Who Does Natick Think Will Win The NCAA Tournament?
64 college basketball teams will begin playing today with the goal of being crowned the National Champion on April 8.
The brackets are set, and the NCAA Tournament is upon us once again, as today the 64 remaining teams will begin competing over the next three weeks with their eyes set on standing atop the college basketball universe.
As people across the country tune in to the second round (yes, we think calling it that is silly too) games tomorrow, and millions of them frantically check their brackets to see how well they're doing with their predictions, we know that people here in Natick will be doing the same thing. With that in mind, we decided to find out what some of Natick's basketball "experts" have predicted in this year's tournament.
Tim Collins, Natick High School Athletic Director:
By far the best sporting event of them all. I have Louisville v. New Mexico in one semi and Kansas v. Indiana on the other side with Kansas beating Louisville in the final.
Beth Garry, President of Natick Travel Basketball:
Here are my Final Four picks. Admittedly, some have more rhyme than reason: Duke, Florida, Kansas State and Syracuse.
My parents went to Duke so the Blue Devils are a top four pick every year. Thankfully, year after year they play disciplined and strategic/smart basketball and are serious contenders, making that an easy pick! Coach K has my admiration and respect.
Syracuse being ranked number 4 in the East with Jim Boeheim as coach gives me great faith in them. Well coached and what basketball player doesn't like orange?
One of the "K" schools is bound to make it to the Final Four. Kansas State, Kentucky, Kansas... I would've picked Kentucky (Coach Cal coached when I played at UMass), but they are NIT bound this year. Kansas State is my pick for the West.
In the South, my pick is Florida. Don't want to pick the number 1 or 2 seed. Florida is a strong team AND their women's team is also advancing to the Women's NCAA Tournament.
Dan Hinnenkamp, Natick High School Girls Basketball Coach:
Final Four: Kansas, Louisville, Syracuse and Gonzaga. I think Kansas will win it all.
Anyone who watches the NCAA Tournament year after year knows that there are always upset and usually at least one team that gets hot at just the right time and surprises everyone by winning a couple of games and reaching the second weekend. We asked Natick basketball "experts" if they had any sleeper picks.
Hinnenkamp: "I think Oregon is going to surprise people."
Obvious sleeper is New Mexico. Steve Alford (former Indiana great) does a great job coaching their team and no one knows how good they are.
I have Villanova beating UNC in the first round on Friday. A former recruit of mine while I was coaching at Babson is on the Nova staff. Too bad they get Kansas next.
Sometimes the more you know the worse you do in picking the brackets. It's what makes the Tournament March Madness.
We know you'll be watching the games tomorrow and throughout the tournament. Who do you think will make the Final Four? Which team will be left standing at the end as National Champion? Tell us in the comments section.