The first thing you'll probably notice about my bracket is that I took three top seeds, and a number-two. So daring right? Well that speaks to how predictable the 2017 March Mayhem tournament actually is. This year has been a top heavy season with a mix of pretenders and some constant, true contenders. So let's break this ominous vision of mine down.
In the East Region, I have things coming down to the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats and the No. 6 SMU Mustangs. Truth be told, I'm not all that scared of Duke because they are one bad half of basketball from completely self-destructing and reliving all their nightmares from this past season. SMU is a sneaky good offensive team, but they run an up-tempo style that Villanova is a lot better at.
The West Region seems absolutely spoken for. I don't even care who else is here. The No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs are a ferociously good team that may be peaking as a program this year. They have everything - interior and perimeter defence, outside shooting, post scoring, veteran leadership and an incredibly deep bench. It's unbelievable. I took a shot here with No. 4 West Virginia over-performing based on their offensive metrics and FSU just being a bunch of crazy athletes running up and down the court. I don't know. Honestly, this region is all Gonzaga.
The same pretty much goes for No. 1 Kansas in the Midwest Region. Oregon was supposed to be a major threat, but they can't compete against elite competition without Chris Boucher. I also don't love Louisville nearly as much I have in years passed. The Michigan Wolverines caught my attention in the Big Ten Tournament, and they should've grabbed yours too. It just seems serendipitous for Kansas to roll through Iowa State on route to meeting the Cinderella-esque Wolverines.
Last but not least is the South Region which seems like an absolute gauntlet compared to the rest of the groupings. I do appreciate the No. 1 UNC Tar Heels, but I'm enamored by this No. 2 Kentucky team. They're super talented, super driven and SUPER fun to watch. A showdown between the Tar Heels and Wildcats seems inevitable. I also just wanted to see UCLA and Lonzo Ball get railed by Kentucky just to see the look on the face of LaVar Ball.
From there I have Gonzaga and Kentucky facing off in the championship game, and Coach Calipari's experience being the x-factor that gets his team back to the top of the mountain. Truth be told, I absolutely adore Gonzaga but I just don't see how they can get past that much ruthless talent when they're that close to the championship.
As it was last year, it'll be good to be a Wildcat.
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