NCAA Tournament Predictions: Index

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) celebrates after winning an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma in the semifinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, March 11, 2016. West Virginia defeated Oklahoma 69-67. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

It’s March Madness, the greatest time of the year. Looking for some help with your bracket? Don’t know which teams to believe in, in this crazy college hoops season? We’ve got your back. We’re breaking down every first-round game in the field of 68, plus looking ahead at which teams will make the run to the Final Four.

Here is a list of games (by region) we’ve previewed so far:

EAST:

Which teams can beat No. 1 North Carolina?

8. USC vs. 9. Providence

5. Indiana vs. 12. Chattanooga

4. Kentucky vs. 13. Stony Brook

6. Notre Dame vs. 11. Michigan/Tulsa

3. West Virginia vs. 14. Stephen F. Austin

7. Wisconsin vs. 10. Pittsburgh

Is Xavier really a legit Final Four contender?

SOUTH:

Who can beat No. 1 Kansas?

8. Colorado vs. 9. UConn

5. Maryland vs. 12. South Dakota State

4. California vs. 13 Hawaii

6. Arizona vs. 11. Wichita State or Vanderbilt

3. Miami (FL) vs. 14. Buffalo

7. Iowa vs. 10. Temple

Can No. 2 Villanova avoid another tournament letdown?

MIDWEST:

How far will No. 1 Virginia advance?

8. Texas Tech vs. 9. Butler

5. Purdue vs. 12. Arkansas-Little Rock

4. Iowa State vs. 13. Iona

6. Seton Hall vs. 11. Gonzaga

3. Utah vs. 14. Fresno State

7. Dayton vs. 10. Syracuse

Will No. 2 Michigan State win it all?

WEST:

Is No. 1 Oregon really that good?

8. St. Joseph’s vs. 9. Cincinnati

5. Baylor vs. 12. Yale

4. Duke vs. 13. UNC-Wilmington

6. Texas vs. 11. Northern Iowa

3. Texas A&M vs. 14. Green Bay

7. Oregon State vs. 10. VCU

Can No. 2 Oklahoma win the national title?

 

News 8 Sports Team’s picks: 

kels12 NCAA Tournament Predictions: Index Kels Dayton:  I’m going with Kansas over Kentucky in the national title game. I can see John Calipari’s squad making another deep run with a low seed in this tournament, like they did in 2011 and in 2014. Both times, the Wildcats lost to UConn. And the Huskies have won three of their national championships in Texas, including the last two that were played in Houston. (Guess where the Final Four is this year?) I almost wanted to take the Huskies to make another ridiculous run, but I think the World University Games experience really helped Kansas. I like the Jayhawks to take home the title. I’ve also got Oklahoma and Michigan State in the Final Four.

 

dobratz hs NCAA Tournament Predictions: Index Erik Dobratz: I just finished doing what I do every year when the brackets come out….I glance at the sheet for about a minute and just pick ’em. I just go with my gut, which is probably why I haven’t won the company pool ever, and my kids and wife beat me last year.

So here goes, some quick tournament bullet points:

*I’m rooting for Kentucky to go to the Final Four because it will annoy the selection committee.

*UConn and Yale both win a game

*Villanova and Oregon come out of the South and West.

*Seton Hall wins a couple games before losing to Michigan State who will then lose to Kentucky in the Final Four.

*Kentucky over Oregon for the title.

All of these picks are probably all wrong—-here’s hoping I at least beat my 6 and 8 year old this time around.

Happy Picking!

pierson hs NCAA Tournament Predictions: Index John Pierson: So you want to win your bracket? Me too! I’ve been trying for years. My goal this time around is to just do better than Erik Dobratz and Kels Dayton, which will earn bragging rights in our Sports Department.

 Every year goes the same way for me, I pick my bracket and really like it.

I guess that’s what everyone is thinking before the NCAA tourney tips off on Thursday and then the games begin.

As much as I’d love to see UConn, Yale and Providence (gotta support the home state kid, Kris Dunn) make it to the Final Four, I don’t think any of them will. The Huskies have the talent to make it to the final weekend but I don’t think they get past Kansas in Round 2.

Originally, I thought Yale would win its first round game until I saw their match-up with Baylor, the Bulldogs don’t stack up well against the Bears and I think they lose a close game in Rd 1.

Dunn, the former New London High star,  and his Friars will win their opener against USC but get picked off by North Carolina in the next round.

 Who do I think will end up in the Final Four?

 Maryland, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Michigan State.

The Spartans are a popular pick to win it all and that is my pick too.

How do you pick against a Tom Izzo team that’s talented? Even in down years he somehow seems to squeeze the most out of his team, this is not a down year for MSU, and they will cut the nets down in Houston on April 4th. I think they beat Oklahoma, 72-67.

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