The Trials and Tribulations of the MBTA

mbta

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) was formed in 1964, and fifty-one years later it has devolved into one of the biggest embarassments of an organization in the country. Although the problems with the MBTA were exposed literally overnight during a February blizzard, the real issues with the company have been going on for much longer and there is no end in sight.

I began riding the Commuter Rail and Subway on a monthly basis beginning in July of 2014. I had only occasionally ridden it before then. It certainly did not take long for me to realize how bad the system was. Only a few weeks into July the train was late enough times for me to start seriously questioning what was going on. During that summer I would estimate that the train was “on time” (defined as 5 minutes late or less) maybe two thirds of the time. It was exactly on time zero times. ZERO. There are only two explanations for a train always being late. The first is the incompetence of those who manage and drive the trains. The second is the unrealistic schedule put out by the MBTA. Both of these were responsible for the late trains, and both are unacceptable, although incompetence was far more frequent than dishonesty.

I also have to address the parking situation before moving on. It is the year 2015 and this is how the parking works: You need to fold up four one dollars bills into tinally crumpled up papers and manually slide them into the corresponding number in a metal box in order to pay for your parking. Granted, this is slowly becoming more modern but the fact that some people still have to do this is absurd. I also need to call out the parking attendants who don’t even always check to see if everyone’s paid, and the times they do check are during the winter when you can’t see the numbers so they give you a ticket. And while they’re giving you a ticket for a parking number that you can’t see, they’re ignoring the illegally parked cars on the road of the entrance to the parking lot. These cars are illegally parked because there’s not enough spaces, also the parking attendants fault for not clearing out snow that is covering 25% of the spaces. Anyway, moving on.

On top of the trains always being delayed was the poor communication as to what in the world was happening. The explanations were always vague (“signal problem” was a popular copout) or there were no explanations at all. They couldn’t even manage to do the text alerts correctly, at one point sending out the complete wrong information and having to send a follow text to clarify the confusion. The summer finally ends, and what better way to kick off the Fall than to send out monthly September passes to everyone that didn’t even work? That’s exactly what happened that September, and before we finally got our new ones there had to be additional workers at every T stop with automatic doors which only wasted more time and resources.

Before we get into the major problems, I just have to throw out some more pathetic instances to get them out of the way. Multiple times the train has pulled up past the platform and had to back up, one time even missing the station entirely. The speakers on the trains are so unbearably loud, and the 50% of the time that they actually are announcing the stops, they announce the wrong schedule. Furthermore, the conductors are screaming out what the stops are as the automatic voice on the speakers are talking causing even more confusion. The heat and electricity have failed multiple times. One time the train was delayed so late, that by the time it got to the second to last stop everyone had to get out and wait for the next train because the conductor couldn’t work overtime….even though there was ONE MORE STOP. Sometimes they won’t open all of the doors and fail to tell anyone so that people are left waiting to get on the train, and sometimes they don’t even use all the cars on the train leading to overcrowding. Anyway, these issues pale into comparison to what’s coming next.

Now we have the blizzards. A record amount of snowfall quite literally beat down the MBTA so badly it temporarilty shut down. I will take this moment to say that the MBTA shutting down for a day is they only good decision they have made so far, because it only got much worse once they were up and partially running again. Following the storms, the MBTA produced a modified schedule that failed to get the job done. There were only a couple rush hour trains in the morning that led to massive overcrowding and even more delays. Cancellation after cancellation on top of the already expected out of service trains finally led to the GM announcing her resignation and governor Charlie Baker calling for immediate change. Two weeks after the last storm, the trains were in perfectly good shape but they refused to put them all back in service until the last week in March, which led to overcrowded and delayed trains all the way into April.

By now you can clearly see what a disaster this organization is. However, we are just getting started. An investigation was launched into how the MBTA was being managed and the news only gets worse. The MBTA kept claiming that they were in too much debt and couldn’t afford to fix the trains or get better equipment. While this is true, it is also true that they didn’t spend $2.3 billion of their budget over the last five years for no apparent reason. They also pay their employees $150,000 a year on average, the same employees that take 12 weeks off during the year and decided to not show up when they were needed most during the storms. But wait, the MBTA felt really sorry for us so they decided to offer everyone a full refund! NOPE JUST KIDDING. They offered 15% off the month of May and one free day that wasn’t even advertised so nobody know about it.

