College Basketball

Tom Talks and picks NCAA tourney; see his choices and why

Duke and North Carolina are both No. 1 seeds, but Intrepid Tom has neither winning the tournament.
Duke and North Carolina are both No. 1 seeds, but Intrepid Tom has neither winning the tournament.

Every season, I pick the winner of every NCAA men’s basketball tournament game minutes after the brackets are divulged. Some seasons, I’m outstanding. Some, I’m, well, non-outstanding.

A woman told me Saturday night that she uses my picks every season. She smiled, and added that she has no idea why.


Round one winners are: Duke, VCU, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, LSU, Minnesota and Michigan State.

Minnesota plays Louisville. Louisville once was Rick Pitino’s team. Minnesota coach Richard Pitino is still Rick’s son. Blood wins.

Duke beats VCU, Virginia Tech beats Mississippi State, LSU beats Maryland and Michigan State beats Minnesota.

Duke beats Virginia Tech and Michigan State beats LSU.

Michigan State upsets Duke 77-74 to advance to the Final Four.


Round one winners are: Gonzaga, Syracuse, Murray State (which beats Marquette behind sensational point guard Ja Morant, who averages a sensational 10 assists a game), Florida State, Buffalo, Texas Tech, Nevada and Michigan.

Gonzaga beats Syracuse, Florida State beats Murray State, Texas Tech beats Buffalo and Michigan beats Nevada.

Gonzaga beats Florida State and Texas Tech beats Michigan.

Texas Tech beats Gonzaga to advance to the Final Four.


Gardner-Webb is not happy simply to be in the tournament. But Virginia beats the Bulldogs anyway. The Cavaliers are a No. 1 seed and, as you know, no No.-1 seed has lost to a No. 16-seed in consecutive seasons.

Other round one winners: Mississippi, Oregon, Kansas State, Villanova, Purdue, Cincinnati and Tennessee.

Virginia beats Mississippi, Oregon beats Kansas State, Villanova beats Purdue and Tennessee beats Cincinnati.

Virginia beats Oregon and Tennessee beats Villanova.

Virginia beats Tennessee to advance to the Final Four.


Round one winners: North Carolina, Utah State, Auburn, Kansas, Iowa State, Houston, and Wofford and Kentucky.

Watch Wofford guard Fletcher Magee shoot and you want to say, “Um, not like that.” Then you watch the trajectory of the ball and say, “Yeah, like that.” He averages 20.5 points and hits 42.8% of his threes.

North Carolina beats Utah State, Auburn beats Kansas, Houston beats Iowa State, and Kentucky breaks a tie with 5:05 remaining and beats Wofford by seven.

North Carolina beats Auburn and Kentucky beats Houston in overtime.

North Carolina beats Kentucky to advance to the Final Four.


Virginia and North Carolina play in the same conference but are members of different species. The Tar Heels rarely slow down, and the Cavaliers rarely speed up. Slow wins. Virginia advances.

Michigan State beats Texas Tech.

The best thing to happen to Virginia was losing to Florida State in the ACC tournament. The Cavaliers got their loss out of the way. They usually save it for the NCAA tournament.

Virginia beats Michigan State. The Cavaliers are your national champions.