March, the time of year where everyone becomes their own in-house, in-office, in-group chat expert on college basketball! As a sports-watching male, who can name lots of college mascots and knows more than six players, by name, that will be lottery picks in next year’s NBA Draft, I am clearly the in-Poker Central expert to provide you with NCAA Tournament picks before March Madness tips off on Thursday.

In all seriousness, if Charles Barkley is going to give his picks, takes and opinions over the next two weeks, anyone is qualified, right? Without further ado, Will OC’s March Madness Picks (Part III)… 

East/West Semi-Final

Duke made their way through arguably the toughest bracket to represent the East Region in the Final Four, beating Villanova and making sure that there would be no repeat for the Wildcats in the Elite Eight. For that effort, Duke gets another pack of Wildcats and this time, the game is more or less on Arizona’s home court. The Final Four is in Phoenix and if ‘Zona is able to get there, they have a relatively easy road compared to their Blue Devil counterparts, no matter how well the Cameron Crazies travel, The Zoo will be stronger.

The only problem with the Wildcats, experience. Sean Miller has had talented teams in the past but he has never been able to get over the hump and get himself to this kind of stage. Mike Krzyzewski on the other hand, books his Final Four tickets before each season begins and is the most experienced coach in the tournament.

Regardless, home court over experience and Wildcats over Blue Devils.

Midwest/South Semi Final

I’ve said it once; I’ll say it again. I don’t know why I picked Kansas to get through the Midwest Region. In my expert opinion, pauses while laughing subsides, this bracket was the most wide open and when a handful of teams could win it, you kind of just have to go with the #1 seed. So Kansas is into the Final Four almost by default.

While I don’t believe in the Jayhawks, I am all-in on the Kentucky Wildcats. Their road to the Final Four will not be an easy one but if John Calipari has proven anything during his tenure at Kentucky, his teams, no matter how young, are usually poised for tournament runs. With UNC out of the way, thanks to some East Coast Bias, Kentucky should be able to get through UCLA and then punch their ticket to Phoenix.

Once there, need I remind you, I am WILD ABOUT THEM CATS and that means Kentucky advances to set up the all-Wildcat National Championship that we need and deserve.

National Championship

Five schools with “Wildcats” as their nickname started the tournament and two will meet in the National Championship. In a rematch of the 1997 title game, when Arizona won in overtime to keep Kentucky from winning back-to-back championships, the script will be flipped this year. Kentucky lets Sean Miller and Arizona get close but in the end, John Calipari wins his second NCAA Tournament title before signing a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans this summer that makes Calipari the highest paid coach in NBA history.