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This is Sweet!

I wrote a “pre March Madness” bit, but somehow it did not upload when I told it too. That is a good thing, since I picked Kansas to win it all. Also had Villanova playing in the Final Four (didn’t want Duke to make it). Well, in just a few short days we are to our Final 16. The Sweet 16. Are they the “best” teams left in the nation? That is up to the t.v. talking heads to debate, but here are the matchups that will decide the Elite 8, Final 4 and your 2009-2010 National Champions.

Midwest Region:
(9) Northern Iowa vs. (5) Michigan State– VERY few people had this matchup written in on their brackets. Michigan State may have been here, but the Panthers from Northern Iowa pulled off an upset for the ages. After knocking out #1 overall seed Kansas, the Panthers will have the banged up Spartans in St Louis. Look for another close game with the Northern Iowa 3 point shooting determining the outcome.
Pick: Northern Iowa

(6) Tennessee vs. (2) Ohio State– The Volunteers will have their second straight matchup against a team from the Buckeye State. Evan Turner leads the Buckeyes against the athletic Tennessee team who has an impressive resume so far this year. If Turner can find his stroke, he could lead the Buckeyes to the Elite 8.
Pick: Ohio State

East Region:
(1) Kentucky vs. (12) Cornell– The “Big Red” will have their hands full with the most dominant team of the tourney so far. Kentucky has not been challenged so far, and will look to over power Cornell. This one could get ugly early.
Pick: Kentucky

(10) Washington vs. (2) West Virginia– Both teams are riding impressive win streaks, and are both looking for their 2nd appearance in the Final Four. The Huskies are lead by Isaiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter while the Mountaineers are lead by the heroic Desean Butler. Look for a close one decided in the last minute.
Pick: West Virginia

West Region:
(1) Syracuse vs. (5) Butler– The second most dominant team of the tourney (Syracuse) faces a tough mid-major in Butler. Wesley Johnson has had a terrific tourney and will look to continue against the Bulldogs. Butler has had one of the “easiest” roads into the Sweet 16. Look for a close game early, with the Orange building a large lead in the 2nd Half.
Pick: Syracuse

(6) Xavier vs. (2) Kansas State– Kansas State has been on a lot of peoples radar during this late season because of their athleticism and grit. Xavier has had a successful but quiet year, and has stayed off of many peoples radar. Look for a high scoring game with lots of trips to the free throw line.
Pick: Kansas State

South Region:
(1) Duke vs. (4) Purdue– When Robbie Hummel went down this year, Purdue’s lofty ranking and hopes fell by the wayside. But the Boilermakers have found others who have stepped up. Duke has been the least respected #1 seed, but has played well. Look for the Blue Devils to continue their roll while Purdue seems to miss Hummel for the first time this tourney.
Pick: Duke

(10) St. Mary’s vs. (3) Baylor– Another matchup that a lot of people did not see coming. St Mary’s has long been overshadowed by Gonzaga in the West, but this year is different. The Gaels are led by great shooting and the stellar play of Center Omar Samhan. The Baylor Bears have been a trendy pick since the Big 12 tourney and they continue to win impressively. The Bears are athletic and tough, a combination that has produced championships before. Don’t sleep on this sleeper.
Pick: Baylor

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