By Jacob Kornhauser on March 16, 2014
The 2014 March Madness bracket is officially out and it's time for the speculation to begin. With plenty of quality teams in each region, this year is going to be even harder than usual to pick. Despite that, based on season performance and how each team matches up with one another in each round, here's how this year's tournament may go.
1 Florida def. 16 Albany
9 Pittsburgh def. 8 Colorado
5 VCU def. 12 SF Austin
4 UCLA def. Tulsa
6 Ohio State def. 11 Dayton
3 Syracuse def. 14 Western Michigan
10 Stanford def. 7 New Mexico
2 Kansas def. 15 Eastern Kentucky
While SF Austin has won 28 games in a row and are a prime Cinderella candidate, VCU is a little too talented. Dayton could also knock off Ohio State in the first round.
1 Virginia def. 16 Coastal Carolina
8 Memphis def. 9 George Washington
5 Cincinnati def. 12 Harvard
4 Michigan State def. 13 Delaware
6 North Carolina def. 11 Providence
3 Iowa State def. 14 NC Central
10 St. Joseph's def. 7 Connecticut
2 Villanova def. 15 Milwaukee
There isn't a whole lot of upset potential in the first round of this region. Providence could give North Carolina some trouble and St. Joseph's has enough to beat UCONN.
1 Arizona def. 16 Weber State
9 Oklahoma State def. 8 Gonzaga
5 Oklahoma def. 12 North Dakota State
4 San Diego State def. 13 New Mexico State
6 Baylor def. 11 Nebraska
3 Creighton def. 14 LA-Lafayette
7 Oregon def. 10 BYU
2 Wisconsin def. 15 American
Nebraska will surely give Baylor trouble in this round, but the Bears have been rolling as of late so in the biggest possible upset, the favorite will squeak by.
1 Wichita State def. 16 Texas Southern
8 Kentucky def. 9 Kansas State
12 NC State def. 5 Saint Louis
4 Louisville def. 13 Manhattan
11 Tennessee def. 6 Massachusetts
3 Duke def. 14 Mercer
7 Texas def. 10 Arizona State
2 Michigan def. 15 Wofford
In the most stacked region, there are also several possible upsets. NC State and Tennessee are getting hot at the right time and could be double-digit seeds making their way to the second round.
1 Florida def. 9 Pittsburgh
4 UCLA def. 5 VCU
3 Syracuse def. 6 Ohio State
2 Kansas def. 10 Stanford
Florida keeps on rolling against a good Pittsburgh team, UCLA and VCU have a classic game, Syracuse just edges out Ohio State and Kansas catches a break by drawing a less talented Stanford team in the second round.
1 Virginia def. 8 Memphis
4 Michigan State def. 5 Cincinnati
3 Iowa State def. 6 North Carolina
2 Villanova def. 10 St. Joseph's
While the size of Memphis could give Virginia trouble, the Cavaliers have shown a resolve this year that will push them to the Sweet Sixteen. Michigan State and Cincinnati will be a physical battle with the Spartans getting the slight edge. Iowa State is rolling right now and could knock of the Tar Heels.
1 Arizona def. 9 Oklahoma State
5 Oklahoma def. 4 San Diego State
6 Baylor def. 3 Creighton
7 Oregon def. 2 Wisconsin
Arizona will be challenged by a hot Oklahoma State team, but they have too much size. Oklahoma should be able to limit the Aztec scoring attack enough to pull out a victory. Baylor keeps on rolling as long as their zone defense isn't torched by Doug McDermott and Oregon pulls off a huge upset over the Badgers.
1 Wichita State def. 8 Kentucky
4 Louisville def. 12 NC State
3 Duke def. 11 Tennessee
2 Michigan def. 7 Texas
Kentucky is about the toughest team you can play in the second round as a No. 1 seed, but the Shockers are out to prove they're no fluke this season. Louisville stays red hot while Duke struggles to down the streaking Volunteers. Michigan's scoring attack will be too much for the Longhorns to handle.
1 Florida def. 4 UCLA
2 Kansas def. 3 Syracuse
4 Michigan State def. 1 Virginia
3 Iowa State def. 2 Villanova
1 Arizona def. 5 Oklahoma
7 Oregon def. 6 Baylor
4 Louisville def. 1 Wichita State
3 Duke def. 2 Michigan
No. 1 seeds Virginia and Wichita State fall at the hands of very talented No. 4 seeds. Oregon continues a great run as their offense easily makes them an Elite Eight threat.
1 Florida def. 2 Kansas
4 Michigan State def. 3 Iowa State
1 Arizona def. 7 Oregon
4 Louisville def. 3 Duke
Florida vs. Kansas could be the game of the tournament with the Gators' physicality giving them the slight edge. Michigan State has experience in these types of games and don't rely on outside shooting as much as the Cyclones. Arizona ruins Oregon's miracle run and Louisville keeps rolling.
Florida def. Michigan State
Louisville def. Arizona
As long as Florida can keep the Spartans out of the paint, they have a strong chance of winning. That will force Gary Harris to try to take over and if he can't the Gators will be dancing their way to the title game. Louisville is as hot as any team entering the tournament and they can carry that momentum throughout and that includes knocking of the No. 1 seeded Wildcats.
Florida def. Louisville
While Louisville is one of the nation's hottest teams, the Gators haven't lost a game in 2014 and seem like a team on a mission. They're at least seven players deep and their size is unmatched. They have played like men among boys this season and in the NCAA tournament, it will be more of the same.
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