| Basket |

John Royal’s NCAA Basketball Picks, Take Two

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Okay, so my NCAA basketball tournament picks weren’t the best in the world. But you should know better than to expect me to be perfect with these things. I will note, however, that all of my Final Four picks are still standing.

Since I started with picks last week, I feel obligated to carry on, and pick things from where they stand at this moment – though I am not changing my picks for the Final Four or the championship.

In the East Region, North Carolina will be taking on Washington State, and North Carolina will be victorious. Tennessee struggled over the first weekend, and this week will be facing Louisville. Since I picked Louisville to play for the championship, I’m sticking with Louisville here, so Louisville defeats Tennessee then upsets North Carolina to go to the Final Four.

In the Midwest Region, Kansas will be taking on the surprising Villanova, one of the two double digit seeds in this region to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Kansas will defeat Villanova in a game that will be a lot closer than it should be. And Wisconsin will be taking on Davidson, the other double digit seed to advance in this region. If you watched any of the games last week, you probably discovered Davidson’s Stephen Curry for the first time. I’m pretty sure Wisconsin has discovered Curry, but I don’t think Wisconsin will be able to stop him, so Davidson and Kansas will be meeting for the chance to go to the Final Four. And since I picked Kansas to go to the Final Four last week, Kansas will defeat Davidson.

That brings us to the West Region. UCLA (who Aggie fans are claiming stole the game) takes on Western Kentucky, another of the surprising double digit seeds to make it past the first weekend. UCLA is not going to need the refs help this week as they pretty much demolish Western Kentucky. Then Xavier will be battling West Virginia. I think West Virginia blew its wad taking out Duke, so I’m taking Xavier to meet up with UCLA, and since I picked UCLA to win it all, UCLA defeats Xavier to reach the Final Four.

Now we’re in Houston for the South Region games. Free throw problems aside, I’m picking Memphis to defeat Michigan State (and my friend Jill – a Michigan State grad – is now sticking needles in a voodoo doll of me she created). And I don’t care about the home court advantage because I’m picking Stanford to defeat Texas. But Memphis defeats Stanford on Sunday to advance to the Final Four.

UCLA will defeat Memphis, and Louisville will defeat Kansas, and UCLA will defeat Louisville for the national title.

Unless something changes. – John Royal

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.