Kampe: MSU gets bad draw; Arizona will win it
The Big Dance is back. The NCAA Tournament bracket has been unveiled, the games start Tuesday and Wednesday with the play-ins. Oakland University coach Greg Kampe is back again this year to provide his Tournament observations for The News.
Q. What are your overall impressions of the bracket?
A. If somebody wants to win their office pool, the lower bracket of the Midwest Region is where you're going to win it, because you've got five pick-em games. The Sweet 16, it could be anybody. Who knows who's gonna win there. I think that's gonna be the determining factor.
Q. Thoughts on Michigan State's draw?
A. I think Michigan State got screwed being a 7 seed. It's a bad, bad draw, having to play Virginia (in the second game), just because Virginia defensively is so good. Michigan State relies so heavily on the transition and the jump shot. I think Virginia will take that transition away.
Q. So you're saying Michigan State has no chance?
A. With Tom Izzo as the coach and the tradition Michigan State has, there's always that potential. I think they got screwed on the seeding and I think that the key to a team making a run is the draw. It's like golf. The amount of strokes you get are determined before the first tee shot, and that usually determines who's gonna win the bet. It's the same thing here. If they had been up at the top of the bracket, that'd be awesome. If they would've been the 5 seed, that would've been the perfect draw.
I don't think Villanova would be that scary for them. They should've been seeded fifth. Maryland's fourth. Michigan State was the third-best team in the Big Ten, why wouldn't they be at least a 5? And they beat Maryland in the Big Ten tournament. To me, that's a knock against the Big Ten. There's no way.
Q. On to other teams now. Can anybody beat Kentucky?
A. I've got Arizona winning it. We played Arizona and I saw them up close and personal, I know how good they area. There's gonna be an unbelievable amount of pressure on Kentucky. I look at how Kentucky got to the championship game last year, a last-second shot. That kind of stuff doesn't happen every year. I just think Arizona is gonna beat them.
Q. Wisconsin got a No. 1 seed in the West Region, where Arizona is the No. 2. Is this the best Wisconsin has been?
A. They've got great size. They don't turn the ball over. And they make big shots, but I think Arizona's got great size, too. I think they're gonna play each other in the Elite Eight game. I give the edge to Arizona.
Q. Any underrated teams to watch?
A. Northern Iowa is my team all the way to the Elite Eight. Them and Louisville got the best draw; they'll play each other in the second round. I think Eastern Washington will be the upset. You always see a 12-5, 13-4 upset. I think it'll be Eastern Washington. People don't understand how good they are. They beat Indiana at Indiana. They're the most overlooked team.
Q. OK, loaded question here. Who's the most overrated team?
Q. Anything else stand out to you?
A. They put all five Indiana teams in the same region. I think that's really weird. All five of them are in the Midwest Region. Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Valpo and Butler, all in the Midwest. Somebody should've been sent out West.