2018 NCAA Tournament predictions

Movie quote of the day:

“No, Colonel Sanders, you’re wrong.”

– Bobby Boucher, The Waterboy (1998)

Today begins one of the most wonderful times of the year – March Madness. A time for upsets, Cinderella stories, broken hearts, buzzer beaters, and one shining moment. This should be a very entertaining tournament because I don’t think there’s a true No. 1 team in the country. I expect a lot of upsets and some teams in the Final Four that no one expected. I posted my March Madness predictions for the first time last year and really enjoyed it, so I’ve decided to make it an annual thing.

Virginia Cavaliers guard Ty Jerome (11) reacts with guard Kyle Guy (5) and forward Isaiah Wilkins (21) and center Jack Salt (33) during the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2018 ACC tournament at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

South regional

Round of 64:

No. 16 UMBC (24-10) vs. No. 1 Virginia (31-2) – Charlotte, N.C.

UMBC finds itself in the tournament after getting hot and winning its conference tournament thanks to some sharp shooting, but I don’t think the Retrievers will be able to keep it up against Virginia’s defense – which ranks No. 1 in the country.

Winner: Virginia

No. 9 Kansas State (22-11) vs. No. 8 Creighton (21-11) – Charlotte, N.C.

This is a tough game to pick, but I’m going with my gut and taking Kansas State. Creighton has struggled away from home and against Quadrant 1 teams this season. Plus, I think Bruce Weber is the better coach.

Winner: Kansas State

No. 12 Davidson (21-11) vs. No. 5 Kentucky (24-10) – Boise, Idaho

Both of these teams are playing very well. Davidson has been shooting the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc. Kentucky is one of the best in the nation at defending 3-pointers though. The Wildcats also have an excellent coach and plenty of talent.

Winner: Kentucky

No. 13 Buffalo (26-8) vs. No. 4 Arizona (27-7) – Boise, Idaho

Buffalo has what it takes to pull off this upset, but I think Arizona is the better team right now. The Wildcats are playing well (winners of eight of their last 11 games), they have more talent, and have the better head coach.

Winner: Arizona

No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (28-5) vs. No. 6 Miami (22-9) – Dallas

Miami hasn’t been the same team since Bruce Brown got hurt, losers of four of its last eight games. Loyola-Chicago is a sneaky good team to watch out for. The Ramblers play tough defense and can shoot the ball well. I like them to get the upset in this matchup.

Winner: Loyola-Chicago

No. 14 Wright State (25-9) vs. No. 3 Tennessee (25-8) – Dallas

Of all the 3/14 matchups, this might be the one to keep an eye on. Wright State plays tough defense and has a coach with tournament experience, but Tennessee has a good coach too in Rick Barnes and has better athletes.

Winner: Tennessee

No. 10 Texas (19-14) vs. No. 7 Nevada (27-7) – Nashville, Tenn.

I wanted to pull the trigger on Texas to get the upset. However, Nevada is another sneaky good team to watch. The Wolf Pack like to play an up-tempo style and they shoot the ball well. I think the Longhorns will have a hard time trying to keep up.

Winner: Nevada

No. 15 Georgia State (24-10) vs. No. 2 Cincinnati (30-4) – Nashville, Tenn.

Georgia State has been shooting the ball well in its last four games and has a head coach with experience in pulling off an upset in the tournament, but Cincinnati boasts the No. 2 defense in the country and should be able to limit Georgia State’s offense.

Winner: Cincinnati

Kentucky Wildcats forward Kevin Knox (5) goes up for a basket during the second half of the SEC Conference Tournament Championship game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Round of 32:

No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 1 Virginia – Charlotte, N.C.

Kansas State has some good players, but in the end, the Wildcats don’t have enough offense to score on Virginia’s top-ranked defense. I expect the Cavaliers to advance to the Sweet 16.

