We’re down to sixteen teams, so it’s time to visit with each of our regional experts and analyze what happened in each of the four regions and what should be expected this coming weekend. Every one of these predictions is guaranteed to be absolutely and totally correct.
New Favorite (Same as the Old Favorite): #1 Kansas, 34-2. Kansas is one of the biggest favorites a region has ever seen, as a #10, a #11 and a #12 seed remain opposite the mighty Jayhawks in San Antonio. While Florida State, VCU and Richmond are all capable teams with varying strengths and weaknesses, none of the three pose a serious threat to KU so long as Bill Self’s team shows maturity and takes them seriously.
Horse of Darkness: #10 Florida State, 23-10. In two NCAA Tournament games, the Seminoles are firing on all cylinders defensively, holding Texas A&M and Notre Dame to a total of 107 points and a defensive PPP of 0.86. When you’re locking teams up like that, especially offensive juggernauts like the Irish, then you have a chance to win any game you play. VCU is beatable, but Kansas is a completely different animal.
Biggest Surprise (1st Weekend): Three Double-Digit Seeds Advancing. Nobody, and we mean nobody, would have had this bracket unless they were shooting darts or perhaps was a Richmond native who attended Florida State. It’s so rare that in the twenty-seven years since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams, three double-digit seeds have never made the same regional. Until this year. It’ll certainly make for an interesting group of fans in the Alamodome, as two smallish schools and a football school join a hoops powerhouse in San Antonio.
Completely Expected (1st Weekend): Kansas Advancing. The Jayhawks didn’t really dominate Boston University nor Illinois over the weekend, but unlike Duke and certainly Pitt, they weren’t really threatened either. The Southwest Region was already one of the weaker ones; with the bloodbath of high seeds that got eliminated over the weekend, it’s become even more so.
I’m Exceptionally Smart and Prescient: It’s not easy to act smart in a region that blew up like this one, but my Sweet Sixteen Sleeper, Richmond, was a good choice. Pointing out that Louisville is prone to stinkers and that UR should be able to defeat Vandy was a phenomenal call, which will surely more than compensate for this one…
Except When I Make Stupid Predictions: Calling VCU Overseeded at #11. Ok, maybe Jay Bilas Inceptioned my brain or something, but in terms of VCU’s resume, they were in fact overseeded and maybe that is now contributing to how well they’re sticking it to the power conference teams in this bracket. Everyone underestimated this team because, while we knew they had talent, they hadn’t played like it down the stretch this year. Now they’re a game away from the Elite Eight and nobody is counting them out at this point.