Tonight the NCAA men’s basketball tournament reaches its conclusion after mentally scarring millions of college basketball fans across the country and damaging our collective psyche to the point that we are completely numb to things like emotions and feelings. We already were completely numb to things like emotions and feelings, but this tournament didn’t help.
Or maybe that was just my NCAA tournament experience. Your mileage may vary.
Time CT, game at NRG Stadium in Houston.
 San Diego State Aztecs v.  UConn Huskies
8:20 pm | CBS | UCONN -7 | O/U 132
The #1 team on KenPom faces the #14 team on KenPom. So yes, these teams were seeded as 4s and 5s, but they were always solid teams and anyone saying they got lucky or the bracket busted terribly is wrong.
With either result, I congratulate zmaximus11 on winning the OTE Bracket challenge. They also joined a group called Fans of Purdue and named their OTE bracket “Marchtothesea” so clearly they are an intelligent person even if they were misguided enough to pick Purdue to win the national championship. It’s okay, zmaximus11. I also lost my national champion in the first round when Arizona bowed out. Somehow despite losing half my final four in the first round, I finished 5th. At least I beat MNWildcat.
The San Diego State Aztecs have been carried by a defense and an offense that makes just enough plays at the right moments. Although UConn will have an advantage in the post, the Aztecs already defeated Ryan Kalkbreener and Vladislav Goldin in this tournament so they should be able to match up decently. Star Matt Bradley is just one of seven seniors for the Aztecs and they will need contributors from all of them plus Final Four savior Lamont Butler to cut down the nets for the first time in program or Mountain West history. If you are looking for a B1G connection, San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher is the son of former Minnesota Gopher head coach Jim Dutcher, a Minnesota alumni, and served as an assistant under Steve Fisher at Michigan. Yes, Minnesota should have hired him two years ago and on a related note, it’s probably about time to start looking for a new athletic director for the Gophers.
UConn seeks their fifth national championship. I’m told that 5 is the magical number and all programs with less than 5 are terrible and should be ashamed of themselves. Adama Sanogo and Donovan Clingan are a dominant one-two punch at the center position and they are surrounded by shooters and playmakers in Jordan Hawkins, Tristen Newton, and Alex Karaban. This is a very balanced team and outside of a midseason slump in January (brought on by me watching them lose in Cincinnati to Xavier) they have been one of the best - if not the best - teams in college basketball all season. I have no B1G connections for you on this UConn team.
San Diego State or UConn?
This poll is closed
Montezuma’s revenge! Sad Jonathan
The Big Ten has gone 20+ years since winning a national championship in men’s or women’s basketball. We should watch hockey instead.
*The national championship contenders in this poll are legally required to follow the results of the poll and may not deviate from it in any manner.
BoilerUp89’s pick: Connecticut by 12. I like San Diego State, I really do. Beating Alabama and Creighton and Florida Atlantic were impressive feats. But Connecticut has routinely blown out their competition in this tournament, hasn’t lost a non-conference game since last season, and has a combination of size, shooting, and athleticism that I think will carry them in tonight’s game.
Here’s your game thread for the evening. No illegal links or whatever—not that we can do anything to stop them, thanks to Coral, but we’ll shake our fingers at you collectively and you’ll feel that shame and judgment. Complain about the refs at your own risk as the rest of us “writers” are getting really frustrated about MNW continuing to pay for airfare to Prague out of the writers’ collection tin.