Yes, I filled out 11 brackets, but I’m a go-with-your-first-instinct type of guy, so these are my NCAA picks.
East: Indiana struggles with NC State in the second round, but reaches the regional final against Miami. I wanted to pick Butler over Miami, but I think the Hurricanes can play well in the halfcourt. I’ll take Indiana over Miami, 81-74.
South: Of my 11 brackets, this one had the most variety. I don’t love anyone here. I think UNC will upset Kansas. I also believe VCU will beat Michigan and then UNC and reach the regional final. I’m intrigued by the Florida/Georgetown Sweet 16 game. Reluctantly, I’ll take the Gators in that game, and over VCU, 73-69.
Midwest: Obviously I like Louisville, but in more brackets than you’d expect, I have Oklahoma State beating the Cardinals. (Yes, I know Oregon is a under-seeded and Saint Louis is very good, but I really, really like the Cowboys.) Officially, I’ll go with Louisville vs. Duke in a terrific regional final, with Louisville winning, 68-67.
West: Because it’s boring to go chalk, I have Pittsburgh beating Gonzaga. I think Wisconsin will make the Elite 8. The Badgers opponent? I’m not sold on Arizona or New Mexico, so give me Ohio State. I don’t love the Buckeyes and this region will be a shitshow, so give me Ohio State over Wisconsin, 62-60.
Final Four: Indiana over Florida 71-60 and Louisville over Ohio State, 65-63.
Championship: I’ll stick with my original prediction from the preseason: Louisville wins it all, 77-71.
I filled out two brackets, one entirely composed of Seinfeld characters and the other with famous wrestling finishers.
East: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s all about Shane Larkin and the Miami Hurricanes. Butler-Miami in the Sweet 16 is a must.
South: I have Roy Williams upsetting Bill Self’s toupee in every imaginable way. Michigan will emerge from this region if only for the purpose of Ty Duffy striking this timeless pose.
Midwest: Way too many people like Louisville not only to make it to the Final Four, but to win it all. So on that note, I’m afraid it’ll be Oklahoma State, and if it isn’t, I will drop a fierce elbow onto my suit jacket with great disgust.
West: This is the year Gonzaga makes a huge run, with the key caveat being that I don’t actually pick them. New Mexico it is.
Final Four: New Mexico over Oklahoma State and Miami over Michigan.
Championship: Miami 82, New Mexico 75. It’s been an especially weird year in college hoops. This final would be perfectly strange.
I filled out one bracket. I did not look at the bracket before 8pm last night. I filled it out while drinking Keystone, playing Tiger Woods on one television and watching Whitney on another.
West: Ohio State
Final Four: Indiana over Michigan and Ohio State over Duke
Championship: Indiana has one of the top teams and two of the top players in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller.
I filled out one bracket. I did my usual play: listen to everyone argue for three days, fade the arguments that sound silly. You win by picking the right chalk, not nailing that one team that makes the Sweet 16. Might have filled this out in a cheeseburger coma.
East: Indiana – Zeller flops and travelfalls his way to the Final Four.
South: Florida – Michigan’s defense and youth bite them, eventually.
Midwest: Louisville – Team Zubaz needs at least one representative.
West: (the) Ohio State University – #teamCraftdefense
Final Four: Indiana over Florida, Ohio State over Louisville
Championship: (the) Ohio State University 73-69 Indiana, a fitting end for the year of B1G basketball. B1G fans would trade all of this just to be relevant at football.
I filled out 3 brackets but since I’ve been busy GIFing Katherine Webb I didn’t put too much thought into them.
East: I think Indiana gets past NC State and Syracuse and faces Miami. I almost picked Marquette over Miami, but saved that for the upset bracket. Indiana over Miami 78-73
South: I have Kansas squeaking past Carolina to face VCU after the Rams upset Michigan. Florida beats Georgetown to face Kansas. Kansas over Florida 73-66
Midwest: Louisville advances easily to face Oklahoma State. Michigan State faces Duke and Sparty takes the win. Louisville over Michigan State 76-74
West: Marshall Henderson advances past the first round with an upset of Wisconsin, but loses to Kansas State who then loses to Gonzaga. Notre Dame upsets Ohio State to face New Mexico. New Mexico over Gonzaga 74-69.
Final Four: Louisville over New Mexico 78-68. Indiana over Kansas 73-71.
Championship: Louisville over Indiana 75-74.
Every year, I fill out a bracket the moment it becomes available and hate it with the passion of a thousand suns the moment I finish. This year, though, things were different. I hated it while I was still picking second-round games.
Opening Weekend Upsets: Nothing crazy. Chalk will rule. Every trendy upset pick will fail. March Monotony will reign. Exceptions: California over UNLV, St. Mary’s over Memphis, Colorado over Illinois.
Surprise Sweet Sixteen Teams: Butler and Arizona. Gonzaga will be there, too, but not without a real scare against Pitt.
Elite Eight: Louisville, Michigan State, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Michigan, Georgetown, Indiana, Miami
Final Four: Louisville, Ohio State, Georgetown and Indiana
Championship Game: Louisville over Indiana