Winner: Virginia

No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 4 Arizona – Boise, Idaho

This is one of the hardest games to predict in this tournament. Both teams have a lot of talent, but I’m going to give the slight edge to Kentucky. The Wildcats have the better coach and I really like the way they ended the season, winners of seven of their last eight games and won the SEC tournament. Kentucky also has enough size to contain Arizona’s Deandre Ayton down low and I don’t think Arizona has enough offense to score points if Ayton doesn’t get going.

Winner: Kentucky

No. 11 Loyola-Chicago vs. No. 3 Tennessee – Dallas

I think this is where Loyola-Chicago’s run ends. I was impressed with Tennessee during the SEC tournament and it feels like the Volunteers are poised to get to the second weekend of the tournament. They have plenty of size, play tough defense, and have a coach with tournament experience.

Winner: Tennessee

No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 2 Cincinnati – Nashville, Tenn.

Nevada likes to play up-tempo and score points, but I don’t think the Wolf Pack have faced a defense as tough as Cincinnati’s this season. I feel like the Bearcats ought to take care of business in this game.

Winner: Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bearcats guard Cane Broome (15) directs the offense during the first half against the Houston Cougars at Health and Physical Education Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Regional semifinals – Atlanta:

No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 1 Virginia

I really don’t think that Virginia’s style of play is good enough to make a deep tournament run. The Cavaliers are constantly relying too much on their defense and play an outdated style of basketball that is all about ball possession and draining the shot clock. I think Kentucky has what it takes to pull off an upset. The Wildcats have the better coach, better athletes, and have enough size and play with enough tempo to knock off Virginia. Also, since this game will be a week after the first weekend, Kentucky will have plenty of time to prepare for Virginia’s defense.

Winner: Kentucky

No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Cincinnati

Unlike most people, I think Cincinnati is the real deal and has an underrated coach in Mick Cronin. I said Tennessee has what it takes to make it to the Sweet 16, but I’m not sure the Volunteers are good enough to get past the Bearcats. I think Tennessee will struggle to score on Cincinnati’s defense.

Winner: Cincinnati

Regional final – Atlanta:

No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Cincinnati

Kentucky has enough talent to get to this point in the tournament, but I do think that this team’s inexperience will eventually be its demise. Cincinnati is a relatively young team too, but the Bearcats have five upperclassmen on roster, which is more than Kentucky. Plus, I think facing the top two defensive teams in the nation within a span of two days will really take a toll on the Wildcats. I don’t feel good about it, but I’m picking Cincinnati to get to San Antonio.

Winner: Cincinnati

Xavier Musketeers guard Trevon Bluiett (5) dribbles against the St. John’s Red Storm during the second half in the Big East Conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

West regional

Round of 64:

No. 16 Texas Southern vs. No. 1 Xavier (28-5) – Nashville, Tenn.

Xavier has enough talent and a good enough coach to win this game. Plus, I think after a disappointing end in the Big East tournament, the Musketeers will be hungry to start the NCAA tournament.

Winner: Xavier

No. 9 Florida State (20-11) vs. No. 8 Missouri (20-12) – Nashville, Tenn.

I’m on the fence about both of these teams, but I’m going to go with Florida State. Even though the Seminoles ended the year horribly, losers of five of its last eight games, Missouri isn’t playing much better either. Also, with Michael Porter Jr. coming back, that might affect the team’s chemistry.

Winner: Florida State

No. 12 South Dakota State (28-6) vs. No. 5 Ohio State (24-8) – Boise, Idaho

I’ve fallen for the 5/12 upset way too many times recently. I don’t see Ohio State making a deep run, but I like the Buckeyes to just barely win this game. They have more talent, they’re tough defensively, and have the better head coach.

Winner: Ohio State

No. 13 UNC-Greensboro (27-7) vs. No. 4 Gonzaga (30-4) – Boise, Idaho

I think we need to watch out for Gonzaga in this tournament. The Bulldogs have won 20 of their last 21 games, they’re great offensively and defensively, and they have a coach with plenty of tournament experience. I think Gonzaga keeps rolling.

Winner: Gonzaga

No. 11 San Diego State (22-10) vs. No. 6 Houston (26-7) – Wichita, Kan.

