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Bradley ‘Brave’ Enough To Reach The Final Four

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So Bradley University just beat Pittsburgh. WOW. Led by Sophomore Patrick O’Bryant who had 28 points and 7 rebounds. One of the major things I noticed was that Bradley always stay composed and gave off the type of confidence a #1 seed would.

The Missouri Valley Conference, with now Wichita State and Bradley in the Sweet 16, is now a serious conference. All Wichita State has to do to make the Elite 8 is top George Mason. Not an easy take, but definitely doable for the red-hot Shockers.

Speaking of Wichita State, O’Bryant played some great games against the Shockers. Including a 14-point, 19-rebound performance earlier this season.

When looking for someone to compare O’Bryant to in terms of his position on the team, his age, and the circumstances, Nervous Pervis Ellision of the 1986 Louisville run comes to mind.

Coincidentally The Defiant Patrick O’Bryant was born in 1986. Even more coincidental is the fact that the highest seed to ever make the final four of the NCAA tournament was the 1986 Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers.

That’s right — I am implying that this Bradley Braves team is heading to the Final Four. Watching the Kansas and Pittsburgh games, I got the vibe that this Bradley University team is truly special. They even are giving off the same vibe that some say the LSU Tigers gave during the 1986 tournament. Both teams have gone through some obstacles, LSU with a handful of suspensions and academic ineligible players, and Bradley with the 8 game suspension that Patrick O’Bryant received earlier in the year.

This team has shown true composure and a knack to hit the all-important shot. All that stands in the Braves’ path is an overrated Memphis team and either the overrated, easy-scheduled Gonzaga Bulldogs or the inexperienced youthful UCLA Bruins. All this adds up clearly for the Bradley University Braves to become the highest seed ever to reach the final four!

What a run to the Sweet 16 for Bradley, and in the end I truly see Bradley having the opportunity to Boooogie their way to the final four!

In the comments section we can discuss this great Bradley win, their road to the final four, or how the Missouri Valley Conference has established themselves as a legitimate threat. Discuss! Email me at with any cool stories about Bradley and the Tournament!

About AJ Vaynerchuk

  • Matthew T. Sussman

    Ah, young stallion, I said the same thing about No. 10-seed Kent State in 2002 when they were a game away from the Final Four. All they had to do is beat some team named Indiana, a No. 5-seed with an overrated coach, Mike Davis and coming off an emotional win over No. 1-seed Duke. Um, well, that didn’t happen, and IU made the title game.

    And I think I said the same thing about No. 10-seed Gonzaga in 1999, but they couldn’t get by the then-maskless Rip Hamilton and UConn.

    I have UCLA in the Final Four, so I have to disagree with you for that reason.

    P.S. – Love the rustic studio background. I think SportsCenter‘s first studio was also made of looseleaf.

  • AJ Vaynerchuk

    Don’t get me wrong, I have seen those same things happen, but never was a team so modest and composed.

    As a side note, I also have UCLA in the final four in my bracket. But after last night, and today’s Bradley game, my opinion is changing :-/

  • RJ Elliott

    “P.S. – Love the rustic studio background. I think SportsCenter’s first studio was also made of looseleaf.”

    Yeah, great stuff! But I would recommend a darker, thicker marker next time…

  • George Lewis

    Sorry you believe Memphis is overrated. I think you (and the guys at ESPN btw) will be sadly surprised by the force generated by UM as this exceptional team blows through the final rounds.

    Thanks for the sentiment, though.