COLUMN: March Madness Sports Staff Picks

Who we have winning each region and who cuts down the net.

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“This is March.” The big dance is back and I couldn’t be happier about it. It doesn’t matter how you fill out your bracket,  what your method is, whether you know the teams very well or you’re one of those people who pick the better mascot of the two teams.

Before I tell you how I filled out my bracket and who I have winning it all, let’s look at the Yellow Jacket sports staff picks.

First let’s start off with the boss: Executive Editor Andrew Hreha decided to go chalk with two of his final four picks by going with the number one overall seed Gonzaga and Michigan. On the right side of the bracket, however, Hreha made a couple bold picks to make his final four with the American Athletic Conference champion Houston Cougars and Texas Tech, who is the sixth seed out of the south region.

Hreha then had Michigan and Texas Tech advancing to the championship game with Juan Howard and the Wolverines having the confetti falling down on them on April 5.  WCTV Sports Director Adam Morgante gave a great explanation about his final four picks.

“Number four Florida State Seminoles (16-6)- This team came close to the final four in 2018 by losing in the elite eight to Michigan. The Seminoles have a lot of guys that can shoot the threes, which is key in March. Florida State is one of the best teams at offensive rebounding. RaiQuan Gray averages 1.4 offensive rebounds per game. I have them beating Texas in the Elite Eight.

“#2 Iowa Hawkeyes (21-8): This team has a lot of upside, led by Luka Garza who is a player of the year candidate. Jordan Bohannon and CJ Fredrick can light it up from three. The Hawkeyes are dangerous if all their key guys are clicking. I think they beat Gonzaga in the Elite Eight, avenging their loss to them early in the year.”

“#1 Baylor Bears (22-2): The Bears led the nation in 3-point percentage this season. The backcourt of Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler and MaCio Teague are the best backcourt in the league. They can light up anyone out of the building. I have them beating fellow Big-12 foe Texas Tech in the Elite Eight.”

“#1 Illinois Fighting Illini (22-6): Ayo Dosunmu is another player of the year candidate. Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, who shoot 65% from the field are a hard duo to stop. I think Dosunmu and Cockburn can carry them to the national championship. I think they knock off West Virginia in the Elite Eight.”

National Champion: Baylor.

“Baylor beats Illinois in a thrilling game in the Final Four. Baylor beats Iowa in the championship; the three-point shooting of Teague, Mitchell and Butler will be too much for anyone to beat Baylor.

Sports Editor Bruce Davidson went with a lot of chalk as well with his final four picks. Bruce is rolling with Gonzaga, Michigan, Houston, and Ohio State, with the Zags winning it all and finishing the season undefeated.

Sports Digital Director Jared Wiker is the second smartest of the staff (because we have the same final four). Jared has three number one seeds in the final four with Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Florida State, with Gonzaga winning its first national championship.

Sports Assistant Caleb Yauger has the usual picks in his final four with Gonzaga, Baylor, and Illinois, but  a surprising pick with the Big 12 champion Texas Longhorns, which are making their first final four since 2003. Caleb is going off on a limb going with the Baylor Bears to win it all.

Now to what you’ve all been waiting for… My picks. I have Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Florida State. I have Gonzaga making it to the championship, but falling one game short of perfection with the Illinois Fighting Illini winning it all in Indianapolis.