Just call it a hunch

 Some random thoughts on this thing they call “March Madness.”
If you had a ticket to Sunday afternoon’s regional final in Omaha, more power to you. Not only did you see two thoroughbred programs go at it for 45 minutes, but you possibly saw in person the true national championship game.
No. 1 seed Kansas versus No. 2 seed Duke. Self versus Krzyzewski. Blue versus blue, with future NBA players all over the court.
And how close was the state of Kansas to getting two teams to the Final Four? Wouldn’t that have been crazy?
Sister Jean is America’s new sweetheart, we all know that, but she can’t take all the credit for Loyola’s remarkable run to San Antonio this weekend. I’ve had the Ramblers winning in each of my brackets. Guess it’s time to go buy a lottery ticket.
Top overall seed Virginia loses by 20 in the opening round to UMBC, and Nebraska beats Final 4 bound Michigan by 20 back in January at PBA. Say what?
On a hunch, I picked Xavier to win the championship in my original bracket, and after they scored 102 points in their opening win against Texas Southern, I was feeling pretty confident.
Syracuse, the last team in the tournament, advanced to the Sweet 16 in Omaha by winning three games, one over Big Ten bully Michigan State. Did that really happen?
Nevada head coach Eric Musselman, following his team’s historic 22-point rally against Cincinnati back in the second round, let off at least four f-bombs in the Wolfpack’s joyous locker room before network TV could turn off the audio. Someone obviously fell asleep at the switch.
And what about Texas A&M? They ran North Carolina out of the gym (86-65), then laid an egg against Michigan (99-72). Better stick to football, Aggies.
There were a total of nine “upsets” in the first round this year, the lower seeded team getting the best of the higher seed. Someone just needs to explain to me what all that means.
As for my Final Four predictions, I can’t pull the plug on Loyola now, so they’ll beat the Wolverines 74-70 in Saturday’s first semi-final on their way to winning the championship. Wouldn’t that be quite a story for Clayton Custer and Ben Richardson from nearby Overland Park, Kan., who grew up playing basketball together?
Kansas is definitely on a roll and they are so fun to watch, so athletic, so they’ll beat Villanova 69-62 in another close one.
Oh, and did the Huskers almost beat the Jayhawks this season, or was that just a dream?
Yep. Pure madness.

DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at advertising@hamilton.net.

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