March Madness Men’s Bracket predictions, potential upsets, top matchups, more

We officially have a bracket. On what has change into a nationwide vacation, Selection Sunday, we kick off our coverage with an quick reaction to the enviornment of 68. 

Right here are my takeaways from the different committee’s choices.

The 1-line is colorful … for essentially the most share.

The surprise from the committee was as soon as Houston, which correct lost to Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship sport on Sunday, touchdown the No. 2 overall seed in the match and being positioned in the Midwest Field. Which advance the Cougars were chosen over Kansas, the No. 1 seed in the West Field, and given the aptitude regional medication in Kansas City. The Jayhawks, in the period in-between, must head to Las Vegas in a reputation the put UCLA is the No. 2 seed.

Kansas had 10 more Quad 1 wins than Houston in essentially the most handy convention in college basketball, however the Cougars were No. 1 in the NET rankings. That acknowledged, UCLA couldn’t be that threatening with Jaylen Clark accomplished for the season and Adem Bona dealing with an atomize. I contemplate Kansas and Alabama got essentially the most manageable paths, and they’d per chance meet in the nationwide championship sport.

SEC champion Alabama was as soon as deserving of the No. 1 overall seed, and the Crimson Tide may per chance per chance well per chance reside up having a truly clear path to the Final Four. At 29-5, Nate Oats’ community would face Maryland or West Virginia in the Spherical of 32, two succesful teams however neither with the firepower of Alabama. 

Taking a glimpse at Arizona, Baylor and Virginia because the opposite teams joining them in the reputation, the Pac-12 match champion Wildcats peek cherish essentially the most dangerous team getting into the dance, however Tommy Lloyd’s squad does have a backcourt that will per chance well per chance also very successfully be inconsistent. Baylor’s protection is regarding, while Virginia’s offense has a tendency to head ice-frosty. The Crimson Tide got the stop seed and essentially the most handy path, in my glimpse. 

Mountainous Ten champion Purdue has what I would name a manageable pathway, however doubtlessly drawing Memphis in the 2nd round may per chance per chance well per chance cause a correct sport. Having a red-hot Marquette team, a Kansas Articulate team stacked with a duo in Keyontae Johnson and a Duke team that I contemplate is basically the most dangerous in the reputation affords serious challenges. The Boilers more than deserved a 1, their first in 27 years, however I contemplate they’ve the hardest path to a Final Four, fitting on myth of they were the final 1-seed.

The two-seeds … 

Arizona, Texas, Marquette and UCLA were all deserving of their slots, with the Longhorns winning the Mountainous 12 Match and incomes 14 Quad 1 victories, and the Golden Eagles going 28-6 and sweeping the titles in a five-represent Mountainous East. A storyline to peek on the two-line: Shaka Dapper’s Marquette team may per chance per chance well per chance be very overjoyed if it advances to the Sweet 16. By being in the East Field, the Golden Eagles will possible be relief at Madison Square Backyard in 10 days, the put they won their first convention match title on Saturday evening.

Let’s race to the final four in and the predominant four out …

First off, it was as soon as beautiful ravishing to peek that a North Carolina team that accounted for correct one Quad 1 accumulate was as soon as handiest the third team out in the enviornment. The 2nd predominant takeaway: Nevada performed a immense evening for the Mountain West. That convention command of industrial must be celebrating after incomes four bids to the NCAA Match for a 2nd straight year. Steve Alford’s Wolf Pack lost a pair of Quad 3 games and must obtain a 3-sport dropping scoot into the NCAA Match — with all three defeats coming to groups with a NET ranking of 91 or decrease.

The Pac-12 must be overjoyed as successfully for the explanation that league got the team taking part in Nevada in the First Four — Bobby Hurley’s Arizona Articulate Solar Devils were among the many final four in and must contrivance the Wolf Pack in Dayton. The opposite two among the many final four in were Mississippi Articulate and Pitt, who were both deserving of slots.

The first four out: Oklahoma Articulate, Rutgers, North Carolina and Clemson. Whereas the two leagues I listed above must feel free, the ACC was as soon as penalized for having this form of extinct bottom. Clemson did now not belong in the enviornment with two Quad 4 losses and one other pair of Quad 3 defeats, however to peek a 23-accumulate team out of the convention now now not fabricate it’s tranquil something on myth of that would were unheard of in some unspecified time in the future of a assorted technology. 

Why did Rutgers miss the match? Residence losses to Nebraska and Michigan were rough, and a loss to Minnesota will possible be viewed as a backbreaker. The Scarlet Knights went 4-7 in opposition to Quad 1, and though they owned a boulevard accumulate over Purdue, their losses washed that out. Extra than the rest, this is a grief the put a soft non-convention agenda got penalized. Rutgers definitely did now not assemble a lot to again itself earlier than Mountainous Ten play.

As for the predominant team out, Oklahoma Articulate, it’s more heartbreak for Mike Boynton’s program, for the explanation that Cowboys were neglected of the match final year. I presumed the committee would facet with college basketball’s handiest convention — the Mountainous 12 — in particular with the Cowboys having two more Quad 1 wins and one much less Quad 3 loss than Nevada. As a change, it’s one other Selection Sunday of unhappiness in Stillwater. 

Upset specials?

Everyone loves the 5/12 games on myth of it’s a predominant upset zone, so let’s race there.

Within the South Field, the San Diego Articulate/Charleston sport is charming. There may per chance be a ton of stress on Brian Dutcher and the Aztecs, with a extinct core, to construct up a match sport after collapsing vs. Creighton final year. On the opposite facet, Pat Kelsey’s CAA champion Cougars lead the nation in wins with 31, and have lost correct three cases. Behold for Charleston to drag off a gap-round victory.

