Here we are again. March Madness. The best college sports tournament is back with another year that should be incredibly exciting. Here are our picks for this year’s tournament; researched, cross-referenced, but with just enough randomness. Let’s hope we got it right.
Editor’s note: My bracket was made on fantasy.espn.com
Probably my most boring predictions of the regions, with only one upset in the first round and nothing too surprising anywhere else. I really wanted a Louisville/Michigan State matchup, which is exactly why I predicted that it won’t happen. That’s just sports.
Duke is my team to win it all, and why wouldn’t they be? With Zion Williamson healthy, this team looks absolutely dominant. I expect him and the Blue Devils to win the tournament and Williamson to be the number-one pick in the NBA draft shortly after, with teammate RJ Barrett being drafted one or two spots below.
A little bit more excitement here, with my first big upset prediction. Ja Morant has a chance to up his draft stock even more, and I think he does it with a big game against Marquette. Looking at other brackets, it almost feels as if Murray State is the favourite in that game, even as the 12 seed.
I rarely have faith in Gonzaga, and I see them getting upset by Florida St in the Sweet Sixteen. Overall, Michigan is the team I see making it out of this region.
Alright, here’s where things get a bit crazy. I have the 11, 12, and 14 seeds all pulling off upsets in the first round. If you don’t want to follow suit, I understand. There is a case to be made though.
After winning the tournament last year, Villanova have struggled this season and may suffer a tournament hangover in their first-round matchup. Oregon are on fire coming into the tournament, winning the last eight games of their season on way to winning to Pac-12 Tournament and do a great job of guarding the perimeter. Purdue has lost two out of its last three games, including a loss in it’s conferences quarterfinals. Old Dominion has an excellent senior backcourt that will have the potential to pull off the upset of the tournament.
I have Tennessee making it out of this region due to their experience (almost every key piece is a junior or senior) and efficiency on both ends of the court this season.
I’ve flip-flopped on this a few times, but I’ve finally decided that Wofford is my Cinderella team for this tournament. While I didn’t have the nerve to predict them going into the final four, I can see them pulling off a big upset against Kentucky in the second round. They rely on the three a bit too much for comfort, but they shoot the long ball at a tournament-best 42% clip. They are possibly under-seeded because of their conference, but they can make a big splash in this year’s tournament if their shots fall as usual.
Nonetheless, I have North Carolina coming out of this region. They are just too good.
While I do have a few upset picks in my bracket, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years, it’s that getting the Final Four right is the key to winning your pool. None of these teams are flashy picks, because each one has a pretty clear path to this stage in the tournament. Looking around at “expert’s” brackets, this seemed to be the most common Final Four, and I see no good reason to change it up.
I do have Tennessee beating North Carolina in their matchup, which can be seen as an upset. Nonetheless, Duke is my prediction to win it all. Partly because it’d be awesome to see Williamson carry his team to a tournament win, but mostly because it seems like the most likely outcome.