So where are we now? Very, very far from satisfied. The MBTA debacle is no one person’s fault, but at the same time every single part of that organization deserves some blame, from the lowly workers whose only job is to open a door and they can’t even do that right sometimes, to Keolis the company in charge of running the MBTA. Not a single person associated with this organization should be proud of their job. As revealed during the investigation, it is constant culture of incompetence and indifference that has made this organization as bad at as it is. Over in Japan they have trains running at 150 mph quickly and efficiently, while here in Boston the train system has single-handedly damaged the motivation and economy of one of the country’s greatest cities. The winter is over but the problem is not. Fortunately, there are people who recognize that and will not forget the damage that was done. Please join me in sharing this lawsuit https://www.mbtaclassaction.com/.

Tomorrow I will wake up and take the train to work. There will be a 50% chance that the train will either not to get to Boston in time or not get home to Franklin in time. I, along with my fellow riders, don’t deserve to be treated this way and I will not rest until justice is served. Please help spread awareness and keep this issue in the news so the hard-working people of Boston can get the respect they deserve.

Sincerely,

A tormented train passenger

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Movie Review: The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Age of Ultron is the sequel to Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) and features the same cast of superheroes that starred in the original. Iron Man (Robert Downey, jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) are forced to team up once again after the peacekeeping mission Ultron decides the best method for peace is to eliminate the Avengers. Two new characters, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson), are introduced in this movie as well and play a key role.

avengers

Similar to the first Avengers movie, I thought the sequel did a fantastic job of interjecting comedy at key moments throughout the film. It seemed like anytime things were getting a bit too serious or intense, there would be a quick one-liner thrown in to lighten the mood. I also thought the premise of this movie was very interesting. Both sides were ultimately fighting for peace, something that everyone could agree is a good cause, but had two very distinct ways of going about it. One of my favorite lines was when Ultron said “Why do humans think order and chaos are opposites?” This idea that there will always be war needed in order to keep peace is an interesting theme throughout the movie. My only complaints about this movie was that it was a little longer than necessary, and some of the action scenes seemed drag on for awhile. Other than that, I think this will be one of the best movies of 2015.

FINAL RATING: 8.5 / 10

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2015 Boston Red Sox Preview

red sox

With the baseball season set to kick off in less than 24 hours after this blog is being written, here is a preview of my favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, for the upcoming season.

The Background

background

The Red Sox are arguably the most successful franchise of the 21st century, but the past five seasons have certainly been a roller coaster. The 2010 season was hindered by a ridiculous amount of injuries, 2011 saw a historic September collapse after being dominant most of the season, 2012 was a disaster highlighted by a firesale in August, which set the stage for a World Championship in 2013, followed by another last place campaign last year. That being said, this year’s team is very different and for the most part there is optimism for the Sox to make another postseason run.

The Offseason

offseason

The Red Sox made several moves this offseason to make up for all the talent traded away during the 2014 campaign. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was signed to a five year $100 million contract in November coming off another championship for the San Francisco Giants. The 28 year old bring to the Sox what only one other active player has: 3 World Series Championships and a World Series MVP. Sandoval hit .279 with 16 HR and 73 RBI for the Giants in 2014.

One day later, the Red Sox signed another high profile free agent by bringing 31 year old (soon to be) left fielder Hanley Ramirez on board. Things have come full circle for Ramirez, since he made his major league debut with the Red Sox before being traded to the Marlins for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell in 2005. The deal is for four years and $88 million, and if he stays healthy it could be one of the better signings of the offseason. Hanley hit .283 with 13 HR and 73 RBI in just 128 games for the Dodgers in 2014.

The Red Sox also made several moves to rebuild their pitching rotation, which I will talk about in detail more below. Another significant offseason move that might not pay dividends this year was signing of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada. The 19 year old prospect has one of the highest potentials in recent memory. The Red Sox acquired the rights to him with a $31.5 million signing, and he will most likely play in the minors for the whole season.

