SportsTalk Producer Salvador Montes Picks His NCAA Tournament Winner
Now that the teams have been announced for the 2016 NCAA Tournament all that remains is a tipoff for the play-in games. There are plenty of teams who I think are capable of winning the championship this year but my theme this year is “Star Power”.
First off I’ll start with some of the upsets that I am predicting. Every year we see a twelve seed outlast a five seed and this year I am predicting two (although I really wanted to put three). (12) South Dakota State is a good mid-major school that I think will knock off (5) Maryland as well as (12) UA-Little Rock taking down the Big Ten’s (5) Purdue Boliermakers. I really wanted to put down (12) UT-Chattanooga over (5) Indiana but two is good enough for me. Another upset that I am going with is (11) Northern Iowa over (6) Texas-Austin and advancing to the Sweet 16 after defeating (3) Texas A&M and eventually falling to (2) Oklahoma.
One of my Cinderella picks weighs heavily on (14) Stephen F. Austin. This is a team who has lost only three conference games over the last four seasons going 69-3 in the Southland. I’ve chosen the Lumberjacks to defeat (3) West Virginia, take down (6) Notre Dame, and also knock off (2) Xavier in the Sweet 16. The end of the road for SFA will come in the Elite 8 against (1) UNC.
I also have another Cinderella pick in (13) Iona. I think the Gaels will defeat (4) Iowa State and also advance to the Sweet 16 after defeating UA-Little Rock (aww, one had to go though). To take it even further, I have the sharp-shooting Gaels of Iona defeating a one seed in (1) Virginia in the Sweet 16 and eventually lose the next round in the Elite 8 against (2) Michigan State.
There are some games that I think lower seeds will win but not necessarily call the victories “upsets”. (9) Cincinnati over (8) St. Josephs, (9) UConn over (8) Colorado, (10) Temple taking down (7) Iowa, and (10) VCU defeating (7) Oregon State.
In the end, I have my Final Four set with (1) Kansas taking on (2) Oklahoma for yet another match this season but no doubt the most important contest between the two all season. My last two Final Four teams are a mirror-image of the first two as I have another one seed (1) North Carolina taking on a two seed in (2) Michigan State. Ultimately, as I mentioned in the beginning, “Star Power” is what propels each team to the top. So in the end, I have the scoring machine known as Buddy Hield and his Oklahoma Sooners knocking out Kansas and top 2 draft pick Denzel Valentine with his Michigan State Spartans pulling off one of the craziest finishes in recent NCAA Tournament history against UNC.
So the question remains, who takes it all? SalMo IV says "Oklahoma in a double overtime thriller with Buddy Hield knocking down the game winner, Cold Blooded Buddy!"
Test your knowledge against mine by taking part in the Million Dollar Bracket Challenge.