Uh oh. We just got our NCAA bracket grades back.

We’ve studied more this time and predict the final two weeks of the NCAA tournament.



Grade: D

I’m not going to lie, my picks were off. I had Tennessee as an overrated team and they are still dancing in the Sweet 16. I thought that this team could get upset in the first round with the injuries they underwent, but I never expected them to go on and beat a red-hot Duke team.

Memphis, my underrated team, got knocked off in a last second basket from FAU in the first round of the tournament. They played a good game but faced a tough FAU team that is still in the tournament.

Both of my Cinderella teams were also bounced in the first round of the tournament. UCSB made it a close game going up by one in the first half. But the second half was a different story as they went on to lose 74-56. I was furthermore shocked when Oral Roberts got blown out by Duke. I thought Oral Roberts was one of the best teams in that side of the bracket and getting blown out 74-51 didn’t fit the description.

I still have two of my Final Four teams in the tournament in Texas and Kansas State. But I lost my other two teams, Kansas and Virginia, in early upsets. And to make matters worse, Kansas was my champion.

Overrated: FAU

Underrated: Creighton

Cinderella: Michigan State

Final Four: Alabama, Michigan State, Texas, and Gonzaga

Champion: Texas

Looking forward to the tournament, I think that this Sweet 16 and beyond can go many different ways. First off, I think the big bracket buster will be Michigan State beating 3-seed Kansas State. This Michigan State team is tough. They are coming off beating 2-seed Marquette and are playing really good basketball. Even though K-State is playing good basketball now as well, I think the edge in this game is going to go to Michigan State.

I think that an overrated team in the Sweet 16 is FAU. They won on a last second layup against Memphis and beat a tough 16-seed in FDU. But I think the hype on this team will be cut short against Tennessee.

I think that Creighton has a chance to make a run for the Final Four. Creighton has a high scoring offense that can score with anyone in the country. I think that if they play their game, they could have a chance of making a deep run in the tournament.

I have my updated Final Four as Alabama, Michigan State, Texas and Gonzaga. In the Final Four games, I have Alabama beating Michigan State and Texas beating Gonzaga. In the Championship game, I have Texas pulling an upset beating the #1 overall seed, Alabama.



Grade: D+

To say that my picks were bad would be an understatement. They were horrendous. The Purdue pick was bad for obvious reasons, but I was surprised at Purdue’s gameplan. When you have the best player in college basketball with a 10” advantage inside, the last thing you should do is chuck up threes. They went 5 for 26 (19%) from downtown and shot under 36% from the floor. The best thing they did all day was punch a hole through a whiteboard in their locker room.

Texas A&M got punched in the mouth by a red-hot Penn State team, so I guess they really weren’t underrated. Houston has yet to show that they’re overrated, although Miami could give them a run for their money. St. Mary’s pulled away from VCU and Providence lost by eight to Kentucky, so I both cinderellas wrong there.

I have two saving graces. First, I was right about Pitt beating Mississippi State and Iowa State. Second, three of my four teams are still alive in the Sweet Sixteen. Aside from Purdue, Texas and Gonzaga were able to survive against their respective opponents, and Alabama has dominated their first two opponents.

Overrated: Tennessee

Underrated: Arkansas

Cinderella: Michigan State

Final Four: Alabama, Michigan State, Texas, Gonzaga

Champion: Alabama

Tennessee is somewhat lucky to be in the spot they’re in right now. They barely beat 13 seed Louisiana before beating who many perceived as an unstoppable Duke team. However, even as a 5th seed Duke still managed to be overrated. In theory, they should get past 9 seed FAU, but I don’t see them going any farther than that.

Arkansas has already proved themselves to be underrated by upsetting 1 seed Kansas, making their third straight Sweet Sixteen. UConn has looked good, but Arkansas has more tournament experience and is playing their best basketball right now.

Michigan State took down 2 seed Marquette and I wouldn’t be one to doubt Coach Tom Izzo now. He knows what it takes to succeed on this stage and it’s quite possible that he finds his way back to the Final Four.

