TIGHTWAD HILL'S BRACKETThe following is the result of a combination of statistical analysis (Pomeroy, ASM, etc) and gut instinct. It is almost certainly wrong, so please do not take it seriously or change your bracket based on what you read here. This is primarily for your amusement as my dark horses go lame in the opening round, and my Final Four teams fail to get out of the round of sixteen. This bracket is sort of old-school, in that I see three 10+ seeds making it to the Sweet 16. That result used to be the norm, but it hasn't happened since 2002 (though in every year but one since then, two 10+ teams have reached that round). Upsets are in italics:
Midwest Regional - Wisconsin is dealing with an injury, and Georgia Tech has the right profile (better conference, tournament-tested coach, good ASM) for a big second round upset. Everything else goes to plan. I toyed with the idea of taking Maryland over Florida - if the Terps win, then Oregon might make it to Atlanta. Florida, on the other hand, has too many weapons for Oregon.
Florida over Jackson State; Wisconsin over TAMU-CC; Oregon over Miami OH; Maryland over Davidson; Butler over ODU; Notre Dame over Winthrop; Georgia Tech over UNLV; Arizona over Purdue
Florida over Arizona; Georgia Tech over Wisconsin; Oregon over Notre Dame; Maryland over Butler
Florida over Maryland; Oregon over Georgia Tech
Florida over Oregon
West Regional - Hard for me to see anyone but UCLA and Kansas in the Elite 8. Duke matches up pretty well with Pitt; in fact, VCU might be a tougher nut for the Dookies in Round 1. Holy Cross is my first true long shot pick for the Sweet 16 - I think they'll get by a pair of over-rated teams in SIU and Virginia Tech. Kansas and Bill Self need to prove to me that they can make a Final Four run before I'll pick them over UCLA. Just hit your free throws, Bruins...
Kansas over Niagara; UCLA over Weber State; Pitt over Wright State; Holy Cross over Southern Illinois; Virginia Tech over Illinois; Duke over VCU; Indiana over Gonzaga; Villanova over Kentucky
Kansas over Villanova; UCLA over Indiana; Duke over Pitt; Holy Cross over Virginia Tech
Kansas over Holy Cross; UCLA over Duke
UCLA over Kansas
East Regional - The first 1 seed to depart? North Carolina, who I think will struggle with Michigan State's toughness and inside game. MSU's got great stats, if not a great record, and I trust Izzo. Mixed emotions on the Wazzu pick, but the Cougars just aren't hitting on all cylinders right now and ORU is pretty good. Two religiously-affiliated schools in the Sweet 16? God willing.
North Carolina over E Kentucky; Georgetown over Belmont; Oral Roberts over Washington State; Texas over New Mexico State; USC over Arkansas; GWU over Vanderbilt; Boston College over Texas Tech; Michigan State over Marquette
Michigan State over North Carolina; Georgetown over Boston College; Oral Roberts over GWU; Texas over USC
Texas over Michigan State; Georgetown over Oral Roberts
Georgetown over Texas
South Regional - The only regional where I see the top 4 seeds surviving to the Sweet 16. Xavier could give Ohio State a scare in Round 2. A&M is the best and most balanced team in this bracket, and they've got enough to get past Memphis in the Sweet 16. I'm not terribly impressed with either OSU or Virginia - the gap between #3 A&M and #4 Virginia is huge, in my opinion. The Long Beach State pick is pretty uninformed, though they have a really nice back court. Some 12 seed has to win, and this one seems as likely as any.
Ohio State over C Connecticut; Memphis over North Texas; Texas A&M over Penn; Virginia over Albany; Long Beach State over Tennessee; Louisville over Stanford; Nevada over Creighton; Xavier over BYU
Ohio State over Xavier; Memphis over Nevada; Texas A&M over Louisville; Virginia over Long Beach State
Ohio State over Virginia; Texas A&M over Memphis
Texas A&M over Ohio State
Final Four - I want to pick the Bruins here, but you never know when the FT shooting issue will bite them. These would be epic semis, regardless of who prevails: My best guess:
Florida over UCLA; Texas A&M over Georgetown
Texas A&M over Florida