I’ve got 3 games left in this hellacious NCAA tournament to gain some traction. Call me Joe Public because I, along with the rest of America, had some combination of Duke, North Carolina, and Gonzaga in the Final 4. Did any of those teams make it? Not a chance, instead we are left with Virginia; an admittedly great team all year who use suffocating defense and a very efficient offense to get them this far. Auburn, the cinderella of the tournament who just bomb teams out from deep and play at such a breakneck pace that it’s hard to run with them. When the shots are falling, it’s a wrap for everyone else. You have to have a pesky team in there and what better than Coach Izzo and his Michigan State Spartans led by Cassius Winston who is just willing this rag tag group of players to Minneapolis. Finally, you have Texas Tech, who with the ascension of Jarrett Culver up the draft boards and some timely shots by Matt Mooney, made it this far.
Now that you have some background on these teams, who is going to win this thing?
Call me a schoolteacher because I love me some chalk and will roll with the Virginia Cavaliers who will defeat the Auburn Tigers 72-63 in a game where Kyle Guy just hits dagger shot after dagger shot. In the second semi-final, even though Coach Izzo is a great coach, I can’t go against the Red Raiders who win 68-64 in a tightly contested game with Moretti coming up huge down the stretch.
In the Championship, I’m rolling with Virginia to exorcise their demons from last year’s first round defeat to UMBC and win this whole thing by defeating Texas Tech 66-61 in a defensive battle. Kyle Guy gets the Most Outstanding Player and the Cavaliers finally get some well deserved National acclaim.
If you want to win money, fade these picks as Auburn doesn’t miss a 3 all tournament long and win it all.