Southwest Bracket After Two Rounds
By Guest Blogger Brian Murphy:
Well, like most brackets, the Southwest had unpredictable and upset-laden first two rounds. Here I will revisit my previous picks and also give some predictions for the Sweet 16 round for the Southwest bracket teams.
The top half of this bracket was definitely the craziest, most unpredictable four games of the entire tournament. The only team that lived up to its favored pick was Kansas as they handled Boston U. I did have UNLV as a surprise team of this bracket, but they didn’t show up the first game and got beat by Illinois. The other two games were just ridiculous and I would pat anyone on the back that picked Richmond to beat Vanderbilt AND Morehead State to beat Louisville. I knew Richmond would give Vandy trouble, but did not predict them to win. The Morehead State upset was one for the ages. Did Louisville take them lightly or did Morehead State just play out of their minds? Who knows, but Kenneth Faried of Morehead State is a double-double machine and definitely got his name out there with this victory.
The bottom half of the Southwest bracket was more easy on me, as I correctly predicted those four games. I took two chances on picking upsets and it actually happened. I knew Georgetown wasn’t as good as advertsied, and VCU is making a statement this year. Florida State represented the ACC well by beating 7-seeded Texas A&M. The other two games were lay-ups as Purdue and Notre Dame handled St. Peter’s and Akron, respectively.
After the bracket’s second round, it is easy to say that #1 seed Kansas looks like the strongest team left. They efficiently took care of Illinois in front of a raucous home crowd in nearby Tulsa. The Morris brothers look like their men on a mission and it will be fun to watch them the rest of the tourney. Morehead St. must have celebrated their upset over Louisville too much because they came out flat in the second round and got beat handily by #12 seed Richmond. The Spiders are the highest seeded squad in the Sweet 16. VCU continued to prove to the nation that they deserved this tournament bid by putting up 94 points against #3-seed Purdue and advancing to the Sweet 16. The last second round game was late last night and it came as a big surprise. Florida St. dominated Notre Dame all game, shutting down the Irish’s attempts from outside the arc with their nation’s best defense. The Irish were dismantled by the Seminoles and could really never come back once the deficit reached 20+ points. The Southwest bracket proved to be a true Cinderella bracket, as the #10, 11, and 12 seeded teams are all in the Sweet 16. Kansas is the lone seed in the single digits, which looks great for how deep they can go in this tournament.
Sweet 16 Predictions:
#1 Kansas vs. #12 Richmond: I think this game will be closer than the experts are predicting, but overall I think the Jayhawks are just too good and experienced to go down to Richmond. The Morris brothers are playing lights out and Richmond will not have any answers to stop them. This bracket has been wild so far, though, so Kansas need not take Richmond lightly because honestly who knows what’s going to happen anymore!
#10 Florida State vs. #11 VCU: This game has all the makings to be an instant classic. Florida State’s top ranked defense will go against the prolific Rams of VCU who are coming off a 94-point performance against one of the nation’s best defenses in Purdue. The mini-game to watch in this battle will be if Florida State can contain the Rams’ offense. Overall, I am really impressed with how Florida State has been playing and I think VCU’s cinderella luck runs out here. Don’t be surprised to see another last second tip-in to conclude this game, though!