This is another game that could be an upset. San Diego State has been red hot and won its conference tournament. I’d probably take the Aztecs if Steve Fisher was still the coach, but he’s not. I think Houston is a good team and I think the Cougars find a way to win.

Winner: Houston

No. 14 Montana (26-7) vs. No. 3 Michigan (28-7) – Wichita, Kan.

Another team to watch for in this tournament is Michigan. The Wolverines have won 11 of their last 12 games, they’ve been shooting the ball very well during that stretch, they won the Big Ten tournament two weeks ago, and have a great tournament coach in John Beilein. I expect Michigan to make a run.

Winner: Michigan

10. Providence (21-13) vs. No. 7 Texas A&M (20-12) – Charlotte, N.C.

I hate picking chalk, but I’m having a hard time taking Providence in this game. Even though I think the Friars have the better head coach in Ed Cooley, the Aggies have too much size, more talent, and shoot the ball better.

Winner: Texas A&M

No. 15 Lipscomb (23-9) vs. No. 2 North Carolina (25-10) – Charlotte, N.C.

I’m actually not sure how good of a team North Carolina is, but the Tar Heels have been playing well, they have enough talent, and they have an elite head coach. They ought to get past the Round of 64.

Winner: North Carolina

North Carolina Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II (2) reacts with North Carolina Tar Heels guard Brandon Robinson (4) and North Carolina Tar Heels forward Sterling Manley (21) during the second half of a semifinal game of the 2018 ACC tournament against the Duke Blue Devils at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Round of 32:

No. 9 Florida State vs. No. 1 Xavier – Nashville, Tenn.

Even though I’m not sold on Xavier as a team, I’m struggling to see Florida State pull off this upset. The Seminoles have enough size to match up with Xavier down low, but I don’t think the Seminoles have the offense to pull off the upset.

Winner: Xavier

No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Gonzaga – Boise, Idaho

I’m not sure Ohio State can win this game. Gonzaga is a really good team that is under seeded, in my opinion. The Bulldogs are great on both ends of the court and are playing their best basketball right now, whereas I think the Buckeyes peaked a few weeks ago.

Winner: Gonzaga

No. 6 Houston vs. No. 3 Michigan – Wichita, Kan.

Michigan is too hot and, like I said earlier, John Beilein is one of the best tournament coaches in the country. I expect the Wolverines to get to the Sweet 16.

Winner: Michigan

No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 2 North Carolina – Charlotte, N.C.

Texas A&M has the size to match up with North Carolina, but the Aggies lack the guards to score points. North Carolina has a really good senior guard in Joel Berry II and one of the best coaches in the country.

Winner: North Carolina

Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few sends in a play during a basketball game against the Pepperdine Waves during the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Regional semifinals – Los Angeles:

No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 1 Xavier

I said I’m not sold on Xavier and I think this is when the Musketeers fall. Gonzaga is just a tough matchup to face in the Sweet 16. The Bulldogs have too much size and they shoot the ball very well. They also have the better head coach in Mark Few, who will have almost a week to prepare for Xavier.

Winner: Gonzaga

No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 2 North Carolina

This is one of the tougher games to predict in this tournament. Both teams ended the season on positive notes and have been playing well. I said I wouldn’t pick this team in the tournament, but I’m going to go with North Carolina. The Tar Heels have the experience, talented guards, and coach to make a deep run, but I think the difference in this game will be the Tar Heels’ size, which will be a clear advantage over the Wolverines. Plus, I think Michigan’s inability to shoot free throws will prevent the Wolverines from winning a close game at some point in the tournament.

Winner: North Carolina

Regional final – Los Angeles:

No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 North Carolina

In a matchup of last year’s national championship game, I think it’ll end in the same result with North Carolina emerging victorious. I like Mark Few as a head coach, but with just two days to prepare I’m giving the edge to Roy Williams. The Tar Heels have the size to match up with Gonzaga and also have better guards, in my opinion.

Winner: North Carolina

Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright reacts to a call against the Providence Friars during the second half of the Big East Conference Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

East regional

Round of 64:

No. 16 Radford vs. No. 1 Villanova (30-4) – Pittsburgh

Radford doesn’t have the offense to knock off Villanova. The Wildcats have won seven of their last eight games and ought to take care of business in this round.

