It’s time for Madness to begin again

Jason Reed, Sports Editor

It’s that time of the year again, which means March Madness is here and the NCAA basketball tournament is right around the corner.  I believe this year’s tournament bracket will be the toughest bracket I’ve ever made.  With so many teams in contention to win the championship, I have a hard time deciding who’s going to bring the hardware back to their school.

Over the past three years, the NCAA tourney has been very kind to me, with the exception of last year’s tournament.  The Kentucky Wildcats and the Kansas Jayhawks shocked me with their appearance in last year’s title game.  The reason I say that is because they are the two teams most people I know picked all the time to make the National Championship.  But they always disappointed.  But  I was never sold on either of them because I thought they were both overrated.

Back in 2010, I picked the Syracuse Orange to win it all and I also picked the Duke Blue Devils as their opponents.  Syracuse ended up losing to the Butler Bulldogs in the Sweet 16.  I felt good about Duke winning because I wanted them to, but I also thought Syracuse would have gotten the best of them.

The very next year, when I saw that the Big East Conference was going to have 11 teams in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, I knew that one of those teams would come out as champions.

People doubted me for picking the Connecticut Huskies to win it all, but they did. People thought that  winning the Big East Tournament–five games in five days–would have a huge effect on how they performed in the NCAA Tournament.

I was right; the Huskies won the NCAA Championship game by 12 points against Butler, who once again busted everyone’s brackets for the second year in a row.

It’s going to be interesting to see the team people are going to pick to win this year’s tournament.

I believe the Gonzaga Bulldogs have a good shot to make it deep in this year’s tournament but will eventually fall to a real division-one powerhouse team.

The Miami (FL) Hurricanes also have the potential to make noise, but they turned heads for the wrong reason back on Feb. 23, losing its first conference game, 80-65 against (12-16) Wake Forest, after a 13-0 start.

I can see Indiana being that top seed that gets upset early in the tournament, but I won’t take anything away from how well they’ve been playing this year.

I’ve been following Duke throughout the 2013 season.  After a 90-63 blowout loss by the Hurricanes back on Jan. 23 at Miami, I wasn’t sure who the Blue Devils were.  Since that loss, Duke has gotten back to playing more aggressive on defense.

This year I’m going to go with the Blue Devils to win it all.  I believe any team could be upset, but someone has to lose and someone has to win.

March Madness 2013 begins March 19, and the National Championship game will take place April 8, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.