The committee gave us a present with Jeremy Roach dealing with Max Abmas as Duke takes on Oral Roberts. Abmas and the Eagles went to the Sweet 16 two years previously, so the ACC champion Blue Devils essentially come by a harder opening-round test than they’ll in the 2nd round. The winner of this matchup will race to the Sweet 16.

Within the West, it’s an out of this world backcourt matchup as Aidan Mahaney and Saint Mary’s meet Ace 1st earl baldwin of bewdley and VCU. Give me the Gaels. And then in the Midwest, a rather skilled Drake team that has a stud in Tucker DeVries may per chance per chance well per chance give Miami a handful of issues. With the reputation of immense man Norchad Omier up in the air for the Hurricanes attributable to an ankle atomize, the Bulldogs definitely have a shot to scheme. I am calling for more than one 12s to construct up.

Simplest opening matchup? 

My favorite is apparent: No. 4 seed UConn vs. No. 13 seed Iona. For a northeast basketball fan, it’s a dream. For a coaching matchup, it’s two characters on the sidelines, and per chance Rick Pitino’s rumored return to the Mountainous East is arriving with an early kind of the convention. In one year 5 at the helm, Dan Hurley led the Huskies to a 14-0 launch and a 25-7 campaign, however Connecticut has yet to construct up an NCAA Match sport below this teaching workers. That is the following step, and Friday is serious, however Pitino is one among essentially the most handy coaches in the nation. His Gaels will possible be ready.

Other first-round games that you just have to circle to your bracket: 

How about Maryland meeting West Virginia in the 8/9 sport with the winner possible getting Alabama? Bob Huggins has had a jump-relief year with a Mountaineers team that has a top-15 KenPom offense led by extinct guard Erik Stevenson. Kevin Willard is earlier than agenda in College Park with a gigantic defensive squad and a immense-time guard in Jahmir Younger. The lead-up press conferences for this sport will possible be a lot of popcorn. Neither coach holds relief.

High coach matchups

Talking of fiery coaches, how about Fran McCaffrey vs. Bruce Pearl when a immense Iowa offense meets a high-diploma Auburn protection? That matchup comes the general method down as to whether or now now not the Tigers can disrupt the Hawkeyes and generate whisk. 

Then, there is the Bryce Hopkins Bowl when Kentucky meets Windfall in Greensboro on Friday. Hopkins transferred out from Lexington and ended up in Ed Cooley’s hands with the Friars, who enter the NCAA Match having lost three straight. Meanwhile, no one has more stress on themselves getting into a immense dance starting up air of John Calipari. After two letdown seasons, Oscar Tshiebwe and the Wildcats must impose their will.

Sleepers, long-shots and teams that would surprise

A potential long-shot upset? Preserve an look on 14th-seeded UC Santa Barbara when the Gauchos meet Baylor. UCSB has a top-75 offense however can race about it with a slower tempo. Within the occasion that they are able to come by the Bears to that liking of a sport, don’t be worried if that is a ballgame. One other to display screen? Matt Langel and Colgate as a 15-seed taking on Texas. Whereas the Longhorns trudge a predominant high, the Raiders are definitely sound offensively, and they’re one other team that can provide the Horns some components. 

The 8-seed that I’m bullish on? Penny Hardaway and Memphis, which may per chance per chance per chance well per chance come by Purdue in the 2nd round. The Tigers are bodily and Kendric Davis may per chance per chance well per chance be essentially the most handy guard on the court docket. If Memphis can beat Dusty Can also neutral and FAU, peek out.

Behold out for Gonzaga to fabricate a deep NCAA Match depart. The Zags are definitely going to come by past Huge Canyon and doubtlessly TCU — though that will possible be a lot — to the 2nd weekend. A Sweet 16 matchup with UCLA is on the desk, however the Bruins are a bit banged up and that is more doable than one would buy. Can also Drew Timme have a depart up his sleeve?

Don’t sleep on Tom Izzo and Michigan Articulate correct yet. Clear, the Spartans have had an uncommon season, however with Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard, Seventh-seeded Sparty gets a manageable 10-seed in USC and doubtlessly a Marquette team, that at the reside of the day is tranquil the third-youngest in college basketball. The Golden Eagles may per chance per chance well per chance be appreciated in that sport, however they put now not favor a primitive middle, something that has given Sparty some components.

Indiana drew MAC champion Kent Articulate, and the Hoosiers must be on high alert for that one. The 28-6 Flashes challenged themselves in non-convention play, coming shut to knocking off Gonzaga. Redshirt senior guard Actual Raise is any individual who looks poised to fabricate his put on March, averaging more than 17 parts per sport. The Hoosiers need Jalen Hood-Schifino to lead them in the backcourt and step up.

The below-the-radar matchup in the predominant round: Seventh-seeded Texas A&M vs. tenth-seeded Penn Articulate. Wade Taylor IV vs. Jalen Pickett? Designate me up. These are two teams that, on their handiest day, are more dangerous than their seed line and a reflection of the nation most ceaselessly. The Aggies deserved a larger seed. 

The 13-seed to peek out for: Louisiana. The Ragin’ Cajuns are a deadly squad with a stud in Jordan Brown (19 PPG) and they arrive by Tennessee, which may per chance per chance fall into offensive ruts and is shorthanded with Zakai Zeigler out for the season.

The first four team that would emerge in the match? Pitt. Jeff Capel has set apart together one among essentially the most handy turnaround studies in college hoops. The Panthers have a dynamic duo in Blake Hinson and Jamarius Burton, and must contrivance Mississippi Articulate in Dayton. As correct because the Bulldogs are defensively, they in fact fight to come by. Pitt is now now not a high-turnover team and has assorted sources of scoring.

My first gut Final Four … 





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