With the addition of Michigan State, My Final Four looks the same. It’s never easy to make the Final Four, but I feel like I still need to stay confident with my picks. Gonzaga vs. UCLA should be a great rematch of last year. A win there for Gonzaga could propel them to the national championship. However, Alabama has looked like the best team in college basketball for the past month. A hot 1 seed is the last team anyone wants to face. Even with the controversy surrounding the program, I have them taking home the title. How ironic would it be for Alabama basketball to have a better season than Alabama football?



Grade: C-

My underrated picks were simply wrong. A&M ran into a hot shooting Penn State team and got blown out in the first round. Duke looked amazing in the first round against Oral Roberts, and then got out played by Tennessee. They just looked undermatched physically, and struggled to get a clean look offensively.

My overrated pick was spot on. Couldn’t have been a better pick. Purdue, with a 7 foot 4 inch player of the year in Zach Edey, got beat by FDU. FDU’s tallest player is 6 foot 6. They’re the shortest team in D1 basketball. I also called the lackluster guard play would come back to bite them, and it certainly did. Purdue had 16 turnovers, and their offense just looked bad. When they got a good look, they missed it. FDU played to win, Purdue played not to lose. Great recipe for a historical upset.

My Cinderella was ½, which is expected. Kent State struggled offensively, and Trayce Jackson-Davis was just too much for them to handle in the paint. How about Furman though? It was one of the best games of the tournament, and ended with a go-ahead 3 with 2 seconds left for the Paladins. I expected them to still be dancing, but San Diego State’s defense and athleticism posed numerous problems for the Paladins, and they were able to beat them handily.

My Final Four’s not great, but not horrible. Two of my four are still dancing, Houston and Alabama. The other two just underperformed. I loved Duke coming into the tournament, and that’s as a UNC fan. They were red hot at the right time, and reminded me of UNC last year. Unfortunately, they were outmatched against Tennessee, which I certainly didn’t expect. Tennessee was without their point guard, and still beat the Blue Devils. Kansas just didn’t look like Kansas. I was told they would have their hall of fame head coach Bill Self after not coaching in the Big 12 Tournament due to an illness. He never recovered fully, and didn’t coach their games. Arkansas matched up great against the Jayhawks, and something felt off about Kansas. I think if Self was there they’d still be dancing, but I guess that’s part of the Madness of March.

Overrated: Miami

Underrated: UConn

Cinderella: Princeton

Final Four: Alabama, Kansas State, Houston, UConn

Champion: Houston

I don’t see an overrated team in the Sweet 16. They’re all here because they earned it. Miami has impressed me so far, I just think they have a really tough matchup against Houston, and I think Miami’s guards will struggle offensively against the Cougars.

UConn has looked great to me. They have shooting, great guard play, excellent size, and they share the ball exceptionally well. I think they can make the Final Four, but it won’t be easy. Arkansas is playing their best basketball of the season, and Gonzaga and UCLA are both hitting their strides.

Princeton has shocked me so far. They beat Arizona. Not upset and got lucky, they beat them and looked like the better team. Then, they killed Missouri by 20 and controlled the game the whole way. I like their style of play, and I can see them beating Creighton. But I think they’ll be outmatched by Alabama if Bama gets past San Diego State.

Bama and Houston are there because I still like them to make a run. They’ve proved themselves, and I think they’ll make it to Houston. Markquis Nowell has been the most exciting player of the tournament. He’s distributed the ball really well and he can score when his team needs him. He’s a true point guard, and when you combine his play with Keyontae Johnson, they’re a really hard team to beat. And I’ve already said how I feel about UConn, but I think their region is the toughest to pick. All four teams could make a serious run, but I like UConn a little more than the others.

I think Houston will get past UConn, and Bama will put an end to the Kansas State magic. In the championship game, I like Houston to beat Alabama. I don’t think Alabama has seen a defense like Houston, which will give them problems. Oh, and the Final Four is played in Houston. If the Cougars can get there, they’ll have a home game in the semifinals, and a home game in the finals, something none of the other teams will be able to say. I love the combination of coaching, players, and fans to help them get the job done in Houston.