My bracket picks and overall thoughts.
This is always a guessing game, but more so this year as parity is at an all time high. Despite that, there are certain teams that you trust this time of year and that is my deciding factor in my picks. Last year most brackets were trash by the second weekend and this could be the case this year as well.
While I am impressed by Virginia winning both the ACC regular season and tourney, I still think that their lack of an elite prospect and their limited scoring ability will get them in the end. The Wahoos rely on dictating their tempo and one game will get away from them. Besides, they lost their most athletic player, 6th man, Hunter for the season yesterday. As such, I have Arizona beating Tenn for the region. Arizona is on a mission with embattled coach Sean Miller, caught for something many are doing. I do have Davidson upsetting Kentucky only because I am wishing it true.
Xavier is #1 seed and not winning it. Michigan is a trendy pick, but I went with last years title game, UNC and Gonzaga with the Zags getting revenge and advancing. UNC-Mich will be a great game, but I trust Joel Berry to win this one for Ol Roy.
Villanova is the #1 seed that advances to San Antonio. I have the Gators losing to them in the Elite 8 for two reasons, one a wish and two that is where they usually end up. The likely opponent for Nova is Purdue.
A loaded region with three title coaches in Self, K and Izzo. I have Sparty beating both Duke and Kansas to advance. Izzo got a huge break when Miles Bridges decided to return to Mich St and Izzo will take advantage of that. Most of my upsets are picked in this region.
In the FF, I picked Gonzaga to best Arizona to reach the finals for the second consecutive year. I picked Sparty to edge Nova to meet the Zags. I then have Sparty winning it all. Either two or three years ago everyone picked Sparty and they lost early. Who knows but it is always fun.