Less then 48 hours until the Madness begins with this years edition of the NCAA March Madness tournament beginning the 1st round on Thursday, March 18th. With 32 1st round games over the two days there will be a ton of exciting games to watch, including some very solid match ups set for the first round. Below college basketball expert, Brent, has provided us with some 2010 March Madness Predictions on number 3 seeds Baylor and Pittsburgh. Brent is a winning college basketball bettor, profiting over $2,000 so far this year, with the March tournament always being his biggest profit.
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2010 March Madness Predictions – Baylor and Pittsburgh:
Coming out of the Big 12 to earn a #3 seed in the South Region bracket this year are the Baylor Bears. Baylor competed well in a difficult Big 12 Conference this season, going 11-5 withing the Big 12, and 25-7 overall. However, the Bears did not fair too well in the Big 12 Conference Tournament recently as the Bears were knocked out by Kansas State in the second round of the tournament. The Bears barely have any NCAA Tournament history to speak of, as this will only be the 6th tournament appearance in school history. Baylor does have a veteran core, as LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter, and Ekpe Udoh have 10 years of NCAA experience combined, and are also the top 3 scorers on the 2010 Baylor Bears. Anything past the first round will be the best result for Baylor in this tournament in 60 years.
First Round Opponent – Sam Houston State (25-7) Southland (14-2)
Tournament Prediction – Baylor has competed in just 5 NCAA Tournaments, with a 3-7 overall record. Baylor will be playing in their 2nd NCAA Tournament since 1988, and are in search for their first tournament victory since 1950. Baylor may have a contingency of veteran leadership, but their inexperience this time of year could really hurt them. After the first round, Baylor could run into a strong Notre Dame team, who could be a nice underdog to ride throughout the tournament. Baylor is likely to win their first NCAA tournament game in 60 years in this tournament, but i do not see a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the Bears’ future.
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The Pittsburgh Panthers make a return appearance in the NCAA tournament this year, after making a nice run in the 2009 tournament. The Panthers ran all the way to the Elite Eight last tournament, before losing a heart breaker to the Villanova Wildcats by 2 points in the Regional Final. However, this is not an experienced team in terms of tournament appearances and results, and were also upset by Notre Dame in the Big East quarterfinals this past weekend. Still, the Panthers had a strong season going 24-8 on the year, and 13-5 within the toughest Conference in the NCAA, the Big East. Pittsburgh will be in search of their first NCAA Tournament Championship in school history, coming out of the West bracket in the 2010 tournament.
First Round Opponent – Oakland (26-8) Summit League (17-1)
Tournament Prediction – The Panthers have appeared in 21 NCAA Tournament in their school history, but as mentioned, have yet to bring home a single Championship, and have qualified for just 1 Final Four. The Panthers have started to become a regular in this tournament over the last decade, as Pittsburgh has not missed out on a tournament since the 2001 edition. Last year’s run to the Elite Eight was the first run of that kind in 35 years, and they have not played in a Final Four dating back to 1941. Although the Panthers have had a strong season, they could be vulnerable to a second or third round upset, seeing as their top 3 scorers from the 2009 team that marched to the Elite Eight are no longer around. I do not expect Pittsburgh to make a run last like year, so do not expect the Panthers to be around for another Elite Eight appearance.