Before I get into my upset pick for Friday, I want to go ahead and say that my bracket is completely busted because of Georgetown losing to Ohio and Richmond losing to St. Mary’s. However, give credit to Ohio they caught Georgetown off-guard and won what I see as one of the biggest upsets I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.
Moving on to my upset pick for Friday’s set of games. I’m going into the West region where I see the 11 seed Minnesota defeating the 6 seed Xavier. Head coach for the Gophers, Tubby Smith, is a great tournament coach and has a national championship to his name. Plus, the game will be played in nearby Milwaukee, which would make this game almost a home game. The only thing I’m watching from the Golden Gophers is their inconsistent play. Will the team that defeated Purdue in the regular season show up, or will the team that didn’t even put up a fight against Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game show up? I think people are reading too much into that loss to Ohio State and that Minnesota can reach the Sweet 16.
On the other side for Xavier, they are an outstanding team coming out of the Atlantic 10 conference. This is the eighth appearance in the last nine years in the Big Dance, under three different head coaches. That is quite the achievement for a non-BCS program. However, I can’t see them pulling out a win in this game. Even though Xavier had a better overall record than Minnesota, I think the fact that the Gophers played in a tougher conference, which leaves them a little underrated and sending Xavier home early again.
– John Thomas