Winner: Villanova

No. 9 Alabama (19-15) vs. No. 8 Virginia Tech (21-11) – Pittsburgh

In my opinion, this matchup is probably the biggest coin flip of all the first round games. Both of these teams match up well with each other, but I’m going to give the slight edge to Virginia Tech. The Hokies have the better coach and defense, which should help limit Collin Sexton’s touches.

Winner: Virginia Tech

No. 12 Murray State (26-5) vs. No. 5 West Virginia (24-10) – San Diego

I just don’t think Murray State matches up well with West Virginia. The Racers aren’t deep enough to handle WVU’s press defense and their best player is a point guard who will be matched up with two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in Jevon Carter. Not a good combination.

Winner: West Virginia

No. 13 Marshall (24-10) vs. No. 4 Wichita State (25-7) – San Diego

Marshall got hot and won its conference tournament to earn its first NCAA tournament berth since 1987. I don’t expect much of a run though from the Thundering Herd. Wichita State has the better coach and more size. I’ll take the Shockers.

Winner: Wichita State

No. 11 St. Bonaventure vs. No. 6 Florida (20-12) – Dallas

St. Bonaventure is a tricky draw for Florida. However, I like the Gators to move on. They have more talent, they have equal depth when compared to St. Bonaventure, they have the better coach, and they’ll have more rest since St. Bonaventure played in the First Four on Tuesday.

Winner: Florida

No. 14 Stephen F. Austin (28-6) vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (24-9) – Dallas

Stephen F. Austin is an interesting team to watch. The Lumberjacks have pulled off upsets in the tournament in recent years, but Brad Underwood isn’t the coach anymore. Texas Tech has senior guards and plays tough defense. The Red Raiders ought to advance.

Winner: Texas Tech

No. 10 Butler (20-13) vs. No. 7 Arkansas (23-11) – Detroit

Arkansas is tempting in this matchup because I respect Mike Anderson as a coach, but the Razorbacks haven’t played as well defensively this season as Anderson would like. Butler is a decent-shooting team that I think could give Arkansas a lot of problems on the offensive end.

Winner: Butler

No. 15 Cal State Fullerton (20-11) vs. No. 2 Purdue (28-6) – Detroit

I don’t know much about Cal State Fullerton, but Purdue has an excellent combination of size, shooting, and a coach with tournament experience. The Boilermakers should get it done and advance.

Winner: Purdue

West Virginia Mountaineers guard Jevon Carter (2) looks for an opening along the baseline against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half of a Big 12 tournament semifinal game at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Round of 32:

No. 8 Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Villanova – Pittsburgh

This might end up being an interesting game because Virginia Tech shoots the ball well and is well coached. I think the Hokies make it a close game, but I’m going with Villanova. The Wildcats are the better team offensively and have better athletes.

Winner: Villanova

No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 4 Wichita State – San Diego

Wichita State certainly has the depth to handle West Virginia’s press defense, but I think the Shockers have too much size and not enough ball handlers. Outside of Cincinnati, Wichita State hasn’t faced a defense that wreaks as much havoc as WVU and eventually that press defense will wear down the Shockers. With only two days to prepare, I have to give the edge to Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers.

Winner: West Virginia

No. 6 Florida vs. No. 3 Texas Tech – Dallas

Florida is a tough draw for Texas Tech in this round. The Gators have a lot of talent and athletes, and a coach that proved last year that he can lead this team deep into the tournament. There seems to always be a three seed that fails to make it to the second weekend. This year, I think that team is Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are a good team, but I feel like they’ve peaked and were overseeded in this tournament.

Winner: Florida

No. 10 Butler vs. No. 2 Purdue – Detroit

Even though Purdue didn’t end the season on the best note, the Boilermakers should be able to win this game and advance to a second-consecutive Sweet 16. They have too much size, too much offense, and I doubt Butler will be able to keep up.

