- Kansas St.
Sleeper team to win: Villanova
I am going to contradict myself by saying my sleeper is the same team that I think could be on upset alert. The Villanova Wildcats had a rollercoaster season, ultimately though the ride was enjoyable for Jay Wrights crew as they took home the Big East regular season and tournament title. Phil Booth and Eric Paschall are big time players that can carry the load for the Wildcats that lost literally their entire lineup to the NBA last season. They will face off with upset minded St. Mary’s fresh off a destruction of heavily favored Gonzaga in the Mountain West Conference tournament. St. Mary’s will have another upset on their mind in this matchup that currently seems like a toss- up according to most insiders. If Jay Wrights crew does get by St. Marys they have a cast of unproven but solid teams in their way including a Purdue team that is basically a one man show and a Tennessee team that can be unfocused at times.
Potential First Round Upset: Oregon over Wisconsin
This is popular. Both teams play a slow and defensive game. Oregon has caught fire at the right time though running through the Pac12 tournament and forcing their way on to the scene. Louis King has emerged as a playmaker on the offensive end and they get great point guard play from Payton Prichard. While I want to see Ethan Happ get a great run in the tournament his problems from the free throw line could lead to an early exit for the Badgers.
Keep an eye on the health of Dean Wade. If he cannot play another potential upset could be UC Irvine over Kansas State. UC Irvine is very good at defending the rim.
Who’s going to win it: Virginia
The Cavaliers will come into the 2019 tournament motivated. Virginia lost three games during the season to Duke (2) and Florida State in the ACC tournament. They have their issues on the offensive end but the bracket breaks down well for them. A potential third round matchup with Ole Miss or Oklahoma will be a walk in the park with only a potential matchup with K-State or Wisconsin whom doesn’t have the athletes to beat Virginia. Tennessee is the only team that realistically has the players to matchup with Virginia defense.
Second Round Picks: