1 Seed: Gonzaga
My Predicted Champion: Gonzaga
Sleepers: This bracket is on the easier side, so I do not expect to many upsets to happen in the early rounds. Everyone is big on the UCSB upset over Creighton, I just do not think that will happen, but I would not be surprised if it does. I like VCU over Oregon, and wish the Rams did not have to play Iowa in the next round, or they would be looking at a Sweet 16 run. Do not be surprised if the USC Trojans make an Elite 8 appearance.
Favorite Match-up: USC vs. Wichita St./Drake
One Scenario I Do Not Want to See: Virginia making a run. I am extremely over all of the Virginia hype and expecting them to make a run. It will not happen, I hope they lose in the first round, I would very much enjoy that.
This region of the bracket holds probable National Championship game participant Gonzaga. I am not willing to fully commit to saying National Champion, because part of me is still holding out hope that maybe a team could beat them, although that is getting tough to picture. Honestly do not think many upsets are going to happen and we will have a 1 / 2 Elite 8 game to see who makes it to the Final Four. Kansas seems to just fall short against Iowa in my eyes, and no one is coming close to Gonzaga from this region. If a team like USC can get hot, they can challenge, but I would pretty much pencil in Gonzaga for at least a Final Four appearance.
1 Seed: Michigan
My Predicted Champion: Texas
Sleepers: St. Bonaventure is an extremely hot team right now. Mark Schmidt finally breaks through in the A10 after a 10 year drought. I would not be surprised if they beat a very good LSU team in the first round and then Michigan in the second.
Favorite Match-up: It is between the LSU/ St. Bonaventure game and FSU/UNCG.
One Scenario I Would Not Mind Seeing: Michigan making to the Final Four out of this bracket. I am really enjoying watching Juwan Howard coach his Wolverines. Such a fun team to watch, seeing Howard take his alma mater to the Final Four would be a very wholesome moment.
Texas got an extremely good draw, and has a great chance to come out of this bracket. Alabama does not scare me that much, and I think they can easily be beat, especially by a hot Texas team. This is going to be an extremely fun bracket to watch, a bunch of hot teams that ended as lower seeds trying to pull of upsets, the side’s round of 32 match-ups could be insane.
1 Seed: Baylor
My Predicted Champion: Texas Tech
Sleepers: This North Carolina Tar Heels team seems to have finally found their identity just at the right time. Whatever happened after that loss against a not so good Marquette team seems to have worked, they are extremely hot. If they can get past Wisconsin in round one, that game against Baylor will be fun to watch. I expect the Tar Heels to make the Elite 8.
Favorite Match-Up: This side of the bracket is absolutely stacked from top to bottom. From a first round aspect of things, three games catch my eye, UNC/Wisconsin, Villanova/Winthrop, Florida/Virginia Tech.
One Scenario I Do Not Think Will Happen: Baylor being the champion of this bracket. There are way to many good teams for the 1 seed to end up going to the Final Four. This is by far the most intriguing bracket from top to bottom.
In my eyes there are a solid three teams that could end up winning this bracket. Ohio State, Texas Tech, and North Carolina. I really do not think that Baylor will win this thing, depending on who they play in the second round. But you talk about an absolute loaded bracket, you got yourself one in the South region of this years bracket.
1 Seed: Illinois
My Predicted Champion: West Virginia
Sleepers: Two teams really standout in my mind as true sleepers, Loyola Chicago, and Cleveland St. Houston is matched up with an extremely hot team that if the Cougars do not take seriously, their time in Indy could be over quick. Loyola is fortunate Georgia Tech’s main guy is out for the first round, and maybe they can carry that momentum into a second round win against a beatable Illinois team.
Favorite Match-up: Houston/Cleveland St. or Clemson/Rutgers.
One Scenario I Hope Happens: Sister Jean brings home the natty. All I need to say.
This bracket will have the most intriguing Elite 8 match-up to see who goes to Final Four. Out of all those games, the one played in the Midwest Region will be the most talked about, whether it is Illinois, Sister Jean, Cade Cunningham, or Huggy bear, the Midwest will be the most chaotic side of the bracket.
National Champion: Gonzaga
Gonzaga is simply just to talented this season. Outside of conference play, they have played 4 other NCAA tournament teams. None being lower than a 4 seed, and they won every single contest. The closest was a 5 point game against a tough West Virginia, the other three were 10+ point victories for the Bulldogs. In my eyes no one really challenges them, but who knows, it is March after all.