The Lineup

lineup

The picture above is what is projected to be the Red Sox starting lineup when they open up the season in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon. Mookie Betts is primed for a big role for this team in his first season as a starter after hitting .450+ during spring training. Big things have been expected from the young outfielder as a prospect the last few years, and now he will have a chance to prove himself with extended playing time. For Dustin Pedroia, it’s just business as usual as the laser show should put up another solid season on the offensive and defensive side at second base. Likewise, David Ortiz shows no signs of slowing down coming off another 35+ HR 100+ RBI season, despite being 39 years old.

The new guys Ramirez and Sandoval will man the 4 and 5 spots, and with a post-sleep apnea Mike Napoli at first base in the 6th spot, positions 3-6 could easily put up 100-120 home runs this season if healthy. Shane Victorino starts the season in right field for now, but poor play and/or injury could quickly see him demoted or traded with Rusney Castillo ready to come up from Pawtucket. Xander Boegarts has big expectations as well and is hoping to prove himself at shortstop. The Red Sox took a hit with catcher Christian Vazquez going on the 60 day DL with Tommy John surgery, but this could open the door for star prospect Blake Swihart to get called up from the minors at some point this season.

The Rotation

pitchers

Only one Red Sox starting pitcher returns from last year’s opening day roster, and he will be the opening day starter. Clay Buccholz has consistently shown flashes of greatness throughout his career, but has also been wildly inconsistent and battled through several injuries. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be the ace that the Red Sox need. If not, there could be a lot of shuffling in the rotation this year. The Red Sox four other starters were not with the team before the trade deadline last year. Joe Kelly was acquired from St. Louis in the John Lackey trade, and Rick Porcello was acquired from the Detroit Tigers for Yoenis Cespedes. The Red Sox also traded for 28 year old left hander Wade Miley who signed a three year $19 million contract extension and signed former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson to a one year $9.5 million deal.

These are all solid pitchers, and if they all pan out the Red Sox should have a great rotation, but rarely do things go as planned. Kelly is already on the 15 day DL and knuckle baller Steven Wright has been called up to replace him. Miley is 38-35 (8-12 in 2014) with a 3.79 ERA in four seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 26 year old Porcello posted 15 wins last year with 3.43 ERA and 3 complete game shutouts for the Tigers. Kelly was 4-2 with a 4.11 ERA after being traded to Boston last season, and Masterson had one of his worse years with a 7-9 record and 5.88 ERA for Cleveland and St. Louis. The Sox bullpen will feature Koji Uehara for the third season in a row, although he will start the season on the DL, but should be ready for the home opener on April 15. Edward Mujica, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, and the newly signed Alexi Ogando will also be key bullpen contributors. Pitchers in the minors that could make an impact include Matt Barnes, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Henry Owens.

The Prediction

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Red Sox simply because nobody knows how all the offseason moves will work out, who will stay healthy, and the simple fact that the inconsistent Red Sox have gone from first to worst in 2011 alone, to worst in 2012, to World Series Champion in 2013, and back to worst last year. That being said, I think the Red Sox will contend this year and go 91-71 and make the playoffs as a wild card.

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2015 Final Four Preview

final four

There may have been relatively few upsets this year, but it all sets up for what should be some great showdowns as four Hall of Fame head coaches lead their respective programs to Indianapolis for a shot at the national championship.

#7 Michigan State vs. #1 Duke

duke msu

This is obviously the less anticipated of the two matchups on Saturday, but should be a great game nonetheless. Interestingly enough, neither of these teams won their respective regular season or conference tournaments, but with Tom Izzo leading the Spartans and Coach K at the helm of the Blue Devils, it’s really not much of a surprise that both of them have played well in the tournament. These teams met way back in November with Duke winning 81-71, but obviously much has changed since then. Michigan State’s defense has greatly improved, as evidenced throughout the Big 10 championship and through holding their opponents to just 34% from the field throughout the tournament. Meanwhile, Duke was third in the country in shooting efficiency at just over 50% for the season.