Winner: Purdue

Purdue Boilermakers guard Carsen Edwards (3) and Purdue Boilermakers forward Vincent Edwards (12) react during the second half of the championship game of the 2018 Big Ten Tournament against the Michigan Wolverines at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Regional semifinals – Boston:

No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 1 Villanova

With a week to prepare, Villanova is one of the few teams in this tournament that I feel like will have no problems facing WVU’s pressure. The Wildcats have too many talented guards and are a really good offensive team. The Mountaineers should make this is an interesting game, but I think Villanova pulls away in the second half.

Winner: Villanova

No. 6 Florida vs. No. 2 Purdue

Purdue should be good enough to win this game and advance. Florida has the athletes to make a run but it isn’t a very good shooting team, so I think the Gators are going to struggle trying to keep up with Purdue offensively.

Winner: Purdue

Regional final – Boston:

No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 1 Villanova

If Purdue can play like it did a few weeks ago, this could be a very intriguing regional final. Both of these teams shoot the ball extremely well and can light up the scoreboard. However, I think Villanova is one of the more complete teams in this tournament and has the better coach in Jay Wright.

Winner: Villanova

Kansas Jayhawks guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and forward Silvio De Sousa (22) and guard Devonte’ Graham (4) walk back on to the court after a time out against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second half of the Big 12 Tournament final at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Midwest regional

Round of 64:

No. 16 Penn (24-8) vs. No. 1 Kansas (27-7) – Wichita, Kan.

This is the only 1/16 matchup where I think the 16 seed could give the one seed problems. Kansas lacks size and Penn is a good rebounding team, but the Jayhawks shoot the ball too well and should take care of business.

Winner: Kansas

No. 9 N.C. State (21-11) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall (21-11) – Wichita, Kan.

I originally had N.C. State winning this game, but I’m changing it to Seton Hall. The Pirates have been in the tournament each of the last three years. Seton Hall is experienced, rebounds very well, and plays tougher defense.

Winner: Seton Hall

No. 12 New Mexico State (28-5) vs. No. 5 Clemson (23-9) – San Diego

There’s been at least one No. 12 seed to upset a No. 5 seed in nine of the last ten NCAA tournaments. I think that trend continues this year and Clemson is the No. 5 seed to go home early. Clemson has lost five of its last eight games and I feel like the Tigers have peaked for this season. New Mexico State is a very good team that can shoot the ball, rebounds well, plays tough defense, and is hot, having won 17 of its last 19 games.

Winner: New Mexico State

No. 13 Charleston (26-7) vs. No. 4 Auburn (25-7) – San Diego

It’s hard to tell what Auburn will do in this tournament because the Tigers haven’t been the same team since Anfernee McLemore got hurt. However, I don’t think Charleston matches up well with Auburn, so I like the Tigers to advance.

Winner: Auburn

No. 11 Syracuse vs. No. 6 TCU (21-11) – Detroit

TCU ought to be able to handle Syracuse. The Horned Frogs can shoot the ball, rebound well, and have a coach with plenty of NCAA tournament experience. I like them to move on.

Winner: TCU

No. 14 Bucknell (25-9) vs. No. 3 Michigan State (29-4) – Detroit

I consider Michigan State to be the fifth No. 1 seed in this tournament. The Spartans are a Final Four team with a lot of size and a great coach that knows how to make a run in March. Plus, I think that since Michigan State was given a No. 3 seed, the Spartans will feel disrespected and want to show their stuff in this tournament.

Winner: Michigan State

No. 10 Oklahoma (18-13) vs. No. 7 Rhode Island (25-7) – Pittsburgh

I feel like we need to keep an eye on Oklahoma in this game. Yes, the Sooners have struggled tremendously for the last few weeks, but they’ll still have the best player on the court in Trae Young and the better coach in this matchup, plus Rhode Island has struggled in recent weeks too. However, there’s no way I can pick a team that has lost 11 of its last 15 games like the Sooners.

Winner: Rhode Island

No. 15 Iona (20-13) vs. No. 2 Duke (26-7) – Pittsburgh

Iona doesn’t match up well with Duke at all. The Gaels struggle at rebounding and Duke has too much size and shoots the ball really well.

