The question of the East Bracket is will I let my blatant homerism take control. Wisconsin AND Marquette live in this bracket. And I happen to like my home state sports teams. I remember Jerel McNeal and I care. And whatnot.
1 Kentucky vs. 16 East Tennessee State
Please. John Wall is God. And the fighting Mister Jennings may not be going out like that, but they are going out.
8 Texas vs. 9 Wake Forest
Texas is a sublimely talented team. They could come together and make a run to the sweet 16. But for two reasons, it's the Demon Deacons. They're a strong defensive team that forces a team into bad shots, and Texas has had severe offensive issues in recent weeks. Also? Never trust Rick Barnes.
5 Temple vs. 12 Cornell
If you wanted me to give Cornell my 5-12 blessing, they should have had a team that can't stop the perimeter jumper. Temple locks down the defense on the perimeter. Cornell's main strength is crazy go nuts from beyond the arc. Temple will force them off their game.
4 Wisconsin vs. 13 Wofford
An undersized team that runs mostly man to man? An officially healthy Jon Leuer? Their last game being a terrible game for Trevon Hughes? I vote yes to the Badgers advancement.
6 Marquette vs. 11 Washington
I'm going Marquette. Washington has a tendency to play down to the level of their opponents. USC was a terrible team, and they beat Washington twice. UCLA got one with no defensive presence. Texas Tech and Oregon as well. And nobody was as good from beyond the arc as the Golden Eagles.
3 New Mexico vs. 14 Montana
Montana may be able to keep it interesting for a little while, but you know what? No. Montana's perimeter D is bad. And New Mexico rocks it from treyland, and while they do not defend at an A level? Their B- defense is good enough here. Lobos to round two.
7 Clemson vs. 10 Missouri
Missouri. They can generate Turnovers and take care of the ball. Clemson cannot. LOCK CITY.
2 West Virginia vs. 15 Morgan State
West Virginia. I don't trust them to get much further, but Todd Bozeman isn't gonna do shit.
1 Kentucky vs. 9 Wake Forest
A poor shooting team that just doesn't generate many turnovers? Yes please, says Kentucky.
4 Wisconsin vs. 5 Temple
First to 50 wins? Yeah. It'll be like that. These teams have some real similarites. Hit up KenPom. You'll see something interesting. But I trust the Badgers to generate more good looks here. Also? Their tall guy has power in their offense.
3 New Mexico vs. 6 Marquette
This is the sort of thing where the winner of the 6-11 game is going to advance through to the Sweet 16. New Mexico just doesn't force bad shots with near enough the alacrity to stop the winner of this game. And as for Marquette? Most teams score on the Lobos from beyond the arc from three. And the Golden Eagles are 7th in 3 point field goal percentage.
2 West Virginia vs. 10 Missouri
Missouri's going to shock some people. Not me though. Bob Huggins will fall early again. Missouri's a pressure team and Joe Mazzula is made of suck and Truck Bryant's got one arm. Missouri to the Sweet 16 is a Book it upset pick.
1 Kentucky vs. 4 Wisconsin
You know what? I'm going to let my homerism soar. Why? Because they've beaten three teams when they were in the Top 5. And they have two guards who have the ability to take over a game Devan Downey style. They're more experienced, and when the pace slows down, Kentucky has trouble. Hit the upset one time Bo Ryan!
6 Marquette vs. 10 Missouri
I honestly don't know how this will happen. And if this does? Honestly. Marquette has a rotation of six going up against a 40 Minutes of Hell scenario. But they cradle the ball like an infant child. Maurice Acker is a steady force. And Missouri can't take advantage of Marquette's size. Marquette had bad luck when their paths crossed last year. IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.*
4 Wisconsin vs. 10 Missouri
The Badgers pride themselves on taking care of the ball. And they will not fear trying to go for the extra pass. I know it should prbably be New Mexico or West Virginia here. But screw it. No school. Wisco.
*Note: This Bracket Match-up will not happen. Come on.