DiFonzo’s Picks

DiFonzo%27s+Picks

Round of 64

 

6 HOUSTON vs. 11 SAN DIEGO STATE

Every year there is at least one team that is a better than their seed. Houston is my sleeper team. They have a strong offense and are the strongest no. 6 seed. They lost to no. 2 Cincinnati by one point in the regular season. They are a strong and solid team. I would not be surprised watching them make it far into the big dance.

 

9 VIRGINIA TECH vs. 8 ALABAMA

Virginia Tech has beaten top seeded Virginia, no. 2 seeded North Carolina, and no. 2 seeded Duke during the regular season. They are a strong team full of guards . Alabama, well, only has star point guard, Collin Sexton. Alabama can focus more on football after Virginia Tech wins this game.

 

6 FLORIDA vs. 11 ST. BONAVENTURE

There are many upsets and bracket busters each year. That is what creates the madness of March. I am liking the Bonnies to win this matchup. They are coming off of an exciting win over the UCLA bruins, a large competitor for the title in last year’s tournament. Currently leading the Bonnies are senior Jaylen Adams and junior Courtney Stockard, two clutch leaders who are bringing hope to their school and fans. Despite Florida making it to the Elite Eight last year, they are a completely new team. They don’t have the physical ability and quickness to stop the Bonnies off the ball.

 

Round of 32

 

7 ARKANSAS vs. 2 PURDUE

The Arkansas Razorbacks are a solid team and full of quick guards. They know how to defend the perimeter well. The Boilermakers are a team with a wide range of dynamics. They are tall, can move the ball very well and if they get going, can beat any opponent in the tournament behind the arc. This will be a tough game; however, Purdue is taking home the W on this one.

 

1 VILLANOVA vs. 9 VIRGINIA TECH

If you are picking a no. 1 seed to down early in the tournament, this may just be it. Virginia Tech knows what it takes to beat some of the best teams in the country as they did it three times during the regular season. Villanova, led by point guard Jalen Brunson, is a strong team and favorite to win the NCAA tournament. They have guards who can get it going from the outside and drivers that can finish through contact in the paint. The Wildcats are a no. 1 seed for a reason. I, however am going with the early upset that will bust everybody’s bracket. Virginia Tech wins in a heartbreaker for Villanova.

 

5 WEST VIRGINIA vs. 4 WICHITA STATE

Commonly seen as a top no. 4 seed, the Wichita State Shockers changed conferences from the Missouri Valley Conference to the American Athletic Conference. They are playing more competitively and have more practice for when the tournament rolls around. The Shockers are a solid team but overrated. They do not play together as a team, whereas West Virginia, AKA “Press Virginia” is known for their defense and press. They have one of the best defensive programs in the nation under head coach, Bob Huggins. They are unselfish and move the ball well. Jevon Carter is going to lead Press Virginia over the Shockers and into the Sweet Sixteen.

 

Sweet 16

 

1 VIRGINIA vs. 4 ARIZONA

Arizona has possibly the best forward in all of college basketball, DeAndre Ayton. A total beast on the boards who also flies high above the rim. Virginia is and has been the best team in the country all year. Their strong suit is defense. They force many turnovers and steals against all of their opponents, and have only lost two games all year. They have not played a team like this Arizona team. They are not familiar to the fast paced and unselfish style of play in which these Arizona Wildcats play with. Arizona is beating the best team in the country and are advancing to the next round.

 

3 MICHIGAN STATE vs. 2 DUKE

Duke is everybody’s favorite team, right? The Blue Devils may have the best raw talent starting five on their roster than any other team in the tournament. Forward Marvin Bagley III and Guard Grayson Allen lead the Blue Devils in PPG. However sometimes, too much talent on one team can be bad. The Spartans have a variety of raw talent on their squad as well. They know their own strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to their advantage. Guard Cassius Winston has eyes in the back of his head as he can find any teammate on the court and give them a dime for a bucket. Star guard Miles Bridges is likely playing in his last tournament before the league. He is is the key to their offense and lockdown defense. The Blue Devils will move to the Elite Eight but only after their toughest win yet.

 

Elite Eight

 

1 XAVIER vs. 3 MICHIGAN

Guard Trevon Bluiett and his Musketeers are the highest seed their school has been in a while. They have a team that can really knock shots down when they need to. Michigan Wolverines are coming off of a hot finish to their regular season. They have won nine straight to end their season including the Big Ten conference championship. Each year, they are overrated as a team and each year they go far in the tournament. This was a really tough pick. Xavier will persevere. You can not rely on chance when there is a more talented and better coached team fighting with you for a spot in the next round.

 

5 WEST VIRGINIA vs. 3 TEXAS TECH

The Red Raiders of Texas Tech are a mean team. They are hungry for a trip to the final four after getting their chances shot down early in past years. The team contains many guards and strong forwards who can beat their man off the dribble. Their offense is good, but is it good enough to beat Press Virginia and their defense? West Virginia moves on to the Final Four.

 

Final Four

 

4 ARIZONA vs. 1 XAVIER

Xavier has many guards who can drive and shoot the ball. However, what are they going to do with the ball when they drive into seven-footers in the paint? The ball will be sent out of the arena. They will be forced to shoot three pointers and jumpers all game. If their jumpers are not falling, the game is over. This is a game that depends all on Xavier’s 3-point shooting. With that being said, Arizona wins it and advances to the National Championship.

 

National Championship

 

4 ARIZONA vs. 2 DUKE

This is it! Winner takes all. Winner is the best team in the country. The Wildcats look like the underdog in this situation. However, sometimes the underdog wins. My vote is Arizona taking the title. Duke is a strong team with a lot of talent. This far into the year, it seems that they still do not know how to play well together as a team. They are constantly losing to teams that are definitely not better than them. I think this is due to the fact that they all want to be the hero. In a huge spotlight like this, this is likely the case. Ball hogging will likely occur. However, I know for a fact that the Wildcats are hungry for this National title. They were placed in a very hard section and given a seed of which they deserved higher. Arizona wins the 2018 National Title. <!–