coachk izzo

The main focus in this game is how Michigan State will defend player of the year candidate Jahlil Okafor. With forward Brandon Dawson expected to be matched up against Duke’s other threat down low, Justice Winslow, Okafor could have a big game if the Spartans don’t double him in the paint. Duke may have an advantage in the frontcourt, but so far in this tournament it looks like Michigan State has the advantage in the backcourt. Guards Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine have been huge in key games throughout this tournament. A key matchup to watch will be Duke’s freshman point guard Tyus Jones, who has played great all season, against Michigan State point guard Travis Trice.

okafor

A big point of emphasis has been made this week on the comparison between 2015 Michigan State and 2014 UConn. Both teams went 12-6 in conference play, finished third in their conference, lost in the conference tournament, earned 7 seeds in the NCAA tournament, and defeated the 10, 2, and 3 seeds in their region to advance to the Final Four. Although Michigan State has some great players, they don’t have a Shabazz Napier that can single handedly put the team on their back. Duke is the more talented team and Coach K’s 8-1 record all time against Tom Izzo indicates they have an advantage on the bench as well. Duke advances to National Championship game for first time since they won it all in 2010.

#1 Wisconsin vs. #1 Kentucky

uk wisco 1

Arguably the two best teams in the NCAA this year will clash in a Final Four rematch from a year ago in what could be a game for the ages. Kentucky’s #1 defense faces off against Wisconsin’s #1 offense. Wisconsin is seeking revenge after a heartbreaking defeat last year, while Kentucky is looking for redemption after losing to UConn in the championship game. These teams bring a combined 73-3 record into this game including the tournament, and for Kentucky this will be their biggest obstacle yet to completing an unprecedented 40-0 season. Both these teams and these players have starred on the big stage, and neither will be intimidated when they take the floor in Indianapolis on Saturday night.

uk wisco coaches

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan has long been considered one of the best in the game, but has yet to win that elusive national title. On the other side, Calipari won a championship just three years ago and has made the Final Four for the fourth time in five years, but many only see him as an expert recruiter who picks up the best talent rather than a brilliant basketball mind. With such evenly matched teams, coaching could play a critical role in this matchup. Another theme that will come into play is Wisconsin’s upperclassmen against Kentucky’s freshman and sophomores. As I said earlier, Kentucky won’t be intimidated by the stage, but if this game comes down to the final seconds it may very well be decided by the veteran making a great play or the rookie making the mistake. Forwards Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker star for the Badgers, while Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns, and the Harrison twins lead the Wildcats.

kaminsky

Kentucky has certainly been tested at times this season, most recently in a narrow victory against Notre Dame in the Elite 8, but a huge advantage that they hold is their depth. Before Alex Poythress got injured they could essentially put out two different starting fives, and even now they are still so well-balanced and talented that anyone can step up and play a huge game. Kaminsky and Dekker are clearly the focus on the Badgers, but everyone is the focus on Kentucky. If you combine that with their length and athleticism, they are simply too good to stop. This will be a close hard-fought game for a while, but like last year Kentucky will once again win to reach the National championship.

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Lunch with Super Bowl Champion Matthew Slater

slater super bowl

Today I had the opportunity to hear Patriots’ Pro Bowl Special Team Captain Matthew Slater speak at a local church near my house, and afterwards have lunch with him. It was an awesome experience. He was a great speaker and comes across as an extremely humble and relatable person. At one point he said, “I’m no different than anyone else in this crowd. My job description might be a little different, but other than that I’m just like the rest of you.” He went on to talk about his faith in God, the role his father played in his life, and his journey to the NFL after not starting at UCLA.

slater church

After the service, we were fortunate enough to be sitting at the same table as Slater during lunch, and had some great conversations. I asked him about Tom Brady, and he had a couple of good stories about him during the Super Bowl. At the end of the game when the Patriots were about to kneel, Slater was drifting huddle thinking the game was over and playing it casual, when Brady grabbed him and yelled “SLATE! GET BACK IN THE HUDDLE.” Slater said that Brady was a really nice guy, but really intense on game day which this story illustrated. He also said the first thing Brady said in the locker room after the game was that they were going to win it next year. We asked him about Gronkowski, and he didn’t give specific stories but said Gronk is the same way behind the scenes that we see from him in public.

