The midwest region probably holds the least surprises out of everyone. This is the boring bracket to pick folks, the one where you only pick the high seeds and all of your friends call you out as gutless, only to be the person with the highest bracket total at the end.
No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. No. 16 TBD Team That Doesn't Matter: North Carolina was looking pretty good throughout most of the year. Unnamed team wasn't doing as hot and probably won't be able to counteractHarrison Barnes, or the other 15 players on UNC. North Carolina advances.
No. 8 Creighton Bluejays vs. No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide: It is a bummer that Creighton is sitting at the 8 seed, because the Bluejays have one of the more exciting offenses in the country. Really, for March's sake, Creighton should be a 12 seed just for upset purposes, but Doug McDermott is going to get going and Alabama won't have much to counteract with. Creighton advances.
No. 5. Temple Owls vs. No. 12 Cal Golden Bears: It should just be a foregone conclusion that no Pac-12 team will advance anywhere in the NCAA tournament this year. Ken Pomeroy is high on Cal at 28 where as Temple sits at a pretty 36. But you know who isn't high on Cal? Life. The Golden Bears were 0-3 against the Top 50 RPI and did well against mediocre competition in the Pac-12 before repeatedly soiling the sheets in a down conference. Temple owns victories over Duke and Wichita State, and soon over Cal. Temple advances.
No. 4 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 13 Ohio Bobcats: I don't have a lot of stats on Ohio other then Ken Pomeroy rates them at 72 and they were one of the few teams whose mascot I had to look up. Ohio kept it close with Louisville once before dropping the ball, and Michigan has a surprisingly strong track record against the RPI top 50. Michigan advances.
No. 6 San Diego State Aztecs vs. No. 11 NC State Wolfpack: This much is true - San Diego State has been on the receiving end of lucky way too often this year. 10 of their 26 wins have been by five points or less. That translates to solid computer numbers and a shaky foundation for faith to succeed. Luckily for SDSU, this is a Wolfpack team that struggled greatly this year, and aside from a solid run in the ACC Tournament wouldn't be sitting so pretty. San Diego State advances.
No. 3 Georgetown Hoyas vs. No. 14 Belmont Bruins: Poor Belmont. Belmont somehow has always been that team that during the run of play everyone talks about being grossly underseeded and then justifies it by getting blown out in the tournament. But in 2008 they lost as a 15 seed to a two seeded Duke by one point. Georgetown is going to push Belmont to 0-5 in NCAA Tournament history this year. Georgetown advances.
No. 7 St. Mary's Gaels vs. No. 10 Purdue Boilermakers: A lot of people across the nation are picking Purdue to upset the Gaels here, and that single reason is that a lot of people in the nation live on the east coast. They haven't seen the Gaels play. They don't know that Matthew Dellevadova is one of the more underrated guards in the country. They don't know that Saint Mary's plays an unselfish brand of basketball that minimizes turnovers. Sure the Gaels lack flair when they win, but as most coaches will say - a win is a win. Saint Mary's advances.
No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. No. 15 Detroit Titans: On a personal level, every year I pick the Kansas Jayhawks to go buck wild in the tournament, and every year they screw me with either a second round of Sweet 16 loss. The one year I didn't pick the Jayhawks to win the whole thing? Murphy's Law dictates that would be the year the Jayhawks decided to win the whole thing. I'm picking the Jayhawks to go far in my bracket again, which probably means this game will be annoying close and they will barely come out of it. Kansas advances.
The rant is pretty much right up there. But I'm a sucker for the Kansas Jayhawks. Despite the loss to Baylor to close out the year, Kansas is led by one of the best guards in the nation in Tyshawn Taylor. Pencil them in for a win over North Carolina in the Elite Eight. Kansas advances to the Final Four.
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