March Madness: Who are your picks?

March 16th, 2011 by Anthony Santiago



Who do you pick? Well, coming here to the Sports Witch Doctor, aka Anthony “Sports Director” Santiago, will help you put together a bracket that will truly get you some bragging rights with your friends. Now, I understand, you will look at this bracket and it will scare you. You might even feel sick. But there is one thing you need to understand this year. The competition is brutal and picking your upsets will not be easy as years before. Will there be any? Of course. But will there be a lot? Probably not. That is why you are here and I will guide you through the tumultuous and utter madness we call the NCAA Tournament.

East

Beginning in the East Bracket, many sports analysts will tell you that there is one team that will see no problems emerging as the champion: THE Ohio State University. Now, as you can see from my bracket, I do not disagree with them in the slightest that they will emerge victorious. However, there is one team that could potentially ruin Ohio State’s chances in making an appearance in the Final Four: West Virginia University. WVU is a team that plays with an intense and extremely aggressive full court press from both sides of the court. WVU’s squad will take teams up and down the court, really stretching guards causing for more open shits from the elbow and wings. Ohio State does have potential player of the year Jared Sullinger. Sullinger averages 17.2 points per game and adds 10.2 rebounds as well. This potential draft first rounder will help secure those positions on the side of the court, but it is extremely possible that he can be stretched out too much. If you are willingly to take a chance, don’t forget that WVU can play hard defense, being 56th overall in rebounds. The Mountaineers are definitely the sleeper cells of the East.

West

The West is another bracket that will prove to be extremely easy, but with one surpriser. Duke most likely will emerge as the champion but they could hit a snag in gaining a Final Four berth due to the one and only University of Connecticut. UConn has one of the most remarkable guards that could really give Sullinger a run for his money. Kemba Walker has been running this team for the entire year and has been doing a phenomenal job so far. With an average of 23.1 points per game, the next player, Jeremy Lamb, following up with 10.3 points per game, Kemba Walker will be the determining fate for the Huskies but also the Devils. Can Duke stop a Kemba Walker that is hungry for a championship, especially in his last possible year as a Husky? Expect to see Duke emerge, but don’t rule out the aggressiveness that Kemba will bring to the game on the 26th if March.

Southwest

This is another bracket that could potentially have two emerging as champions. Kansas and Purdue seem to be the teams that will emerge, however, the Irish have had a terrific year that many will have to evaluate. The Irish have had a great year, but that being said, they have been, in recent years, having a harder time progress farther in the tournament. Purdue is a proven team and also, Kansas has been dominating teams as of late. However, Purdue will take on Kansas and most likely, Purdue will emerge as champions only if they can stop Marcus and Markeiff Morris. Those two carry the Jayhawks, but they can be stopped. If Marcus can be kept away from the left side wing and Purdue can do a better job of defending the inside paint, Kansas’ season will come to an end.

Southeast
Now, I believe this is when many of you will be lost by the Witch Doctor. After consulting my chicken bones, I have determined that only one will truly emerge from this bracket and that is Wisconsin. Florida, as much as they are a superior team statistically, the Gators, also including Pitt, have the most chances of being upset either by Michigan State in the second round for Florida or Old Dominion overthrowing Pitt in the second as well. Wisconsin will hit a rough patch by taking on Kansas St; however, if they can defeat them, then most likely Wisconsin will have a clear run into the Final Four.

Final Four and National Championship

Between Duke and Ohio State, the Buckeyes will run past the devils solely on the fact that Sullinger will carry the team. Duke has a great core players, but Sullinger alone will be able to run them up and down the court. Between Purdue and Wisconsin, Wisconsin has a superior interior defense and better perimeter shooting than Purdue. Expect a rematch between Ohio State and Wisconsin, with Wisconsin emerging as the champion. It will take the full effort of Wisconsin to shut down Sullinger, but by that team, they will be extremely stretched and tired that they will be unable to win the championship.

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