So, practically the whole country has already filled out their brackets for this year’s NCAA Tournament. Here are a few notes on this year’s bracket.
-Even though Miami did not get a no.1 seed, they still got very lucky. The only teams that pose any threat, in my opinion, to their run to the final four are Illinois and Indiana.
-On the flip side, Indiana should not feel like they got a great deal. Not only are they in the same region as Miami, they also are set up for tough potential games against talent-rich NC State, and a hot Syracuse team.
-A couple of very intriguing matchups from the East region are Bucknell-Butler and Marquette-Davidson. Both of these matchups pit potential bracket busters against seemingly vulnerable higher seeds. If Bucknell and Davidson both win, that would be a fun Cinderella second round.
-The West region is not very good. Ohio State is great, but this corner of the bracket does not have a clear favorite. I like a Pitt-Ohio State elite eight in the regional finals of the West.
-The West is also set up for a number of upsets:
- Harvard got a great matchup against defensively stingy but offensively challenged New Mexico. If Harvard gets hot from three, I don’t think New Mexico will be able to keep up.
- Belmont over Arizona is an easy upset pick. Belmont is on a six game winning streak. Arizona has lost three of their last five.
- Pitt is an eight seed and, with a win, would play Gonzaga in the second round. Not a friendly matchup for Gonzaga. I’m not sure why Pitt, with a 24-8 record that includes a blowout road win against Georgetown, two wins over Villanova, and a win over Syracuse, got an eight seed. I would have expected them to get no lower than a five. As I said above, I expect Pitt to meet Ohio State in the regional finals.
- I wouldn’t go so far as to pick Notre Dame to upset Ohio State in the second round, but ND has the bigs to give Ohio State a real tough game.
-The Midwest bracket intrigues me. While Louisville is the clear favorite to get out of the region, Memphis, Duke, St. Louis, and Michigan State are not to be taken lightly. MSU also drew a scary matchup with an excellent Valparaiso team.
-While Georgetown will have to beat some solid teams to get out of the South region, I like the way the bracket shook out for them. Yes, they got stuck in the same region as Kansas, one of the best teams in the country. But, to be honest, I doubt that Kansas will make it to the elite eight to play them. The top half of the South bracket has some scary teams. Villanova, UNC, Michigan, and VCU all could spring a trap on the Jayhawks. I don’t think KU will last that long. And if they do… they might just win it all.
-UCLA is playing Minnesota. The weird part is that UCLA is a six seed and Minnesota is an eleven seed. Minnesota has wins over Memphis, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Indiana. UCLA has wins over Arizona (three times… which I guess is impressive) and that’s about it. They also beat Missouri, which is a decent win. I think y’all know that I’ve got an upset here.
And… That’s all for now! It’s March BABY!