KRAFT: One-stop upset answers

Sing it with me now, "It's the most wonderful time of the year…".

That's the introduction to what most of you know as a popular Christmas carol. Well, in the minds of many, Christmas has arrived.

I'm sure you've all filled out your brackets in anticipation for what I consider the most wonderful time of the year.

That's right, March Madness begins today.

While some people migrated to warmer climates and relaxed on the beach during spring break, I migrated to my couch where I relaxed and studied the world of college basketball.

So now it's my turn to tell you why you're in trouble if you picked all the top seeds and for those of you who went upset crazy, you may not be so crazy after all.

Here are my upset specials:

South region: No. 5 Illinois (24-9) vs. No. 12 Western Kentucky (24-8)

The Illini come in to the tournament after an embarrassing loss to Purdue in the Big Ten Conference Tournament last week. Also, apparently no chief means no scoring for Illinois as it was held to 33 points against Penn State a few weeks back and put up just 64.6 points per game this season. To top it off, the Illini will likely be without senior guard Chester Frazier who is recovering from a broken hand suffered two weeks ago.

Western Kentucky, on the other hand, received an automatic bid after finishing atop the hill of the Sun Belt Conference. The Hilltoppers reached the Sweet 16 in last year's tournament and provided the shot of the tournament with Ty Murray's first round buzzer-beater against Drake. Western Kentucky features four players who average double-digits in scoring and have lost just two games in the past two months

Food for thought — Nov. 30, 2008: Western Kentucky 68, No. 1 Louisville 54.

I'm taking the Chief-toppers.

Midwest region: Possible second round match-up between No. 1 Louisville (28-5) and No. 8 Ohio State (22-10)

If you didn't take the Big East Champions and No. 1-overall seed Cardinals to go deep into the tourney, you may not be in too much trouble.

"Why's that?" you ask. Louisville got robbed.

The Cardinals were selected as the top team in this year's tournament and sent to Dayton, which is 152 miles away from home.

But if Ohio State defeats No. 9 Siena in the first round, it will be playing just 71 miles away from its campus in Columbus. Who wears the home jerseys in this one, selection committee?

I will either look brilliant or be laughed at here, but I'm taking The Ohio State University.

East region: No. 4 Xavier (25-7) vs. No. 13 Portland State (23-9)

If you're looking to see a major upset, look no further than the 4-13 match-up between Xavier and Portland State. The Musketeers come limping into March having lost two out of their last three games to unranked opponents and managed just 53 points last week against Temple. They were held to season-lows in points and field-goal percentage in that game and now lack any sort of momentum going into the Big Dance.

The Pilots of Portland State, however, are flying high after receiving their highest seed in school history. Winners of the Big Sky Conference, Portland State returns to the tournament for a second-straight year after being trounced by eventual champion Kansas last March. The Pilots have won eight of their last 10 games and are looking to become this year's Cinderella story.

Pilots over the X-Men for my final upset.

There you go. So sit back, relax, and feel free to rub it in when none of my upset picks prevail.