Ohio State-Kentucky, Ohio State-Kentucky, Ohio State-Kentucky... I've been puzzling over the potential Sweet 16 game between Ohio State and Kentucky ever since the draw was first announced on Sunday. To me, that game is the key to whole tournament. If Ohio State can win that game, I think they'll run the table. But here's the thing: I think Kentucky will beat them.
I do believe that Ohio State is the best team in the country. But the best team does not always win the NCAA tournament. Ever since the NCAA selection committee introduced the idea of an overall #1 seed for the tournament, that team has only won the title once. Plus, Ohio State ended up in the toughest region of the draw. Kentucky's only part of the problem. The Buckeyes may well have their hands full with George Mason in the second round (I refuse to call it the third round!).
By the time this posts, the first game should be underway. And so, my Final Four picks: Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Pittsburgh. Duke was my preseason pick and it's difficult for me to let go of that. But I cannot ignore the fact that real live basketball games have been played since then. As such, I feel that Kansas will beat Duke in the finals. KU was my pick last year, too. But this year, the burden of top overall seed will be on Ohio State instead. The Jayhawks will be under less pressure - except from the folks back home, but there's nothing to be done about that. So, that is my pick in my group with Mock & Co. and also at work.
Image via College Basketball Wiki
I did make a fairy tale bracket this year in which I go entirely by my own rooting interest. For that one, I have a Final Four of George Mason, Bucknell, Georgetown and UNC-Asheville. In my fantasy world, the Hoyas shall top George Mason for the crown.
Let the madness begin!