Because how would we be a sports site without one?
*Full Bracket at the bottom*
The East Region is Duke’s to lose. Virginia Tech, LSU, and Louisville are all threats to the Blue Devils, but Mike Krzyzewski shouldn’t have to sweat too much on the sidelines as Duke wins the region comfortably.
MVP: Zion (who else?) Williamson
Underdog to Watch: Louisville
Upset Alert: Liberty over Mississippi State
Must See TV: Louisville vs. Michigan State
Breakout Player: Tremont Waters – G / LSU
The top half of this region is a complete mess. Oregon plays their best basketball in March every year, but no Bol Bol means no sweet sixteen. Purdue gets beaten by a Villanova squad that always shows up in March. Virginia sails smooth into the Elite Eight despite their recent tournament woes, but gets crushed by a great Tennessee team.
MVP: Admiral Schofield
Underdog to Watch: Villanova
Upset Alert: Oregon over Wisconsin
Must See TV: Tennessee vs. Villanova
Breakout Player: Louis King – F / Oregon
Probably the most mixed-bag region in the tournament. Is Kansas even that good? Does the winner of Ohio State/Iowa State have a shot at Houston? Does Washington have a chance at competing? So many questions, but the higher seeds should prevail.
Winner: North Carolina
MVP: Luke Maye
Underdog to Watch: Seton Hall
Upset Alert: Auburn over Kansas (is that even one?)
Must See TV: UNC vs. Kentucky
Breakout Player: Dejon Jarreau – G / Houston
Upset region. Not that the high seeds are bad, but the low seeds are all tough outs. Ja Morant will turn the tournament into his coming-out party at Murray State, Syracuse will continue its streak of playing tough March basketball, and ASU, Buffalo, and Nevada all have good shots at ruining brackets. Whatever happens in the West region, it’s by far the most enticing part of the bracket entering the tourney.
MVP: Jordan Poole
Underdog to Watch: Nevada, ASU, Buffalo, Syracuse. Choose one.
Upset Alert: Syracuse over Gonzaga
Must See TV: Arizona State vs. Buffalo
Breakout Player (“Tourney Stud” in this case): Ja Morant – G / Murray State
When the dust settles, we predict that some blue bloods will survive March and play in April. Michigan somehow makes it out of the wild West region, but it really does just feel stupid not to pick Duke at full strength. They’ll continue their comfortable winning streak against the Wolverines with a double-digit win where they lead the entire game. On the other side, Tennessee wins the South pretty easily, and North Carolina edges out Auburn and Kentucky in some entertaining, back-and-forth matchups. UNC/Tennessee will be the best game of the tournament to that point, but Coby White and Nassir Little will out duel Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield and earn a spot in the title game.
Duke vs. North Carolina in the National Title Game is a dream come true, especially this year. Both rosters are loaded front to back with the most talented players in college basketball, and the coaches are two of the best to ever do it. The Tar Heels and Blue Devils have already engaged in great games this year, but the fourth matchup will be hyped up as an all-timer. Long story short: a healthy Duke edges out the Heels in a nail-biter for the ages.