It is March, which means it can mean only one thing. Crazy crazy basketball. March Madness is as American as football and McDonalds. Every year millions of Americans will sit down and watch the games and play in brackets. Though banned in several states, many find online avenues for NCAA Tournament online sportsbook to bet on the bracket. Still, the odds of a perfect bracket are slim to none.
The one thing that you can predict in March Madness is unpredictability. Every year some unknown school comes out of no where to spoil the big dance for a favorite. With the one and done system that most major schools have these days with their best talent playing a season before going to the NBA, these upsets are getting more and more frequent.
Since its expansion to 64 teams in the 1980s no #16 seed has ever knocked off a #1 seed, and this should hold true again this year. Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia or Oregon have nothing to fear, and all four will be in the round of 32. Occassionally a #16 seed gives a #1 a run for their money, but the committee seems to take special care in preventing this from happening.
The #2 seeds on the other hand do need to fear the #15 seeds. Seven times a #15 has knocked off a #2, the most recent being Florida Gulf Coast who did it in 2013 when they upset Georgetown; guess what? FGCU is in the tournament again and will play UNC. Twenty #14 seeds have knocked off a #3, twenty-five #13's have knocked off #4 seeds and fourty #12's have defeated a #5.
Like mentioned earlier, the #1 seeds have nothing to fear, all four of them will advance. There is one #2 seed that should worry however, that being Xavier. Xavier is a mid-major who has had a great year, but they come up against a giant slayer in Weber State who has defeated two #3 seeds in their history. The other 3 #2 seeds, Michigan State, Villanova, and Oklahoma should all be fine and advance, as should Xavier in all likelihood.
The #3 seeds is where I see the upsets happening. Utah and Texas A&M should make light work of Fresno State and Green Bay respectively. It is Miami and West Virginia that have to worry. WVU is playing a very hot and very determined Stephen F Austin squad that has a lot of experience. Likewise, Miami is playing a very good Buffalo team. SFAU is the school I see pulling off the biggest upset of the round of 64.
The #4 seeds should be as safe as the #1 seeds. The #4 seeds are all big schools with teams that are loaded with talent. California, Duke, Iowa State and Kentucky are all loaded with multiple first round NBA talent. Of the four Cal is probably in the most danger because of their youth and they have been struggling a bit as of late, but Hawai'i just does not have the talent to beat them.
Of the #5 seeds the one that will be in the most trouble is Baylor as they face a very good and very underrated Yale team.
The #6 vs #11 is another area I see a lot of upsets happening. Texas and Seton Hall both face very dangerous opponents in Northern Iowa and Gonzaga. Gonzaga in fact is my top pick for an upset this year. The other #6's have to play #11's that are play ins. In all likelihood Arizona will play Whichita State and Norte Dame will play Michigan. Both games could be likely upsets. It is possible that all four #6's could lose in the round of 64.
The Second round is harder to predict because the first round is always crazy. But of the lower seeds who have a good shot of pulling off an upset and than pulling off more upsets for a long tourny run. I see Michigan and Yale as the most likely culprits to do so. Both teams are gelling at the right time and both have a very underrated team.
The conference I think will have the best showing this year will be the PAC-12. Oregon, Utah, Arizona and California are all very good teams loaded with NBA talent. All four teams should make the sweet sixteen and I would not be surprised to see any of them in the final four.
Do not sleep on Oregon! The PAC12 was a very deep conference getting 6 bids into the big dance and Oregon handily beat the teams they played. Devin Brooks is a star in the making as well. Barring some kind of injury Oregon should win their bracket and go to the final four.
The other final four teams I see are Kansas, Kentucky, and Michigan State.
Kansas will win the national title over Michigan State.