Madness Begins!

Let the March Madness begin.  It's the Big Dance.  This blog goes live at 7:30 am central time - in less than four hours the first game will start and I'll be watching.

31 years ago the NCAA expanded their annual championship playoff to 64 teams.

It's been 68 for a while, but since those additional 4 teams play themselves in before the tourney plays 32 games over two days, they aren't as big a piece of the basketball pie.

The Kansas Jayhawks are the top-seeded team in the South; Oregon in the West; North Carolina in the East; and Virginia in the Midwest.

With no opportunity of being correct, here's my trek to the title:  (In the first round, assume the higher seed wins unless the lower seed is mentioned.)

In the South, #9 Connecticut is the only upset.

In the West, #10 VCU and #11 Northern Iowa bust some brackets.

Out East, #11 Michigan takes the fight from Notre Dame.

Here in the Midwest, look for the #9 Butler Bulldogs, #10 Syracuse Orange, and #11Gonzaga pull surprises.

Over the weekend in the second round, here are the winners:

South: Kansas, Maryland, Arizona, and Villanova advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

West: Oregon, Baylor, Texas A & M, and Oklahoma move on.

East: North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wisconsin (gotta take the home team in an upset).

Midwest: Virginia, Purdue, Utah, and Michigan State round out the Sweet Sixteen.

In week two of the championship, Kansas and Villanova join the Elite Eight from the South. Baylor and Texas A & M set up a Texas rivalry showdown in the West.

In the East, Wisconsin's dream dies as West Virginia and North Carolina square off to reach the Final Four.  And in the Midwest, Virginia and Michigan State fill the rest of the brackets.

Which bring us to the Final Four -  Villanova versus Baylor and North Carolina versus Michigan State.

For their Shining Moment - Villanova and M.S.U.

The Spartans win another title for Coach Izzo and cut down the nets April 4th.

Or not.  Your guess is really as good (or better) than mine!