KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It took a while, but the upsets finally came.
And they came at the ACC’s expense.
Out went Wake Forest, which simply quit looking like an elite team after it lost at Georgia Tech in late January. Out went Florida State, which didn’t put Wisconsin away when it had a chance and paid dearly.
(By the way, the Big Ten leads the ACC 2-0 head-to-head this March, and the ACC was wearing the home whites in both games. Hmmm.)
Anyway, it was a less-than-reputable 9-7 day for me, which is further evidence of why it remains a good idea for me to maintain my decision not to enter any tournament pools. Things would have looked better if Utah State and Florida State pulled out close games and Wake Forest bothered to show up. Oh well.
As for today’s picks …
* Villanova over UCLA – A psuedo-home court helps the Wildcats carry the day
* Texas over Duke – Sticking with the Longhorns-to-the-Elite-Eight call to the bitter end.
* North Carolina over Louisiana State – Toe or no toe, the Tar Heels should win. But it won’t be easy against the SEC’s final remaining team.
* Oklahoma over Michigan – This will be Blake Griffin’s toughest game in the tournament because of the Beileiners’ 1-3-1 zone. But the talent deficit will be a bit much for the Wolverines, who are a year away from making some truly serious noise.
* Gonzaga over Western Kentucky – Sticking with the Zags despite their sluggishness the other day.
* Memphis over Maryland – The more I think about it, the closer I think it will be. But the Tigers just have a surplus of talent.
* Connecticut over Texas A&M – The Aggies will not be the fourth No. 9 seed to topple a No. 1 since 1985. The others? 1992 UTEP (over Kansas), 1994 Boston College (over North Carolina) and 2004 UAB (over Kentucky).
* Washington over Purdue – Maybe the best game of the day, and a true tossup.
Day two record: 9-7
First round record: 22-10
Overall record: 22-11
– Patrick Stevens