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NCAA Tournament Predictions 2012: Picking The Round of 32

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Well, that was fun.

I certainly hope that all of you had better luck with your Round of 64 predictions than I did. Of course, given the historic and completely out-of-left-field results from the games on Thursday and Friday, there's pretty much no way that you did. Unless you got hold of a 2015 Sports Almanac, in which case: cheater.

So let's try the Round of 32, shall we? (Gulp.) Teams I did not pick in the Round of 64 marked with an asterisk.

South Region:

No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 8 Iowa State: Still picking Kentucky to go over here. They're the one No. 1 seed that still looks plenty strong at this point.

No. 12 VCU vs. No. 4 Indiana: Sticking with my initial pick and taking Indiana here, but just typing that out makes me so, so nervous. I feel like VCU might keep it up. Still, going with the Hoosiers to make the Sweet 16.

No. 11 Colorado* vs. No. 3 Baylor: Colorado's strong run comes to an end. Even though Baylor didn't look so hot in the Round of 64, I don't believe the Buffaloes can stampede through for another round.

No. 10 Xavier* vs. No. 15 Lehigh*: This one is the true wild card of this whole bracket. I'm taking Lehigh here. If they can defeat Duke, they've won my favor ... for now. You're on thin ice, Lehigh!

West Region:

No. 1 Michigan St. vs. No. 9 Saint Louis: It breaks my heart to have to pick against my beloved Billikens. Their weird-ass name and mascot, their slovenly coach. They have everything they need to possibly be my favorite college team forever. They're going to get obliterated by Michigan State and there's nothing any of us can do about it.

No. 5 New Mexico vs. No. 4 Louisville: Louisville is finally going to get exposed this round. And I'm going to keep saying that until they do. Lobos all the way here.

No. 6 Murray St. vs. No. 3 Marquette: Marquette will get to keep playing like a No. 3 seed for one more round.

No. 7 Florida vs. No. 15 Norfolk St.*: I had originally picked Missouri to win this bracket. Whoops! This is the hardest pick of any matchup in this bracket, in my opinion. I'm going with Norfolk State. Of the two teams, they looked convincing in the first round.

East Region:

No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 8 Kansas State: The 'Cuse is going down. Zone is for cowards, of course. They should have lost in the first round and barring any similar officiating shenanigans, they'll be going down here.

No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 4 Wisconsin: It feels like Wisconsin should win this one, so I very much hope they do. For the sake of my SB Nation Seattle fantasy bracket, if nothing else. Damn you, Jacson!

No. 6 Cincinnati* vs. No. 3 Florida St.: FSU should have a much easier time against Cincinnati than they did against St. Bonaventure. Learning that the Seminoles do the hatchet chant and chop makes me really hate picking them at all from here on out, though. Ugh.

No. 7 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 Ohio St.: Don't get me wrong: I want the Zags to win this one. I really do. I just don't think they will, is all.

Midwest Region:

No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Creighton*: This is another one that makes me nervous, but I think the Tar Heels hang in to make it to the Sweet 16.

No. 12 South Florida* vs. No. 13 Ohio*: Jeez, this one didn't work out, did it? Hmm. Hey, if USF can go without a basket for 15 minutes in a game and still pull off a decisive win, I've got to give them the edge, haven't I? Right. Bulls to win. Ohio to place?

No. 11 N.C. State* vs. No. 3 Georgetown: Georgetown will continue to play boring, unexceptional basketball for one more round.

No. 10 Purdue* vs. No. 2 Kansas: I still think the Jayhawks are the number one team in this bracket and I don't think the Boilermakers can stack up.

Best of luck to all of you. We're going to need it.

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