East Bracket

Contenders- Villanova, Duke,
Pretenders- Florida, Baylor
Sleepers- South Carolina, UNC Wilmington

Villanova is the defending national champions and have had another stellar 31-3 campaign. Their versatility especially on the defensive end makes them a tough matchup for any team Duke is the current betting favorite to win the National Championship. That has a lot to do with becoming the only team in ACC history to win 4 straight games en route to a conference championship. South Carolina is one of the toughest teams in the country and they usually control the pace of play. If they can do that in this tournament they will be a tough second round matchup for Duke. UNC Wilmington has the type of experienced players and outside shooters that always play well this time of year.

West Bracket

Contenders- Gonzaga, Arizona, West Virginia
Pretender- Florida State
Sleepers- Mount Saint Mary’s, Bucknell

Gonzaga had their usual dominant season with only one loss in 33 games. The lack of competition in their conference always has them amongst the top seeds. It remains to be seen if they can finally put together a run all the way to the National Championship. Arizona has a deep roster with tremendous versatility. West Virginia has one of their most talented teams and the aggressive trapping/pressing style they use can cause havoc. Bucknell is a consistent team that will be a tough game for West Virginia in the first round. Look for whoever wins that game to advance to the Sweet 16

Midwest

Contenders- Kansas, Oregon, Purdue
Pretenders- Louisville
Sleepers- Michigan, Rhode Island

Kansas had a dominant season. Arguably the deepest roster in the tournament and a good combination of interior and wing players. Oregon will feel the loss of Chris Boucher who was their best shot blocker and capable of hitting from the 3 point line. Despite the loss the experienced Ducks will be a tough out. Purdue Big Man Biggie Swanigan is the most dominant player in the tournament. Michigan survived a scary plane malfunction to go win the Big Ten tournament. Rhode Island has a quick, fast, and athletic team that will be a tough out for anyone. This Louisville team is the least talented team they have had in quite some time.

South

Contenders- UNC, Kentucky, UCLA
Pretenders- None this is a tough bracket
Sleepers- Arkansas, Minnesota

UNC had a tough loss to Duke in the ACC tournament Final but remains the tournament favorite in the eyes of many. A deep, senior laden team that pounds the ball inside they are too big and experienced for most teams to keep pace with. Kentucky has a tall, athletic group of athletes who appear to be peaking at the right time. UCLA is playing at a pace not seen in quite some time at this level. They are capable of beating anyone but and off shooting night could have them losing to an inferior opponent.

Predictions

Final Four - Kentucky, Michigan, Gonzaga, Villanova
National Champion - Kentucky

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