Tag Archives: NCAA Tournament

Final Four Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Louisville has one edge on Kentucky heading into Saturday's showdown. That would be at the point guard position where Peyton Siva (pictured above) has played great as of late. Siva's heroics will not be enough for Louisville this time though.

By Josh Kramer

I have avoided it for the past few weeks.  I know it is a bad idea.  And when my bracket completely unraveled on the first Friday of the tournament by around 11PM, my desire to provide round by round predictions faded (thanks to Norfolk State and Lehigh largely).  But this the Final Four.  There is no bigger story in sports.  Plus, this year lacks a Cinderella and features two rematches of powerhouse programs.  Here are my predictions as the attention of an entire nation heads to Nawlins (New Orleans).

Matchup #1

Louisville vs Kentucky

The Skinny:  Round two in 2012 of one of College Basketball’s best rivalries.  There has probably never been a bigger sporting spectacle in the illustrious history of the Bluegrass State.  Come 9PM on Saturday, let’s hope that all cities in the state of Kentucky are still standing.  This is the 3rd straight year that the Big East Champion has made it to the Final Four.  Coincidentally, Calipari’s past two Kentucky teams have both seen the same fate in March: losses to the Big East Tournament Champion in the NCAA Tournament (West Virginia 2010, Connecticut 2011).  The third time will be the charm for the Wildcats though.  In my lifetime, I do not think there has ever been more of a heavy favorite heading into the Final Four.  This includes the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (who oddly enough lost) and the 2007 Florida Gators.  Kentucky is the best team College Basketball has seen in the past 15 years.  They have no noticeable weaknesses and are currently playing their best basketball.

Interesting Stats:  Calipari is 8 and 8 career versus John Calipari (11 and 11 if you include NBA days)  Though it should be noted that Calipari is a career 0 and 4 versus Pitino in postseason matchups.  Lastly, Calipari and Pitino are the only college basketball coaches ever to take three different programs to the Final Four.

Prediction:  Kentucky 80 Louisville 67 Continue reading

Food for Thought 3-20-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Now we all know where Peyton Manning will be playing in 2012. Where will Tim Tebow (pictured above) land?

By Josh Kramer

#18 is taking his talents to Mile High.  This whole “Decision” had a far different feel than the infamous “Decision” of July 8, 2012.  Peyton Manning handled this whole situation with the amazing grace and class that he has demonstrated throughout the duration of his career.  He is heading into a good situation in which punching a ticket to the playoffs in year one should not be a problem.  At nearly the age of 36, all Peyton wants to is win Super Bowls.

Sadly, in every game, there are winners and there are losers.  Many say that all Tim Tebow does is win.  In this case he has lost. Continue reading

Tournament Reset #1

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The first weekend of March Madness lived up to all of the hype and more. Outside of the wild upsets, the Kendall Marshall (pictured above) wrist-injury was one of the main storylines.

By Matt Murray

If ever there was a year to regroup after the first weekend, this is it. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to forget the first fifty games that have already happened, and re-examine the field as it stands, with the 16 teams left standing.

Before we discuss, here is what the remaining field looks like.

South

#1 Kentucky vs #4 Indiana

#3 Baylor vs #10 Xavier

East 

#1 Michigan St. vs #4 Louisville

#3 Marquette vs #7 Florida

West

#1 Syracuse vs #4 Wisconsin

#6 Cincinnati vs #2 Ohio St

Midwest

#1 North Carolina vs #13 Ohio

#11 NC State vs #2 Kansas

Amidst all the madness of the first four days, it was easy to feel a little bit like the tournament had imploded upon itself; that blue bloods had given way to Cinderellas and that while shocks are good for the tournament, some of this madness had somehow done us a disservice. But now, with four days to breath, it becomes a little bit more apparent that order will likely be restored. The only No. 1 seed playing anything less than a 4-seed is North Carolina, who will strike midnight on this year’s Cinderella, Ohio University, with relative ease (with or without Kendall Marshall). Continue reading

NCAA Tournament Bracket

By Josh Kramer

Take a look at the official March Madness selections from TheSportsKraze…

2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket

Elite Eight:

Kentucky over Duke

-The Laettner shot of 20 years ago is still fresh in the minds of Big Blue Nation.  Too much Kentucky talent and too much Anthony Davis for the Blue Devils this time around though.

