I have plenty of random thoughts going on in my head this day after St. Patrick's Day.
After watching the Selection Sunday broadcasts, I am reminded how exciting the whole experience is for the colleges, so let me start by wishing them all good luck in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
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The undefeated Wichita State Shockers are a favorite of mine, and I was able to watch about 7 or 8 of their games this season. At 34-0, they might have additional pressure on them, and it's possible that not suffering a loss this season could adversely affect them.
Another favorite of mine is Creighton and its star player, Doug McDermott, who recently won "Player of the Year" honors. You can't overlook McDermott's college career. Coached by his dad Greg, he improved steadily each year and is a Top 10 all-time scorer.
Of course, I always wish my old friend Tom Izzo from Michigan State much success, as well as Bo Ryan of Wisconsin.
Being a guy who takes pride is his city and state, it's tough not to see an Illinois team in the tourney. No Illinois, Northwestern or DePaul.
Pretty pathetic. Their athletic programs need to look in the mirror and say, "A job not well done."
Anyway, I like the dreaded No. 5 seed, VCU, to come out of the South, and Virginia will rise above it all in the East. In the West I'm loving Arizona, and in the Midwest I like Michigan to carry the banner of the Big Ten, but they will fall short. My sentimental favorite is Wichita State, but they are coming out of the Midwest, which is stacked.
I'm going with Virginia to win it all. They are tough defensively and have great chemistry, and will take the trophy home.
Good luck to all.
I look at this time of year as one of the best months in sports.
Many people think the sports year starts in July and ends in February because of the NFL and college football, and they might be right. But for me, March Madness, followed by Opening Day in Major League Baseball and then the Masters represents the ultimate sports trifecta.
Are there three more enjoyable consecutive events in the world of sports?
After the conference tournaments help determine the seeding, the NCAA tournament takes up most of March, giving us something to watch and root for almost every single day.
Then hope springs eternal as baseball returns and takes over the baton from the Final Four.
I have to be honest, though, that as much as I like those two events the Masters really brings it. And I give Tiger Woods credit for that. Which Tiger will show up? Can he catch or beat Jack Nicklaus' 18 major championships?
The Masters is the Super Bowl of golf, and watching the pristine course with the superb coverage and the best of the best in golf compete one-on-one, well that's as good as it gets.
Things are about to heat up, so say goodbye to winter boredom.
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• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.