Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

March 20, 2013

Dueling Brackets: Braden Layer

The hallowed week is finally upon us. The wonderfully chaotic, stress inducing madness of March began on Tuesday, and a full slate of 16 games starts tomorrow. Luckily for me, I don't have to perform the juggling act of appearing to work while also using my iPad, iPhone or computer to religiously check scores or watch the craziness live, fortunately it's in my job description.

Which is why Ryan and I have decided to use our combined expertise, and I use that term loosely, to share our picks in a "Dueling Brackets" segment. We'll go through each region and highlight who we have advancing to Atlanta, along with a little upset special selection at the end. With no further ado, here is your winning bracket...

MIDWEST- This bracket runs through Louisville, and it should. I'll admit that Pitino has duped me before, but I'm doubting they do it again. The Cardinals are playing their best basketball at the best possible time, winning the Big East tournament title on Sunday against Syracuse. If you took away anything from that contest, it's that the Cards are never out of a game. Syracuse led by double digits at halftime before Louisville awoke from its slumber to win in convincing fashion.

Louisville plays fantastic defense, and I'm finally ready to watch Peyton Siva without being consistently scared of a turnover. Siva may still cough the ball up a few times, but he's been noticeably better and has a career high average of 5.9 assists this season. Count on Siva to provide some flashy highlights, Russ Smith to score consistently, and the stable of Louisville big men to get the job down on the boards down low. I can comfortably say I see no signs as to why the Cardinals won't be heading to Atlanta, and they're my pick from the Midwest.

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