Onward State’s March Madness Picks

That magical time is upon us again as two of the best days in the sports calendar are hours away from beginning. Hopefully you have your brackets filled out and are ready for the madness to get underway. Below some Onward State staff members share some of their picks, overall outlook on the tournament, and what would happened if Pat Chambers fought mascots. We’re not necessarily Joe Lunardi, but we’ll attempt to play bracketologist for the remainder of the post.

Sam Cooper

Final Four: Kentucky, Missouri, Florida State, North Carolina

National Champion: UNC over Kentucky

Favorite Team: Temple is my favorite team because I always root for the Philly teams when they’re in the tourney (except last year when Juan Fernandez stomped on my dreams).

Team I Dislike Most: Anthony Davis’ unibrow

Upset Special: Long Beach State (12) over New Mexico (5). Also, I don’t think it will happen, but I’d love for Montana to beat Wisconsin just so I don’t have to watch the shoulderless man (Jared Berggren) shoot 3’s anymore. And keep an eye on Lehigh-Duke. CJ McCollum for Lehigh is a deadly scorer.

Pat Chambers vs. WuShock (Wichita State): Chambers wouldn’t even fight him; he would just recruit him to be his personal assistant.

Devon Edwards

Final Four: Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State, North Carolina

National Champion: MSU over UNC

Favorite Team: My favorite team would be Long Island, for obvious reasons, but they’re posers from Brooklyn. I’ll take Louisville because who doesn’t like to watch 40 minutes of full-court pressure defense?

Team I Dislike Most: Syracuse. No Fab Melo means no further than the Sweet 16.

Upset Special: Two 10 seeds (Xavier and Purdue) in the Elite Eight. Belmont is going to give Georgetown a run for their money, and Michigan State’s toughest test pre-Kentucky will come from Memphis, who was criminally underseeded (as was Saint Louis).

Pat Chambers vs. the Ohio State Buckeye: He’d make what the Ohio Bobcat did look tame.

Zach Berger

Final Four: Kentucky, Florida St, North Carolina, Louisville

National Champion: Kentucky over FSU

Favorite Team: Louisville. Rick Pitino is a genius of a coach and any Pitino-coached team with the all-around talent they have could go far come March.

Team I Dislike Most: The team I dislike the most is the same every year, for obvious reasons: the Duke Blue Devils.

Upset Special: Vanderbilt over top-seeded Syracuse in the sweet sixteen. Cuse doesn’t have that one player can step up and take over a game. You could’ve argued that Fab Melo was that guy, but he’s now ineligible. And we’ve seen what the Commodores are capable of in their SEC Championship win over Kentucky, a better team than Syracuse. As for my 12 over 5, because there always seems to be at least one, I picked VCU over Wichita State for no reason other than their tourney success last year and their conference title win last week.

Pat Chambers vs. the Louisville Cardinal: Chambers would squeeze that little red bird until it popped.

Drew Balis

Final Four: Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida State, Michigan State

National Champion: Kentucky over UNC (Despite my favorite team, which you will see below, I am selling my soul here.

Favorite Team: Duke has been my team since I was four years old. Turned on college basketball for the first time, they were on TV, and I was hooked. As I was able to understand the sport more, Coach K became someone I really admired. Maybe not exactly the same personality wise, but much like Joe Paterno in their contributions to respective universities. If we are talking in terms of this tournament though, I love Florida State to make a deep run. They’re hot and they’re good, and that’s a scary combination.

Team I Dislike the Most: Overall, West Virginia, perhaps more Bob Huggins. Wear a suit damnit. I have also cooled on Syracuse. Too much going wrong right now, and I never like Wisconsin come tournament time either.

Upset Special: As Craig Bolerjack exclaimed in the 2008 tournament, “It’s not the UCLA Bruins, it’s the Belmont Bruins!” Belmont will not only hang with Georgetown, they will take out Georgetown in a big time upset. Book it, but please don’t yell at me if I’m wrong. I also like 11t- seeded NC State to make a run to the sweet sixteen.

