There are generally two types of people in the world when it comes to submitting March Madness brackets. The first tends to pore over advanced stats of every team in the 68-team field only to have their bracket ultimately busted within the first day due to a Cinderella team no one saw coming. The other is merely along for the ride, picking teams based on the seeding and little research that they may have done while sitting in front of said bracket.
I have always grown up a proud member of the latter group, though over time I have come to enjoy going more in-depth on the tournament teams. Check out my March Madness predictions that are sure to have a few miscues, and don’t forget to make your own predictions as well.
Analysis: Creighton may surprise some people with a defeat over No. 2-seeded Arizona, as March Madness odds give the Wildcats +450 odds to make it to the Final Four against the Bluejays’ +850 odds to do so. However, Creighton should be able to handle a Baylor team that’s been inconsistent and just fell to Iowa State twice in a row. The Bluejays will then get a rematch with Arizona from the Maui Invitational earlier this season, where they pushed the Wildcats to the brink before falling by two. This time, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Creighton will get the win.
- Pick: Alabama (+170)
Analysis: Purdue earned a No. 1 seed after a 29-5 season and Big Ten Tournament championship, but it won’t get the Boilermakers very far in a solid East Region. After winning its first-round game, Purdue will meet a strong Memphis team that just defeated Houston in the AAC Tournament championship. The Boilermakers have Zach Edey, but they also have a pair of freshmen guards who may get flustered against a Memphis team that forces 15.4 turnovers a game.
- Pick: Marquette (+450)
Analysis: Contrary to what March Madness expert picks say, Drake and Kent State will meet in the second round after both pull off upsets over Miami and Indiana, respectively. Though the Hurricanes made a run in the tournament last year, they’ll be an early exit this season as they meet an offensively sound Bulldogs team that is led by Tucker DeVries. The questionable status of Norchad Omier also leaves Miami vulnerable.
As for the Golden Flashes, Kent State is led offensively by Sincere Carry, but its defense is the main focus. The Golden Flashes force 16 turnovers a game and have hung with the likes of Houston and Gonzaga. With Indiana’s recent struggles, Kent State gets the upset.
- Pick: Texas (+350)
Analysis: The West is arguably the toughest region of all four in this year’s bracket, but don’t count out sixth-seeded TCU to go further than the first round of the tournament. The Horned Frogs are a top 20 team in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rating, though their offense can hum as well with Mike Miles at the helm. TCU dropped four straight Big 12 games with an injured Miles out of the lineup, but he aided in the 23-point road defeat of Kansas as well as wins over Baylor, Kansas State and Texas when healthy. Watch for Miles and the Horned Frogs to bust some brackets.
— CBS Sports College Basketball 🏀 (@CBSSportsCBB) January 21, 2023
- Pick: Kansas (+325)
Analysis: At this point, the top-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide meet the No. 2 seed Marquette Golden Eagles in the Final Four while No. 2 Texas and No. 1 Kansas meet in yet another rematch. Although Shaka Smart led the Golden Eagles on an unlikely run, it comes to an end against the Crimson Tide. Alabama is No. 2 in adjusted efficiency rating, and BrandonMiller will be too much for Marquette to handle.
On the other side of the bracket, Texas and Kansas meet for a fourth time. Kansas will be looking to repeat as national champions while also getting revenge from the Big 12 championship game, but the Longhorns will be too much yet again. Texas is in the top 20 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency and held the Jayhawks under 60 in its past two wins. Though Kansas’ offense ranks seventh, its defense is 29th and will have trouble slowing the Longhorns’ leading scorers, Marcus Carr and Sir’Jabari Rice.
- Picks: Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas Longhorns
NCAA Championship Game
Analysis: The Crimson Tide have one of the easiest paths to the Final Four and should be ready to finish off their run with a win over Texas. Miller is the main focus for the skills he brings in his scoring and rebounding, but Alabama has other scorers as well. Mark Sears and Noah Clowney also add double-digit scoring while the Tide are effective on defense as well. They are third in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rating.
Texas’ campus may not be far from where the national championship is played, but it shouldn’t make a difference when Alabama ends up being the team cutting down the nets. Make your March Madness picks of who you think it will be at BetUS.com.
- Pick: Alabama (+600)