The Expertly Un-Expert Tournament Bracket
March 20, 2014 by Jeffrey Boswell • Print Story •
Did the Selection Committee do a good job selecting and seeding the teams?
I don't know about actual humans, but the computer programs and simulators did a great job. Do we still need the Selection Committee? When ten old and crusty codgers lock themselves in a room for a day, there's only one addition that could make things better, and that's carbon monoxide.
Who is the tournament's most vulnerable No. 1 seed?
A lot of pundits say Wichita State, but that's ludicrous. The Shockers have made history, all right. They're the first team with an undefeated record and a Final Four trip the previous year to be underrated.
That leaves Virginia. It's certainly not because of head coach Tony Bennett, the NCAA's most dapper head coach. In fact, he was voted sexiest man alive by "Man-to-Man" magazine, and he's also a hot commodity on the dating site "Matchup Zone," which is endorsed by Jim Boeheim.
The Cavaliers won't lose to Coastal Carolina , but if they did, it would make for a great headline: "Coastal Goes Postal and Delivers."
Can Duke freshman Jabari Parker lead the Blue Devils to the Final Four?
Who cares? What's really important is that Parker names his first-born son "Kareem Abdul Jabari Parker."
Who will get dizziest, North Carolina's Roy Williams or Duke's Mike Krzyzewski?
That would be Williams. According to the DPI, Williams has a 36.9% chance of feeling woozy. Why? Because that number also represents North Carolina's free throw percentage.
Can Syracuse pull it together and make a Final Four tournament run?
Unlike their coach at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 22nd, the Orange are not a threat to "go too far."
Can Oklahoma State challenge Arizona in a round of 32 contest (assuming the two teams advance)?
There's nothing scarier than seeing Cowboys point guard Marcus Smart coming at you (especially if you're a fan who just called him a "piece of trash"). Oklahoma State will challenge the Wildcats, but Arizona will advance.
Could there possibly be a Round Of 32 showdown between the North Carolina Tarheels and a certain team from Durham, North Carolina?
There could, but only if that "certain team" is the Eagles of North Carolina Central. They'd have to stun Iowa State, while the Heels would have to beat Providence, for this dream matchup to occur.
Speaking of NCCU, what about a NDSU versus SDSU matchup in the Round of 32?
It could happen, especially if SDSU can get by NMSU. NDSU would have to do their part and beat OU, which shares a state and a bracket with OKSU.
Can Creighton's Doug McDermott lead the Blue Jays to the Final Four?
The "'Creight' White Hope" is the nation's leading scorer, but taking his team to the Final Four is asking way too much.
This is Florida's region to lose. But they won't. Their stiffest competition is probably Syracuse and Kansas, two teams that may be out before the Gators even see them. Two games in Orlando make the Gators a lock to reach the Sweet 16.
Biggest upset: No. 12 Stephen F. Austin over No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth. It's hard to discount a team that hasn't lost since November and is 31-2 overall. As the school's founder is fond of saying: "Austin 31-2 says I just whipped you're ass!"
Team to beat: Michigan State. The Spartans are always a solid tournament team, and this region favors Tom Izzo's squad.
Dark horse: Connecticut. The Huskies have something to prove, especially since of the eight losses between the UConn men's and women's teams, the men have all of them. The Huskies won't "male" it in, and make it to the regional final before falling to Michigan State.
Biggest upset: No. 12 Harvard over No. 5 Cincinnati. Who's more likely to "pass a test?" The Ivy Leaguer's from Harvard, or those roughians from Cincinnati? The NCAA Tournament is all about moving on to the next round, or "graduating," if you will.
The West looks to be the most wide-open region. Arizona has to be the favorite, but Wisconsin, Creighton, and Oklahoma State can challenge them. And don't count out the winner of the Baylor/Nebraska game. Those two teams are dangerous, as well as dangerously capable of a quick flame out.
Biggest upset: No. 12 North Dakota State over No. 5 Oklahoma. The Bison are in Spokane to make a statement, and they will be "herd."
Could there be another Duke-Louisville regional final on the horizon? If it's anything like last year's game, I'll be unable to watch. The Cardinals will hold up their end of the bargain, but the Blue Devils go down to Michigan in the Sweet 16.
Dark horse: Kentucky. If they're on their game, the Wildcats could make Wichita State "one and done."
Florida, Syracuse, Michigan State, Connecticut, Arizona, Baylor, Louisville, Michigan
Florida, Michigan State, Arizona, Louisville
Florida over Louisville