Filling Out The (Hypothetical) NCAA Tournament Bracket

It’s December 15. The bitter cold and snow is starting to hit parts of the United States. It’s been an incredibly slow week of college hoops. Conference play is still two weeks away, while Selection Sunday is just less than three months away. March Madness couldn’t seem further away. These are the days, though, where the fever hits. The craving to know the field and fill out brackets and watch games all day sets in. Thus, we are forced to settle for whatever satisfies that craving the most right now. Today, that means filling out a hypothetical NCAA Tournament bracket. Joe Lunardi released his latest NCAA Tournament field projection this morning (it’s never too early). You can find that here. What I did is I went through the field and filled out a bracket as if this was the real deal. There’s honestly no reason to play out the rest of the season now. This is what is going to happen. Book it.

East Region

Round of 64

1 Villanova over 16 NC Central/Wagner
9 Syracuse over 8 Dayton
5 Cincinnati over 12 UT Arlington
4 Wisconsin over 13 Valpo
UTA and Valpo would be one of the best 12/13 pairings I’ve seen in a while. No easy game for Cincy or Wisconsin
6 Oregon over 11 Oklahoma St
3 Louisville over 14 Fort Wayne
7 Florida St over 10 Providence
2 Kentucky over 15 Winthrop

Round of 32

1 Villanova over 9 Syracuse
4 Wisconsin over 5 Cincinnati
6 Oregon over 3 Louisville
Don’t worry, Louisville, Oregon won’t be a six seed come March
2 Kentucky over 7 Florida St

Sweet 16

1 Villanova over 4 Wisconsin
2 Kentucky over 6 Oregon

Elite Eight

1 Villanova over 2 Kentucky
Kentucky is as talented as anyone, but Villanova’s big game experience is the difference here

West Region

Round of 64

1 Baylor over 16 Sam Houston St
9 Virginia Tech over 8 Michigan
5 St Mary’s over 12 Pitt/VCU
4 Butler over 13 Princeton
6 South Carolina over 11 TCU
This would be the most unexpected at large matchup in the tournament
3 Virginia over 14 FGCU
7 Wichita St over 10 SMU
2 UCLA over 15 CSU Bakersfield

Round of 32

1 Baylor over 9 Virginia Tech
4 Butler over 5 St Mary’s
3 Virginia over 6 South Carolina
7 Wichita St over 2 UCLA
I got to have a big upset in the first weekend somewhere and I don’t like this matchup for UCLA

Sweet 16

4 Butler over 1 Baylor
Baylor’s been great to start the season, but Butler is always a tough out in March and I don’t think the Bears will continue to play at this level
3 Virginia over 7 Wichita St
LOW scoring battle

Elite Eight

3 Virginia over 4 Butler
Could this be the year the Cavs finally breakthrough?

Midwest Region

Round of 64

1 Kansas over 16 North Dakota/LB State
8 Miami over 9 Ohio State
5 Purdue over 12 Nevada
4 Creighton over 13 Chattanooga
11 Middle Tennessee over 6 Arizona
MTSU is a top 25 caliber team
3 Gonzaga over 14 Lehigh
7 Iowa St over 10 Maryland
2 North Carolina over 15 Belmont

Round of 32

1 Kansas over 8 Miami
4 Creighton over 5 Purdue
3 Gonzaga over 11 Middle Tennessee
2 North Carolina over 7 Iowa St

Sweet 16

1 Kansas over 4 Creighton
2 North Carolina over 3 Gonzaga

Elite Eight

2 North Carolina over 1 Kansas
Sign me up right now. This would have the makings of a classic

South Region

Round of 64

1 Duke over 16 Texas Southern
8 Michigan St over 9 Texas A&M
5 Florida over 12 UNC Wilmington
4 Xavier over 13 Monmouth
6 Notre Dame over 11 Seton Hall/Minnesota
3 West Virginia over 14 Vermont
10 Rhode Island over 7 USC
2 Indiana over 15 Eastern Michigan

Round of 32

1 Duke over 8 Michigan St
4 Xavier over 5 Florida
6 Notre Dame over 3 West Virginia
The Irish’s success in March continues
2 Indiana over 10 Rhode Island

Sweet 16

1 Duke over 4 Xavier
2 Indiana over 6 Notre Dame
A battle of intra-state teams will be awesome. Indiana’s athleticism takes over in this one.

Elite Eight

1 Duke over 2 Indiana
Indiana has already taken down North Carolina this season. Can they beat the Blue Devils too? Nah

Final Four

1 Villanova over 3 Virginia

The Wildcats will be playing on Monday night for the second straight year

1 Duke over 2 North Carolina
Can you imagine this rivalry in the Final Four? Legendary. Duke prevents the national championship rematch

National Championship

1 Duke over 1 Villanova
Come April, Duke will be the best team in college basketball, if they’re not already. Coach K will hoist his sixth championship trophy

What do you think about my predictions? Who do you have in the Final Four and winning it all? We’ve got a couple days to go until the great slate of games Saturday, so kill some time and fill out your own mid-December bracket!


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