slater lunch

He was asked about the rule changes in the NFL, and said half-jokingly how the NFL targets the Patriots with the rule-making each year, this time with the ineligible receiver rule. He mentioned how they saw an opportunity to expose the Ravens with the ineligible receiver switches while watching film. Slater wasn’t a fan of any changes to the extra point, and thought the kickoffs should be moved back to the 30 as well. J.J. Watt is his favorite active player outside of the Patriots, and he thinks Revis is the best cornerback in the league, better than Sherman. When asked about the most surprising offseason move, he said the Eagles trading Nick Foles to the Rams for Sam Bradford.

slater group

Overall, Matthew Slater was a genuinely kind, humble, and interesting person to talk to. He signed every autograph and took every picture that people requested, despite being in a sling for his arm. He thanked the church multiple times for having him, and only requested that people donate to a charity that he supports in return. The offseason is almost over for him however, as the Patriots will start back up on April 20, and begin their quest for a fifth Super Bowl championship.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like if you enjoyed reading, comment with feedback, and share with others.

Jeff

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2015 NCAA Sweet 16 Preview: East and South Regions

sweet 16

East Regional Semifinal 1: #4 Louisville vs. #8 North Carolina State

nc state

For the second straight year, a fourth-seeded Louisville team will face the number 8 seed in their region in the sweet 16. Last year, it was Kentucky who upset #1 Wichita State in the previous round before eventually beating Louisville and going to the Final Four. This time, it’s the eighth-seeded Wolfpack who come in off a win over the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats. NC State is a good team with impressive wins this year, such as a victory over Duke, but the game against Villanova showed more about the Nova’s weaknesses than it did about NC State’s strengths. Louisville and coach Rick Pitino are only two years removed from their championship in 2013, and after looking shaky at times down the stretch, and against #13 UC Irvine in the second round, the Cardinals looked impressive in their win against Northern Iowa in the round of 32. I think this will be a close battle since NC State certainly won’t be intimidated, but Montrezl Harrell will control the paint down low for Louisville who will return to the Elite 8 for the second time in three years.

East Regional Semifinal 2: #3 Oklahoma vs. #7 Michigan State

oklahma msu

The Oklahoma Sooners are back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since Blake Griffin starred as a player of the year candidate in 2009, while Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans are familiar faces in the second weekend of the tournament once again. With top-seeded Villanova and two seed Virginia both knocked out of the region over the weekend, the East’s Final Four berth is up for grabs. In a year that featured seven Big 12 teams making it to the tournament, few thought that Oklahoma would be one of the last teams standing ahead of the likes of Kansas, Baylor, and Iowa State. Meanwhile, many people believed Michigan State was underseeded after seeing them play Wisconsin to overtime in the Big 10 championship. A veteran team led by forward Brandon Dawson with an experienced coach will once again prevail as Michigan State locks up a berth in the Elite 8.

South Regional Semifinal 1: #1 Duke vs. #5 Utah

duke utah

Utah has flown under the radar as a pretty solid team out of the Pac-12 this year, but all eyes will be on Duke and player of the year finalist Jahlil Okafor. Utah’s main focus will be preventing him and forward Justice Winslow from dominating in the paint and forcing Duke to shoot jump shots. Freshman point guard Tyus Jones will play a key role as well in running the offense. Duke has had some struggles in the tournament since their championship in 2010, including losses to a 15 and 14 seed in the round of 64. However, this Duke team appears to be playing much better basketball as of late, with dominating wins in their first two games of the tournament. Utah has not faced a team as talented as Duke, aside from possibly Arizona, this season and I expect the Blue Devils to keep it rolling.

South Regional Semifinal 2: #2 Gonzaga vs. #11 UCLA

ucla gonzaga

Two West Coast teams clash in this Sweet 16 matchup as the UCLA Bruins face off against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Neither of these teams are flashy or loaded with star power, but they do have key players that many people may not know about due to their games being late night on the west coast. Sharpshooter Bryce Alford leads UCLA, and made his presence in the tournament known with a 9 for 11 three point shooting night in the round of 64. Meanwhile, Gonzaga is paced by veterans point guard Kevin Pango and forward Kyle Wiltjer. Gonzaga has not been a very popular Final Four pick this year, despite being in the same region as arguably the weakest one seed in Duke, but the Bulldogs are very underrated and certainly have the capability to make a run. Many people think UCLA should not have even been in the tournament, and many also think they should not have won their first game on a controversial goaltending call. Combine that with their win against a 14 seed in the third round, and UCLA’s mediocre season will finally come to an end.

