Brad Daugherty picks his alma mater, UNC, as his 2012 national champion.
ESPN NASCAR analyst and former University of North Carolina basketball star Brad Daugherty is picking his old team to win the 2012 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship.
Before cries of “Tar Heel Homer” echo throughout the land, it should be noted that Daugherty originally picked Syracuse to beat UNC when asked to fill out a tournament bracket for Front Row.
When news broke Tuesday that Syracuse center Fab Melo had been ruled ineligible for the tournament, just hours after Daugherty made his initial picks, he changed his mind.
Daugherty chose the Tar Heels over the Wildcats in the National Championship
Daugherty, a first team All-America at UNC and the No. 1 pick in the 1986 NBA Draft (Cleveland), still believes Syracuse will make it to the Final Four in New Orleans, along with Kentucky, Michigan State and UNC. But he believes the absence of Melo will open the door for a Tar Heels’ semifinal win.
“He makes such a huge difference in that matchup zone they play,” said Daugherty. “It was going to be a big problem for Carolina with him in the game.”
Daugherty’s lifelong passion for NASCAR racing led to his current ESPN role, but he continues to follow college basketball closely.
“When I can, I watch five or six games a week,” he said. “I’m still fervently involved in keeping up with it and watching which teams are emerging.”
Daugherty will have his eye on several opening week games while working his regular schedule on NASCAR Countdown for ESPN’s telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 17 at 1 p.m. ET. continue reading…