RICHMOND, Va. — It is very easy to advance Kansas, or Michigan State, or North Carolina to the Final Four of your NCAA tournament bracket. But it takes real guts to make a BOLD tournament prediction and post it online for the world to see.
Scroll down to read some of the BOLD predictions the men and women who work at WTVR CBS 6 made about the NCAA tournament field.
Note: No one from the CBS 6 Sports Department made a BOLD prediction. They are way too smart for that!
Stephen Hayes — WTVR President and General Manager
This is finally Villanova’s year to avoid the “Early Bounce Out.”
As an ACC homer, I personally don’t like this prediction, but seeing the Wildcats play at John Paul Jones arena earlier this year, I must say they have a toughness and balance that has not been a part of recent Villanova teams. Nova is Final Four bound, book it!
NOTE: This is only a bold prediction if you look at the past few years NCAA performance, but not if you associate their current #2 seed.
Boldness: “not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring”
Providence AND Iowa St. make it to the Final Four, baby! Two teams you don’t want to tangle with at this point in the season.
David Stotts — WTVR Marketing Director
Shockers in the Elite Eight
My own personal experience in the past has taught me to never bet against Izzo or on Huggins. Maybe because I’m an idiot, or really think this time is different, I’m doing it again. Virginia will beat Michigan State and reach the Final Four. West Virginia, I can’t believe I’m doing this, will beat North Carolina and reach the Final Four in the East. Here are a couple more crazy ones, because that’s what makes March Madness the greatest sports time of year.
- Duke goes down in the First Road to UNC Wilmington.
- UNI reaches Sweet 16.
- Hawaii will upset Cal
- Wichita State in Elite Eight
Jon Burkett — WTVR Reporter
Down goes Indiana
Chattanooga will beat Indiana and make a Cinderella run in the brackets. This is the team [current VCU head coach] Will Wade left well stocked. They’re fast and have a bunch of shooters.
Rob Desir — WTVR Anchor
Miami Hurricanes, aka “The U,” will make the Final Four!
There is a lot of veteran leadership and I see them easily beating Buffalo, then squeaking by Arizona to advance to the Sweet 16. The following weekend they knock off Villanova. Then surprise everyone and take care of Maryland (notice how I didn’t say Kansas because I don’t think the Jayhawks make the Elite Eight).
The Canes don’t have a lot of NCAA tournament wins, but that doesn’t matter because exactly 10 years ago, Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga took his former school George Mason to the Final Four. Mason did not have a single NCAA tournament win prior to 2006 when they made their run. So I believe that The U can win! Let’s go Canes!
Julie Bragg — WTVR Anchor
Root for the underdog
My crazy, “I don’t follow college basketball, but wouldn’t it be cool if” BOLD prediction is that one of the four #16 seeds will upset a #1 seed. It’s NEVER happened, so I think it’s time!
Plus, my Daddy always likes to root for the underdog. Hampton, Florida Gulf Coast University, Austin Peay and whoever ends up playing Oregon want you to grab your pompoms and cheer for a win that would go down in history!
Laura French — WTVR Reporter
A Virginia team will make it to the Elite 8 and it won’t be UVA
There are three Virginia schools in the NCAA tourney. The University of Virginia 26-7, Hampton 32-10, and Virginia Commonwealth University 24-10.
VCU is the only Virginia team on the left side of the bracket and has a favorable first round match up against a weak Pac-12 conference team in Oregon State at 19-12. They will follow it up against a likely opponent in Oklahoma, which is dependent on a strong performance from Buddy Hield.
If VCU’s suffocating defense can slow Buddy down then VCU wins. Their final game to make it to the Elite 8, requires a win against a team from a state known for football, not basketball, Texas. Whether it’s against either Texas or Texas A&M, VCU will win.
On the other side of the bracket, the remaining two Virginia teams face each other in the first round ensuring only one makes it to the round of 32.
As a one seed, it is fair to expect Virginia to win this round and the next, and face my upset pick of the tourney, Little Rock 29-4, (a lower seed like George Mason on the 10-year anniversary of their amazing tournament run.)
Little Rock will meet Virginia while playing a similar style of basketball, but with an upgraded 3-point game will beat Virginia to get to the Elite 8.
Mike Bergazzi — WTVR Executive Producer
None of the #1 seeds will reach the Final Four this year. Now, this has happened twice recently (2011 and 2006), but prior to ‘06, it hadn’t happened since 1980, so it is definitely a rarity.
But to make my prediction even bolder, I believe that all of these top seeds will lose in the second round of this year’s tournament!
I think it will go down like this:
UConn defeats Kansas (I am a biased Huskies fan, but they are on a roll going into the tournament, and look poised to go on another 2014-esque title run.)
Saint Joe’s defeats Oregon (Rocky Balboa > Steve Prefontaine.)
Providence defeats UNC (CBS 6 photojournalist Chris Munnings has been in a very good mood lately, so, for that reason, his favorite team – the Tar Heels – will lose.)
Texas Tech defeats UVA (Former VCU assistant Tubby Smith’s squad will wreak their own brand of “Havoc” on the Wahoos.)
Star wipe, and we’re out.
Scott Wise — WTVR Director of Interactive Media
Easy as 1, 2, 3… 4
Picking the Final Four is as easy one 1,2,3…4!
As I looked over my final bracket to figure out which bold prediction I wanted to make, I noticed I advanced a 1-seed (Kansas), a 2-seed (Michigan State), a 3-seed (Texas A&M) and a 4-seed (Kentucky) to the Final Four. Best I can tell, the Final Four has never featured a 1, 2, 3 and 4 seed — making this a truly BOLD prediction!
Alix Bryan — WTVR Multimedia Producer
I predict Stephen F. Austin State University will upset West Virginia. The Mountaineers are a fantastic team, but Stephen F. Austin has won the last 20 games they played. They have found their stride. I think if they were in a different conference, they would have played some bigger teams and had a higher seed. Thomas Walkup is going to give it everything again.
Amy Vu — WTVR Producer
The third time WILL be a charm for Virginia. The Cavs will defeat Michigan State!
Carter Johnson — WTVR Assignment Editor
One is the loneliest number
Only one #1 seed will make it to the Final Four this year.
Virginia has lost the last two years to Michigan State in the tournament with much stronger teams, and Michigan State has potentially the best team they’ve had in the last three years led by Denzel Valentine.
Oregon won the relatively weak Pac-12 and is in a region with strong teams in Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
UNC is really good, but Kentucky has a solid squad that’s caught fire as of late and could be a threat to take them down in the Sweet 16.
I think Kansas is the #1 seed with the strongest shot to get to Houston.
Leave your BOLD prediction in the comments!