Michigan State over Marquette

-Marquette’s dynamic senior duo of Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder have been impressive  all year.  But Tom Izzo’s smarts and Draymond Green’s unwavering work ethic will prove too much in this one as the Spartans make their 7th Final Four appearance in 14 years.

Florida State over Syracuse

-The Big East regular season champs would have proven to be far too deep for a Florida State team that vastly exceeded expectations this year had Fab Melo been on the floor.  No “Melo,” means no Final Four for a very good Syracuse team.

North Carolina over Kansas

Tyler Zeller and Thomas Robinson battling it out in the paint?  It doesn’t get much better.  North Carolina not only has the size to match up with Kansas, but they also have the depth.  There will be no Rock Chalk Jayhawk on this day as Roy Williams breathes a sigh of relief.

Final Four:

Kentucky over Michigan State

-This has been the best coaching job of Tom Izzo’s career.  Finally, the lack of talent in Spartyville will be put on full blast against the nation’s most talented group out of Lexington.  The Spartans will have no answer for Anthony Davis, much like the rest of the nation.

North Carolina over Florida State

-So much for the ACC being down this year.  Beating a team two times in the same year is one of the most difficult things to do in college basketball.  Defeating a team three times is almost unheard of.  Just ask a Kentucky team that was clearly better than SEC-foe Vanderbilt.  UNC is the better all-around team.  And it will show on this day as they avoid a clean sweep from Florida State.

National Championship:

North Carolina over Kentucky (73 to 72)

-As we learned in the BCS Championship Game this year, beating a great team two times in the same year can be very difficult. Not only did UK defeat the Tar Heels back on December 3rd, but they also beat North Carolina in last year’s Elite Eight. Young Kentucky learns the hard way on April 2nd against a surging Tar Heels team that can match their depth and athleticism.  Let the Calipari questioning begin.

Good luck with your picks and enjoy the best three weeks we have in sports.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

Throwback Saturday Part VII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Last year at this time, everyone expected Ohio State to be cutting down the nets when the "Madness" was done. Can Sullinger (left) and Kraft (right) shock the world and lead OSU to a title this time around?

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the 7th edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  What was going on in the wide world of sports on March 3, 2010?  How about March 3, 2011.  Ironically, on “TheSportsKraze,” the news centered around the Scarlet and Grey (Ohio State) both times.  Maybe we should just declare March 3rd a “Buckeye Day” on “TheSportsKraze?”

One year ago..

OSU/Wisconsin Preview

Here is a snippet from the end of the post..

Jared Sullinger made it clear to ESPN’s Dana O’Neil that he wants no part of splitting the Big Ten title. “It’s like sharing your girlfriend or your husband,’’ Sullinger said after OSU’s 82-61 win over Penn State Tuesday night. “You wouldn’t want to share your husband, would you? We don’t like to share.”

Furthermore, a win would further enhance coach Thad Matta’s squad chances of claiming the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

One would be hard pressed to say OSU isn’t the best in the country. The two teams to topple OSU this season, Wisconsin and Purdue, haven’t lost at home this season.

Kansas lost at home to Texas and got dump-trucked at Kansas State. Texas has six losses, including dropping three out of four. BYU also has two losses, but the Mountain West isn’t the Big Ten or Big East. Pitt would probably make for the best argument, but they’ve lost twice in the city of Pittsburgh. Duke isn’t a title threat without Kyrie Irving.

Come Sunday, it’s strictly business for OSU…with a personal touch (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

“Final Four Predictions”

Finally, I am going to give credit to where credit is due. I am going with Brad Stevens (pictured above) to coach his Butler Bulldogs to a 2nd consecutive National Championship Game appearance.

We are down to the final weekend of the Madness.  This is it folks.  Your next National Champion will be crowned on Monday Night.  This year’s Final Four participants are probably the most improbable foursome in the history of the  NCAA Tournament.  If people tell you that they saw this coming.  They are lying.

Remember that in the ESPN Bracket Challenge, only 2 of 5.9 million participants guessed the Final Four correctly.  You do not need to be a math major to understand how unlikely this outcome was.  But none of that matters.  There are 3 more basketball games left this season. At the end of the 3rd, the 2010-2011 National Champion will be crowned. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

The Final Four will be the top sporting event of the week, but Major League Baseball Opening Day on Thursday is not far behind at number 2.

After the week that just ensued, it would be hard to imagine a more exciting week in the wide world of sports.  But this week will be a good one.  All capped off will the Final Four Showdown in Houston.

Here is this week’s top 5. Continue reading