It’s time to fill out your bracket for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. For those of you looking for some help on who to take in each game, or just for some possible upsets, here is a look at who I have coming out of each region. I have also listed my Final Four predictions as well to help you win your bracket contests and pools. Be sure to check out my completed bracket as well.
The Midwest is the second-weakest region in my opinion. The No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats should have no problem getting through this region. I only have one upset picked in the eight games in the Round of 64, which is No. 11 Texas beating No. 6 Butler. I do have No. 7 Wichita State knocking off No. 2 Kansas in the Round of 32, but then getting beaten by No. 3 Notre Dame in the Sweet 16. I don’t feel like there is one team in this region that can hang with the Wildcats, though the Fighting Irish will likely give them their best shot.
Final Four Participant: Kentucky
The East Region is the second-toughest in my opinion. No. 1 Villanova and No. 2 Virginia are both deserving of being No. 1 seeds. I actually have both advancing to the Elite 8 as they are clearly the two best teams in this region. I have picked two upsets in the Round of 64 with the Boise State/Dayton winner beating No. 6 Providence as a No. 11 seed. I also have No. 9 LSU topping No. 8 NC State. I only have one upset the rest of the way with No. 5 UNI topping No. 4 Louisville. In the end, the Wildcats have the easier path to the Elite 8 than the Cavaliers, which is why I have selected them to make the Final Four.
Final Four Participant: Villanova
Without question, the West Region is the toughest in my opinion. I could see any number of teams coming out of this region with No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Baylor, and No. 4 North Carolina and No. 5 Arkansas all having a realistic shot. That’s a big reason why I’m not picking Wisconsin to come out of it. I love the way Arkansas played. That frantic style with the full-court press works in the NCAA Tournament because it’s so difficult to prepare for. The Razorbacks were far and away the second-best team in the SEC this season, which Kentucky obviously won. I have them beating Baylor in the Elite 8 and meeting Kentucky in the Final Four.
Final Four Participant: Arkansas
The South Region is the weakest of the four in my opinion. I almost can’t believe Duke got a No. 1 seed, and No. 2 Gonzaga is overrated due to playing a weak schedule this season. I feel like No. 3 Iowa State got snubbed and should have been a No. 2 seed when you consider it beat No. 2 Kansas two out of three times. The Cyclones play the kind of style that works in the NCAA Tournament. After all, they barely lost to eventual champion UConn in the big dance last year, and they are even stronger this season. They are one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country with their up-tempo style, and they have big men who play like point guards. I have Iowa State defeating No. 4 Georgetown in the Elite 8 to cut down the nets.
Final Four Participant: Iowa State
Final Four Predictions
No. 1 Kentucky from the Midwest will meet No. 5 Arkansas from the West. I expect the Wildcats to beat the Razorbacks for a 4th time this season, though it will likely be closer than expected. I’m going with No. 3 Iowa State to pull the upset of No. 1 Villanova in a matchup from the South and East regions, respectively. I believe Kentucky will go 41-0 and be crowned your 2015 national champions with a 78-70 win over Iowa State.
2015 National Champion: Kentucky