It was almost like someone told the 1-seeds they were inferior, and 3 out of the 4 of them believed it, because those 3 all hit the exit doors, including the favorite — Kansas. So instead of having all 4 1-seeds in the Final 4 for the first time since the only time, we are treated to two games featuring a couple of 2-seeds and a 10-seed, oh yeah, and that last remaining 1-seed.
So do I see North Carolina tearing down those nets on Monday night or do I believe it just isn’t the year of the top seed in this tournament? I’m going to go with the latter, and not because I’m a believer in Syracuse (I don’t care how much Boeheim thinks they didn’t cheat), or because I love Buddy. What real college basketball fan doesn’t after that all-world effort vs. Oregon? I’m going with the latter because it’s been a year of parity, so it would be fitting if a 2-seed, or even a 10-seed took it home.
(2) Villanova vs. (2) Oklahoma – A 2-seed will get to the National Championship game for the first time in a long time, and it will be either the Wildcats or the Sooners. Do I think Buddy Hield is difficult to guard? Yes. Do I think he will explode for over 30 points again in this one? No. And even if he does, the dismantling of a dynamic Jayhawks team by ‘Nova is all I needed to see. Villanova is underrated, but all they do is win against quality opponents. It will happen again here. Pick: VILLANOVA.
(1) North Carolina vs. (10) Syracuse – The Orange are playing with house money at this point, so what kind of pressure could possibly be on them? No team is playing looser right now than Syracuse, with the possible exception of the aforementioned Wildcats. They used the press to great effect in erasing a 20-point lead and taking out the Cavaliers. But the ride has to come to a stop somewhere. Doesn’t it? They have a chance against Carolina, but I don’t see the Tarheels getting as caught up in the press when they’re up double-digits. Pick: NORTH CAROLINA.