Did you see that coming? I didn’t

Published 3:41 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

Well…

That was unexpected.

The West corner of my bracket is toast. Gone. Obliterated.

Michigan laid one of the biggest eggs I’ve seen in recent sports memory against Texas Tech, and Florida State just couldn’t close the gap against Gonzaga, although they got really close.

I had FSU running head on into the Wolverines on Saturday for a great Elite Eight game, but now I’m not even remotely interested in seeing who wins between Texas Tech and Zaga. It really doesn’t matter, either, because the winner of that game gets to lose to Duke in the Final Four.

Yes, Duke is my favorite for winning this whole shebang. They had their close call against UCF, and every good championship team needs one of those wakeup moments that reveal their vulnerabilities. The Blue Devils will lock down the rest of the tournament.

On the other side of the bracket, I’m cheering. Purdue beating Tennessee was one of my gutsy predictions, and it took an overtime thriller to make it come true. It could have just as easily gone the way of the Vols, but a couple (some might say iffy) calls by the refs gave the Boilermakers the chance to send the game into OT, where they got ahead and stayed ahead.

Virginia beating Orgeon is also on my bracket. The real test of my insanity (or genius) will be seeing if Purdue upsets the Cavaliers. I can hear you slapping your forehead. I know, I know. But in order to win a bracket challenge like at The Post-Searchlight, a man’s gotta take some risky picks.

I write this column Friday afternoon, a few hours ahead of tonight’s games between Auburn and North Carolina and Houston and Kentucky. Give me the Heels and the Cats, in those.

LSU vs. Michigan State should be an interesting game, too. I’m surprised the Tigers have lasted this long without their head coach. But then again, that could be what’s lighting a fire under their rear ends. The Spartans will test them, push them. The winner there gets the privilege of losing to Duke in the Elite Eight.

How’s your bracket doing?