Pat Chambers vs. The Duke Blue Devil: Things go back and forth. The Blue Devil looks to be down for the count before an incredible shot shifts the momentum. Unlike the awesome ending to that game though, Chambers answers back and pulls off the win then shows up to a press conference to talk about it without a voice.

Bobby Chen

Final Four: Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State, North Carolina

National Champion: UNC over Kentucky

Favorite Team: UNC. I like Harrison Barnes’ game and besides that I’m a Carolina fan. It also doesn’t hurt to have a potential top-five pick and three lottery picks in the coming NBA draft.

Team I Dislike The Most: Well it doesn’t make sense for me to like Carolina and like Duke. Anyway, from what I hear, Mason Plumlee’s pretty athletic on the dance floor at least and Miles has got game… during practices. But otherwise I’m not so high on their frontcourt. (I’m waiting for Ryan Kelly to miss 20 threes in a row.) Even my Duke friends aren’t too optimistic about their prospects during the dance this year.

Upset Special: Hard to say because all my sleepers were screwed over by seeding. Here’s a few though: Vanderbilt over Syracuse (and I haven’t even trusted Vandy since 2010), Marquette over Missouri, Belmont over Georgetown, South Florida over Temple. We’ll see how well those pan out.

Pat Chambers vs. Baylor’s florescent green jerseys: I hear that people are giving Baylor an advantage because their jerseys will blind all of their opponents. I don’t know too much about Coach Chambers but I don’t think florescent colors will be in Penn State basketball’s future

Alex Robinson:

Final Four: Michigan State, Kentucky, Florida State, Michigan.

National Champion: Michigan State over Michigan #BIGBias #SorryImNotSorry

Favorite Team: Michigan State. My dad’s family grew up in East Lansing, so I’ve always kinda liked them. Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches out there, and he’s all class. He’s always run a class program and has always been someone that I would look to be if I ever coached. This year, they’re one of the top rebounding teams in the country, which is probably the most inportant phase. They can shoot, have speed with Keith Appling running the point, and they have a game changer and All American in Draymond Green.


Upset Special: The winner of the Vanderbilt-Harvard game will be in the Elite 8.

Pat Chambers vs. Long Beach State 49ers: He would turn the 49ers into the 69ers

Ryan Beckler

Final Four: Kentucky, Missouri, Florida State, and North Carolina

National Champion: Kentucky over North Carolina

Favorite Team: Temple. It killed me to watch Juan Fernandez suddenly put an end Talor Battle’s career last year, but they’re a solid team with experienced guards.

Team I Dislike the Most: Ohio State of course. Mainly because William Buford made an inappropriate gesture towards Nittany Nation in 2010.

Upset Special: Beware of VCU. Shaka Smart knows how to get that team motivated in March.

Pat Chambers vs. the Saint Joe’s Hawk: I’m not a fan of St. Joe’s by any means, but something about staring contest between a stern Pat Chambers and a flapping St. Joe’s hawk seems extremely entertaining.

Alex Federman

Disclaimer: I do not really know anything about college basketball.

Final Four/National Champion: I think 3 should win.

Favorite Team: Does “Team America” count?

Upset Special: Is this asking if I’m especially upset? Not really.

Pat Chambers and Abraham Lincoln each took one of the pistols handed to them by Screech, an giant eagle who learned to play baseball over thousands of years. They took 10 steps away from each other, and a tense chill filled the air. Only one man would make it out of this alive. Though only a few seconds passed, the pause felt like a hundred years. Screech let out a giant, well,screech and flew to a safe distance. Coach Chambers and Honest Abe spun around, shooting to kill. The gunshots echoed off Mount Rushmore as Abraham Lincoln fell past a giant recreation of his head to the unforgiving ground below. Chambers watched him fall, and dropped his smoking gun like it was poisoned. He turned to look over the South Dakota hills- Pat Chambers had won his place on the final four Presidents carved in this mountain, but at what cost?

We hope you enjoyed our picks and perspective. Feel free to track our progress and-respectively- harass us when we get something wrong. Let the madness begin!

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About the Author


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