I still have UCLA over Carolina, 83-79. That was my pick the day after Selection Sunday, even though The Mount played Carolina that Friday.
I have a valid explanation for picking against the team I work for and it's the same reason I picked Coppin State to beat us in the play-in game.
When we played at St. Francis (Pa.) on Feb. 23, and I asked coach Milan Brown who he had that night, he picked the Red Flash. He then picked Monmouth the following Saturday, and all of our opponents through the NEC Tournament. Those were all part of our five-game win streak that propelled us into NCAA's, and therefore I stuck with another one of my superstitions until it ran out in Raleigh.
And with my conscience clear let's shift to tonight's matchups.
I don't give Kansas a shot, not only because they're more overrated than Saw IV, but also because the top two teams they've played by seeds are 8 UNLV and 10 Davidson. Clearly Davidson didn't deserve to be as low as a 10, and while UNLV was a decent 8, the Jayhawks haven't had a thorough test.
I don't mean to discredit the 59-57 struggle they had against Davidson. The Wildcats, although carried by Stephen Curry, get contributions from all of their players. At the same time, they don't have a Danny Green coming off the bench, not to mention Tyler Hansbrough and Deon Thompson inside.
After seeing the Heels in person I didn't think that anyone would be able to beat them this year if they're firing on all cylinders, on top of the fact that Kansas is overrated and trying too hard to use the Roy Williams thing as motivation.
I had Memphis in the Final Four of my original bracket until I realized that I had put all four No. 1s in San Antonio and promptly slipped Texas out of Houston and into the Alamo. I believe that Memphis has the most talented starting five in the country. Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey are better than any top three including Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Tyler Hansbrough.
I don't, however, see how leaving Andre Allen at home won't be a distraction for the Tigers. And most importantly, the Bruins are playing in their third straight Final Four and have Kevin Love who I believe to be the missing link.
My early final score projection of 83-79 could be a little high with UCLA's defense and Carolina's fresh emphasis on the same side of the floor.
I won't be disheartened if the Tar Hells win though. That would strengthen an argument for the Mount as the No. 2 team in the country.