Early March Madness Predictions – Looking Back

On February 27th, yours truly decided to post my early March Madness Predictions – knowing full well how big of a butt this was going to make me look. I did pretty well with the Top Seeds, but that was obviously the easiest part of this exercise. March Madness Predictions

In this article, I’ll review just how awful my predictions were – I give you, “Early March Madness Predictions – Looking Back”.

My Early March Madness Predictions Reviewed

Predicted Top Seeds

Oregon – Incorrect

While they didn’t end up on the top-line, this team did prove to be worthy of it. The Ducks made it to the Final Four where they have a date with maybe the favorite at this point – North Carolina. A B- for mistakenly having this team on my top line.

Villanova – Correct

The defending champions won a one seed in this year’s tournament as predicted. However, this team was knocked out WAY too early, a huge letdown bid for the repeat.

North Carolina – Correct

My finest prediction. Not only were the Tar Heels on the top line, they look to be the team to beat as we head to Arizona for the Final Four. The road is somewhat smooth for the Heels to win the whole thing. With the loss of Duke, Villanova, and Kansas from the field, anything other than a championship will be looked at as a loss.

Kansas – Correct

Not only did I nail the Top Seed pick, I successfully called their exit prior to the Final 4. There is just something about Bill Self and this Kansas team, they can’t seem to get over the second-weekend hump no matter how good of a team they put on the court.

Predicted Last Four In

Marquette – Correct

A loss in the first round hurt, but the pain is easing some as South Carolina continues a Cinderella run into the Final Four.

Vanderbilt – Correct

Northwestern got their first ever NCAA Tournament win in the first round against the Vanderbilt squad that predictably limped into the field of 68.

Syracuse – Incorrect

Possibly the most controversial snub of the 2017 tournament, the Orange went into the NIT and didn’t even make the Sweet 16 there. So, maybe the committee actually got this one right.

California – Incorrect

A bad final few weeks of the regular season cost them a bid, but this is a team to watch for next year. I personally believe they will be dancing next season.

Predicted Last Four Out

USC – Incorrect

Not only did USC make the tournament, but they pulled an upset over #6 SMU once they got there. USC is another team on the upslope, look for them to make some noise in the upcoming years.

Rhode Island – Incorrect

Rhode Island crept into the tournament, then proceeded to knock off a quality six-seed Creighton team. I don’t anticipate this team making the big dance next year – but this year could mean better-recruiting classes and births into the tournament in two or three years.

Illinois – Correct

Illinois lost ground over the last two weeks of the season and ended up far outside of consideration. Something needs to change, Illinois has too rich of a tradition to not be making the tournament regularly.

TCU – Correct

Despite a valiant effort to make the university more than “a football school”, this year’s Horned Frog team fell short of the tournament. I believe that they will contend for and obtain a bid to the big dance in the not-so-distant future.

Conclusion

Not as bad as anticipated, seven correct and five incorrect on my “bold” early March Madness predictions. Given, the top seeds were pretty easy this year. The tournament to this point has been absolutely amazing, like the rest of America I will be rooting for South Carolina. However, my head tells me that this is North Carolina’s tournament to lose.

Planning a trip to Vegas to watch the Final 4? Check out my reviews of the top 5 places to watch March Madness and my review of Las Vegas sports books.

By Chris Sharp, Certified 12-Time Veteran of Las Vegas March Madness and Sports Wagering

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