2013-2014 NCAA Tournament Picks

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

After as much internal debate as time permits, here is the final bracket.

Second (Round of 64) Round Upsets
Pitt over Colorado (that's a seed upset, but Pitt's favored by 6)

I've got favorites in the rest of the games; Dayton's a fun upset pick and since the Buckeyes probably don't get past Syracuse in the Round of 32 you aren't hurt much if it doesn't come in.  That's a smart type of upset pick if you're looking to win smaller pools that largely are weighted in the later rounds.  SFA might beat VCU, but VCU could also go to the sweet 16.  You could pick Stanford over New Mexico if you wanted to rep the Pac-However Many Teams There Are Now.

Third (Round of 32) Round Upsets

Super chalky.  Any of those games could go the other way; VCU/UCLA is basically a coin flip and each of the other 3 games is about 60/40 for the favorite.  Feel free to pick New Mexico to beat Kansas just for fun if we're here.

Sweet 16 Upsets

That's a lot of favorites, right?  Ballsy.  If my brackets are busted by now I'll be rooting for UCLA to bounce Florida, I tend to get really Pac-Whatever fan-centric by this point in the tournament.  Kansas/Syracuse is a coin flip game; losing the big guy hurts Kansas but not as much as you'd think.

I've got Florida coming out - in every bracket I've built, I've got Florida coming out.

Second (Round of 64) Round Upsets
GW over Memphis
Harvard over Cincinnati
-Harvard wins this game 1 out of every 3 times its played; for a 5/12, that's good enough, particularly given how little chance there is that Cincinnati would advance any further.
Providence over North Carolina
-This requires a little more guts because you could definitely see a scenario where Carolina makes the sweet 16, so you're risking more than you want here.  Providence wins this game 1 out of every 3 times they play.

I've got a bracket where NC Central beats Iowa St; if you wanted to pick a 14/3, it would be that game.  I won't do it here for the same reason I nearly just stuck with Carolina; Iowa St could go deep in the tournament and NC Central's chances of winning the game are significantly smaller than Providences.  It's not a great UConn club, if they lost to St Joes that would set up a St Joes/Nova round of 32 game.

Third (Round of 32) Round Upsets

The chances of anything but a Virginia/Michigan St game coming out of this round are really low; in fact, the top 4 seeds in the bracket are solidly the best 4.

Sweet 16 Upsets

If we get here, Michigan St is probably favored over Virginia, that's a 50/50 game for me; Nova's a little better bet to beat Iowa St

I've got brackets with everyone but Iowa St; but what I've decided to do is go with Villanova; they aren't as good as either Virginia or Michigan St - but of those three, they're the most likely to be in that Elite 8 game.  If we get here and everyone's on, say Michigan St, I'll be on a lonely limb.

Second (Round of 64) Round Upsets
Oklahoma St over Gonzaga
-I may be overly buying into Smart.
North Dakota St. over Oklahoma
-This extends my upset parameters a little bit, ND St maybe wins this game one out of every 4 times they play and the Sooners could get to the Sweet 16.

Nebraska and BYU could both win their first games.

Third (Round of 32) Round Upsets
Like the other brackets, I've got the top 4 seeds going to the Sweet 16.

Sweet 16 Upsets
Creighton over Wisconsin
-that's a tough one to call; it really is just a vote for the best player in the country to make it to the end of the second weekend.

I've got Arizona coming out; they can't score, putting them in jeopardy against either Creighton or Wisconsin, but I'll take the best defense in the country to go to the final four.

Second (Round of 64) Round Upsets
If Xavier can come back and beat NC St, I'll take them to beat StLouis.  For purposes of this bracket, I'm going to say that I'll take St Louis over NC St, it could be I won't go back into the bracket contests to switch it away from the play in winner.

Either Iowa or Tennessee over UMass
-I have Tennessee in the play in, but it doesn't matter, I'm taking the winner to keep going.

Arizona St. over Texas
-That's a coin flip game, enough for me to call the upset.

Third (Round of 32) Round Upsets
Same deal as the other brackets, top 4 advance.

Sweet 16 Upsets
Louisville over Wichita, Duke over Michigan.  Both those games could go either way; I'd be a little less surprised to see Wichita win than Michigan.

Really any configuration headed to the Elite 8 here makes sense - but I'll say that Duke beats Louisville.

Final Four

Arizona over Florida in the final game.  

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