Thursday, March 08, 2007

Round 2

I won't get too cocky over yesterday's predictions. I picked three favorites over three weak teams. It wasn't that hard to do.

Here's where it gets tricky.....

Round 2 - The Quarterfinals

Noon - Ohio State (1) vs. Michigan (8)
It's no suprise how I'm going to predict this game. I'm a Buckeye fan, as you may have heard. But I do have reasons why Ohio State will beat Michigan and advance to the semifinals. The Buckeyes still have their eyes on a #1 seed, and I don't know if it's guaranteed, should they lose this game. Yes, there still is a lot of importance on this contest. Michigan's life depends on it more....lose, and they're NIT-bound. But will that be enough motivation for the Wolverines? Actually, I want to beat Michigan, but have them make the NCAAs and wind up in our region. Who doesn't want to beat Michigan four times in one season?

230pm - Iowa (4) vs. Purdue (5)
I'm shocked that a team as bad as Iowa is the 4th-seed in this tourney. They were once 5-6, and have only one prayer to make the NCAA tourney...the automatic bid if they win the Big Ten. Purdue, however, is battling for a possible at-large bid to the dance. I think they need two more wins to get in (they can make it with 22), and they'll get off on the right foot in this game. This will be the first upset of the Big Ten Tourney, with 5th-seeded Purdue victorious.

640pm - Michigan State (7) vs. Wisconsin (2)
I admit, I didn't give Northwestern a prayer in today's game, but they nearly pulled off the miracle. Personally, I think that Michigan State did what I was worried about...they nearly got caught looking ahead to the second round. Both of these teams are headed to the NCAA tourney, and both have a lot to prove. Michigan State wants to avenge their loss to the Badgers last week, and Wisconsin has to show they still deserve a #1 seed. This game will be the best battle in the whole tournament. But it's another upset, as Sparty pulls it off.

910pm - Indiana (3) vs. Illinois (6)
Damn, I'm glad Ohio State is in the other half of the bracket. Two more teams that will both make the NCAA Tournament, and two more very dangerous teams. Also, another rubber match to be played out. Illinois and Indiana split during the regular season. Illinois is 1-5 against ranked teams this year...that one win was against Indiana. I've gotta go with recent tournament experience on this one and give it to the Illini. Upset #3 on the day.

I could be eating my hat on this day, but I'm sure that a lot of people can agree that none of the three upsets are really HUGE upsets. These are four evenly-matched games, and three upsets is not far-fetched.

Round three predictions tomorrow.

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