Winner: Duke

New Mexico State Aggies head coach Chris Jans looks on during the first half of the WAC Basketball Championship against the Grand Canyon Antelopes at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Clark-USA TODAY Sports

Round of 32:

No. 8 Seton Hall vs. No. 1 Kansas – Wichita, Kan.

Unless Seton Hall gets a monstrous game from Angel Delgado down low, I think Kansas should be able to cruise to the next round. The Pirates aren’t as good of an offensive team as Kansas. Plus, the Jayhawks play better defense and have the better coach.

Winner: Kansas

No. 12 New Mexico State vs. No. 4 Auburn – San Diego

Most people would probably take Auburn to win this game, but like I said, the Tigers haven’t been the same team since Anfernee McLemore got hurt. New Mexico State is a sneaky good team that plays great defense and has a lot of size. I’m not confident in it, but I think the Aggies give Auburn a lot of problems and advance to the Sweet 16.

Winner: New Mexico State

No. 6 TCU vs. No. 3 Michigan State – Detroit

I don’t think TCU matches up well with Michigan State. The Horned Frogs don’t have the size to match up with Miles Bridges, Nick Ward, and Jaren Jackson Jr. for an entire game. Unless TCU gets insanely hot shooting the ball, I have to go with the Spartans to win this one.

Winner: Michigan State

No. 7 Rhode Island vs. No. 2 Duke – Pittsburgh

Rhode Island is a tricky opponent with a lot of athleticism. However, there’s no way I’m picking against Duke and Coach K. The Blue Devils have more size and even more athleticism than the Rams.

Winner: Duke

Michigan State Spartans guard Miles Bridges (22) reacts during the first half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Regional semifinals – Omaha, Neb.:

No. 12 New Mexico State vs. No. 1 Kansas

Even though I don’t think Kansas is that good, there’s no way I’m picking New Mexico State to win this game.

Winner: Kansas

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2. Duke

This is probably the toughest game to predict in the entire tournament. Duke is probably the best No. 2 seed and I consider Michigan State the fifth No. 1 seed. Both teams match up so well together because they have a lot of size. Duke got the better of Michigan State in the regular season though, so I’ll take Tom Izzo the second time around.

Winner: Michigan State

Regional final – Omaha, Neb.:

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Kansas

Michigan State has the recipe to knock off Kansas. The Spartans have more size, more depth, and play better defense than Kansas. I think they match up very well and will be able to wear down the Jayhawks in this matchup. I think Michigan State’s defense will be the difference maker and will prevent Kansas from making too many shots.

Winner: Michigan State

Final Four – San Antonio:

No. 2 Cincinnati vs. No. 2 North Carolina

I think this is when Cincinnati’s run will end. North Carolina is better than the Bearcats in almost every category. The Tar Heels have the tournament experience and they rebound better, shoot better, and play good enough defense to win (not as good as Cincinnati, but still pretty good). As unlikely as it is for North Carolina to make a third-consecutive national championship appearance, I think this matchup really favors the Tar Heels.

Winner: North Carolina

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Villanova

I think Michigan State has the edge in this game. The Spartans aren’t as good offensively as Villanova, but they play really good defense and their size advantage could affect how well Villanova shoots the ball. Plus, the Spartans will have the coaching advantage. Michigan State has what it takes to defeat the Wildcats and play for the national championship.

Winner: Michigan State

National Championship – San Antonio:

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 North Carolina

I just said that it’s unlikely for North Carolina to play for a third-consecutive national championship, and my readers know that I hate picking defending champions (UNC is the defending champs). So I have to go with Michigan State to win this game. Tom Izzo is probably the best tournament coach in the country, and I think this might be his best team yet at Michigan State. This team was actually playing very well before facing a red hot Michigan team in the Big Ten tournament. So after a disappointing end in their conference tournament and getting a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, I think the Spartans will be highly motivated and they have the size, talent, and defense that it takes to win it all.

Winner: Michigan State

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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