It seems like every year a few teams have a chance to cut down the nets at the end, but that’s not the case this spring. There is one clear favorite this March – Kentucky. If you want to win your office pool, you better hope the rest of your bracket stays intact.
Now it’s time to break down the bracket:
Kentucky’s the No. 1 seed, and they’ll most likely have a cakewalk until the Elite Eight. Aside from Notre Dame and Kansas, the Midwest is a pretty weak bracket. Keep an eye on the University at Buffalo. UB has the potential to make a run into the Sweet 16. With a second round matchup against a so-so West Virginia squand and a possible third round matchup against Maryland, the Bulls could do some damage this year.
Look for Notre Dame and Kansas to meet in the bottom half of the bracket. Either team can win that matchup, it just depends who’s hot but expect the Irish to advance. It’ll be hard to beat Kentucky this year, and the Irish have the best chance to do it. If the Wildcats are on their game they’ll advance and win the National Championship, but if they’re not expect Notre Dame to be find themselves as the last team standing. The national champion will come from the Midwest. Book it!
Heading into Championship Week, Wisconsin was predicted to enter the tourney with a 2 seed. But that’s not what happened. After winning the Big Ten Tournament, the Badgers earned the fourth 1 seed. Wisconsin could have a tough trail to the Final Four. Possible matchups against Oregon and North Carolina could be tricky, but the team to watch out for in the West is Arizona. Some believe Arizona deserved a 1 seed themselves. The Wildcats could be a tough out. Look for a Wisconsin-Arizona Elite Eight matchup, with the Badgers moving on.
Villanova finds themselves sitting atop the East Region this year. Aside from Kentucky, Villanova is the hottest team in the field and is set for a deep run in the tournament. Playing in the weakest region, the Wildcats should make it to the Elite Eight rather effortlessly. As the 2 seed in the region, Virginia has a slightly tougher road and not because of the teams they might face. With injuries in their starting five, it’ll be interesting to see how far this team goes.
Look for UAlbany to be one of the Cinderella’s of the tournament. If you haven’t heard about their’s, and specifically Peter Hooley’s, story check it out HERE. They have a chance to make it to the second weekend.
Expect a Villanova-Virginia Elite Eight matchup with the Wildcats advancing.
Which leaves us with Duke. The Blue Devils are the final 1 seed, and in a stacked region.With Gonzaga, Iowa State and Georgetown rounding out the top four, the Blue Devils are in for quite the battle. The Hoyas shouldn’t give Duke too much trouble, but the Cyclones and Zags could really put up a fight. Experts are calling this Gonzaga unit the best and program history, and they’ve been a 1 seed before. Iowa State on the other hand is coming in hot. Look for a Duke-Iowa State matchup in the Elite 8 with the Cyclones advancing. Iowa State’s offense is just too much for the Blue Devils.
Final Four – Kentucky, Wisconsin, Villanova, Iowa State
The Final Four is almost chalk, with the exception of Iowa State. The Wildcats should have no problem downing the Badgers, but Nova vs. Iowa State will be entertaining to say the least. The Cyclones should pull it out in the end. Iowa State’s tempo and ability to spread the floor will be too much for Villanova.
National Championship – Kentucky vs. Iowa State
The Wildcats are just too deep. Iowa State’s magical season comes to an end as they’ll lose to Kentucky in a high scoring affair. Kentucky finds perfection!
Tell me what does your bracket looks like and come back tomorrow for Big Al Sternberg/Fake Sandy Alderson.