NCAA Expert Bracket Picks
It’s time to fill out your bracket for the 2013 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 so you have a better chance of winning your March Madness contests. Be sure to check out my completed bracket as well.
Midwest Region Predictions
The Midwest Region features the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament in Louisville. You could certainly argue that this is the toughest of the four regions considering it also features the likes of Oklahoma State, Saint Louis, Memphis, Michigan State and Duke. That means arguably the three best coaches in the entire tournament reside in this bracket with Rick Pitino, Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski. Since it’s hard to determine which one of these teams in the best, I believe there is a good chance a team comes out and surprises Louisville and Duke. That team is going to be Saint Louis, a No. 4 seed that has been underrated all year. The Billikens tragically lost head coach Rick Majerus in December, and they have been playing for him every since.
West Region Predictions
The West Region boasts No. 1 seed Gonzaga, which had the best record in college basketball this year at 31-2. While they played the easiest schedule of all the No. 1 seed, there’s no question that this team has a ton of talent. Now, the Bulldogs just want to prove to everyone that they are the best team in college basketball. They’ll have to go through a road that features Pittsburgh, Kansas State and Ohio State to make the Final Four. I look for New Mexico to get to the Sweet 16 before getting knocked off by the Buckeyes in a close one. In the end, the Bulldogs will prove that they belong by coming out of the West to reach the Final Four.
South Region Predictions
The South is probably the toughest of the four regions. The top four could all be No. 1 seeds in my book as Kansas, Georgetown, Florida and Michigan will be battling it out to reach the Final Four. Even the Jayhawks will have a tough round of 32 match-up with North Carolina, which is far from a gimme. Don’t forget about Virginia Commonwealth and UCLA, who are more than capable of pulling off some upsets and making runs themselves. However, when the dust settles, I have Florida meeting up with Kansas in the Elite 8. I give the edge to the Gators in that match-up as Billy Donavan gets his team back to the Final Four.
East Region Predictions
The East is the weakest of the four regions in my book. It has the worst No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in Marquette. That’s why my biggest upset of the entire tournament goes in this region as No. 14 Davidson knocks off the Golden Eagles in the round of 64. No. 1 seed Indiana will have a tough match-up with NC State in the round of 32 before getting upset by No. 4 Syracuse in the Sweet 16. Miami has a very easy path to get to the Elite 8, and I look for it to get there because of it. I also have the senior-led Hurricanes knocking off Syracuse to advance to the Final Four.
Final Four Predictions
Parity in college basketball is at an all-time high. That’s why I wouldn’t be totally surprised to see a Final Four match-up like the one we had a couple years ago when No. 11 VCU went up against No. 8 Butler. However, I don’t see anything too crazy happening aside from No. 4 Saint Louis getting to the Final Four in the stacked Midwest region. My other three Final Four teams are No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 2 Miami and No. 3 Florida. As you can see, I have one team from every seeding line in the top four. I look for Gonzaga to get by Saint Louis, and for Miami to knock off Florida. Part of my reasoning behind this is the fact that both Miami and Gonzaga have the easiest path to the Final Four of all the teams in the field. I am taking the Hurricanes to beat the Bulldogs in the championship game to cap off a remarkable season.
2013 National Champion: Miami Hurricanes