Thanks for reading my March Madness previews. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

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2015 NCAA Sweet 16 Preview: West and Midwest Regions

sweet 16

68 teams began their quest for a championship starting with the First Four on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the now that field is down to just sixteen. Here is a preview of what to watch for during the next eight games of the 2015 NCAA tournament.

Midwest Regional Semifinal 1: #1 Kentucky vs. #5 West Virginia

UK

Kentucky is off to the best start in NCAA history at 36-0, but they’re not done yet. Their next opponent will be the fifth-seeded Mountaineers, led by coach Bob Huggins. An extremely under the radar statistic in this matchup is the surprising fact the Huggins is 8-2 all time against Calipari, the best winning percentage of anyone against him with at least three matchups. West Virginia comes out of a battle-tested Big 12 conference, and can create the type of full court pressure to take the opponent’s offense out of rhythm. However, the scary part about this Kentucky team this year is that they are so good, they can win games without even being at their best. They are a well-balanced machine with freakish athletes led by Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, and the Harrison twins. They have the length to block and alter shots which has resulted in a historic opponent shooting percentage of 35%, in addition to deadly three point shooters and efficient big men in the paint on offense. West Virginia will hang around at times in this matchup, but Kentucky will advance to the Elite 8.

Midwest Regional Semifinal 2: #3 Notre Dame vs. #7 Wichita State

wichita

ACC champion Notre Dame faces off against MVC champion Wichita State in a battle of veteran teams. Both of these teams are coming off of victories against in-state rivals, with Notre Dame pulling out a thrilling overtime win against Butler and the Shockers claiming the battle of Kansas over the Jayhawks. Notre Dame has caught the attention of many by defeating both Duke and UNC multiple times this season, and has the capabilities to make a deep run behind veterans Pat Connaughton and Zack Auguste. However, Wichita State still has much of the team that led them to the Final Four in 2013 and a 35-0 start last year, including Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker. Gregg Marshall’s team will be determined to win this game and potentially turn the tables on Kentucky in the Elite 8, which ended the Shockers’ undefeated season a year ago.

West Regional Semifinal 1: #1 Wisconsin vs. #4 North Carolina

wisco unc

This matchup has the potential to be one of the best games in the tournament: two outstanding coaches in Bo Ryan and Roy Williams, two star players in Frank Kaminsky and Marcus Paige, and two teams that both have the capability of making Final Four runs. Wisconsin has been consistent all season long. After a heartbreaking loss to Kentucky in the Final Four last year, player of the year candidate and senior forward Frank Kaminsky is determined to lead his Badgers to Indianapolis for a shot at glory. Meanwhile, North Carolina has been inconsistent at times and posted double digit losses on the season, but has played better toward the end of the year. In a suddenly strong ACC featuring Duke, Virginia, Louisville, and Notre Dame, the Tar Heels have gone under the radar at times. This could be a dangerous matchup for Wisconsin since North Carolina has the talent to pull off the upset. The Badgers will need to control the tempo early and limit turnovers in order to advance.

West Regional Semifinal 2: #2 Arizona vs. #6 Xavier

zona xavier

Many people thought Arizona should have earned a #1 seed for this tournament, while many also overlooked Xavier as an overseeded team out of a relatively weak Big East conference. Now the Musketeers, led by Matt Stainbrook’s 12 points and 7 rebounds per game, are the lone representative of the Big East after the likes of Villanova, Butler, and Providence have fallen. Meanwhile, Brandon Ashley and the Arizona Wildcats are hungry for a potential Elite 8 rematch with Wisconsin, with last year’s game ending in a heartbreaking overtime loss. Arizona should win this game and is very much a threat to reach the Final Four.

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