Quin Cook.  And Duke has the depth to put together a nice run.

If picking UNC to go far is bad enough, thinking Duke will go deep into the tournament nauseates the hell out of me.

Region winner: Duke

My Damn Final: Kentucky 80, Duke 75

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One Comment Add yours

  1. JAG says:

    Yeah, you go ahead and keep your eyes on VCU. Watch them fly home after losing to the Buckeyes!! Football and Basketball National Champs??

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