So, you know how I kind of gave up in the South Bracket on my projections? No? Well I did. It's because I knew I was going to be in trouble. I had seven of my original teams hitting the Sweet 16 in my Yahoo Bracket. Ironically? 6 of them were going to the Elite 8. And 3 for the Final Four. An atypical bracket for me.
9 Northern Iowa vs. 5 Michigan State
This goes against every instinct. Izzo is a tremendous coach. Cinderellas always fall in the Sweet 16. They'll rally around their fallen hero. But that being said. Northern Iowa is steady. They do not make mistakes. Korie Lucious? He has not been consistent and steady. And if they get to a lead? Michigan State cannot shoot themselves back in. I will live and die with Starokhmanesh.
6 Tennessee vs. 2 Ohio State
The only teams Ohio State has lost to since the return of the Villain were against West Virginia in Morgantown and Purdue at Mackey with Hummel. If this Volunteer team could hit better from three and rebound? I would be less confident in this. But Buckeyes. Lock it down.
1 Syracuse vs. 5 Butler
Butler's had a nice run. I'll agree. But that being said? I still like Syracuse. Not to say that Butler can't keep it to a point where Gus Johnson would not go apoplectic at certain points of the game. But Wes Johnson will do enough to win.
6 Xavier vs. 2 Kansas State
The run continues for Frank Martin. If they could shut down Jimmer, they can shut down Jordan Crawford. K-State is the stronger team inside and the Pullen-Clemente-Kelly have a nice inside-outside thing going. Three in a row for K-State.
1 Kentucky vs. 12 Cornell
There's enough aspects to keep this game interesting. Kentucky doesn't have strong perimeter defense like Temple. Syracuse is very close to Ithaca. A close game will definitely shake Kentucky. 48 states want Cornell to win. But Kentucky is currently infused with destrucity. I have Kentucky going very far in my Yahoo bracket, and I think they win here. But I'm not surprised if I'm wrong. HEDGES!
11 Washington vs. 2 West Virginia
I don't trust Bob Huggins, as you probably can tell. The Huskies rebound very well. In fact, they defend about as well as West Virginia. And not in a turnover generating sort of way. They play fast. They play hard. And they will find a way to win. They usually shoot just a little better. I will trust the Huskies to do.
1 Duke vs. 4 Purdue
In order for Duke to lose? They need a guard to go off and have a good offensive game. And while I respect Purdue for playing to their seed without their superstar? I don't think E'Twaun Moore or whatever he spells it. Duke has one more win in them.
3 Baylor vs. 10 St. Mary's (CA)
Don't expect this to be a blowout either. Samhan isn't going to be nearly as dominant as he was in the first two games (or they're going to let him go and try to stop the three). But that being said? Baylor's not great at defending a good three point shooting team. And a team like Sam Houston State has shown? They can keep it close. But I like Baylor. Tweety son. Tweety.
9 Northern Iowa vs. 2 Ohio State
And here's where the dream dies and the run ends. Evan Turner's just simply better than anyone Northern Iowa has ever seen. Okay, seriously? Buford-Lighty-Diebler are spectacular from beyond the arc. Lauderdale is a strong garbage time player. And they won't panic. Not by a long shot.
1 Syracuse vs. 2 Kansas State
Gus Johnson is doing this game. It will be tremendous. And Syracuse was supposed to win this game anyway when I went all bracketological the first time anyway. End to end awesome. Whoo!
1 Kentucky vs. 11 Washington
The end result of this game is simple and sane. Kentucky can attack the basket with style and aplomb. And as such? The Huskies cinderellaish run ends here. As a mere footnote.
1 Duke vs. 3 Baylor
Baylor has the offensive backcourt talent that a team needs if they're going to go out and beat Duke. Add to that the will of America wanting them to get to the final four on the scalp of falling Duke? Baylor moves onward and upward.
2 Ohio State vs. 1 Syracuse
This will be another tough classic. I believe the duel between Wes Johnson and Evan Turner will be spectacular. I feel less confident about this result than previously. But the Orange go to the finals. There I said it.
1 Kentucky vs. 3 Baylor
I know Kentucky could lose at any point. But I'm at least going to be man enough not to go away from my Yahoo bracket. Kentucky wins.
Championship: Syracuse 88, Kentucky 83.