Brent Hatley: NCAA Tournament predictions

Brent Hatley Radio Personality
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The most exciting playoff in all of sports is upon us. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament provides excitement at every turn. The upsets, the buzzer beaters, and the dark horses make this 65 team single elimination play off is simply unrivaled.

I have filled out my brackets as hardcore and casual fans alike have across the nation. The question everyone wants to know is, who is in your Final Four?

Beginning in the Midwest, I’m really no different from most. Rock chalk Jayhawk. The Kansas Jayhawks are the overall number one seed for a good reason. They are dynamite on the floor. Senior guard Sherron Collins is a great leader, scorer, distributer, and defender. Kansas is loaded with talent and is well coached, and they won’t be seriously challenged to win the Midwest.

The West also looks good for their top seed Syracuse. The Orange have played a tough schedule and are road tested in college basketball’s toughest conference, the Big East. Syracuse has five players that have made over 115 field goals. They get to the free throw line often, and when junior forward Wes Johnson does, he makes 78% of them. The Orange play inside out basketball and are extremely tough to defend. Head Coach Jim Boeheim makes his 2-3 defense very tough to beat.

In the East, the Kentucky Wildcats are a complete team that will need to keep their focus to prevent being upset in their bracket. The Cats biggest challenge should be the number 2 seed, West Virginia. Kentucky, however, is a very tough team to match. With two big men like DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson leading the way, nobody can double team either. If those two aren’t enough to handle, freshman guard John Wall is just amazing. The Wildcats coach John Calipari has done an outstanding job reclaiming the SEC from Florida, and it’s not enough.

This year, the most debated bracket is the South. A lot of experts have the Villanova Wildcats taking out number 1 seed Duke in the Elite 8. I think there are plenty of good reasons for that. Nova has size and can shoot the 3 ball. The only succinct reason I can tell you for my pick is: Duke is Duke. The Blue Devils and Coach K make the Final 4 again.

I look forward to a great National Championship game between Kansas and Kentucky. In the end, I do think the Wildcats will win. Size, inside out basketball, and great coaching are things both teams enjoy, but freshman John Wall is so talented he will make the difference in this one. As painful as it is (for me) to say, the Wildcats will take home the National Title.