Bill Scott from Wisconsin Radio Network joins me on this Google Hangout (watch below), and we’re going to give you insight and information that may help you before you fill out your bracket. Right off the bat we talk about one of the more interesting matchups…#5 Wisconsin facing #12 Ole Miss. The Badgers made a great run in the Big Ten Tournament knocking off Michigan (4 seed/South) and Indiana (1 seed/East), before losing to Ohio State (2 seed/West) in the Big Ten finals. Not only did Ole Miss somehow find a way to come back and trip up Mizzou, but the Rebels got past Vandy and Florida (3 seed/South) to gain an automatic bid as the SEC champions. They may have the hot hand.
Since Bill Scott covers the Big Ten, he’ll help provide some great insight into a number of teams from that conference who can make deep runs in this tournament. The Big Ten will factor into your bracket because of all of the better seeds those teams have. (Five of the Big Ten’s teams are 5 seeds or better…Illinois 7, Minnesota 11) The toughest region? Good luck picking the South. #1 Kansas, #2 Georgetown, #3 Florida, #4 Michigan…all close, how do you pick here? This is the region that will most likely determine your office pool. We’ll try to help.
Here’s a quick look at the top three teams that you should bank on going a long way if you want to play it safe and three teams that could surprise many if you’re looking for a bold bracket.
The Contenders: Safe picks that should help your bracket look solid
1. Louisville–most players in your pool are going to pick them, play the odds and stick with it
2. Ohio State–Gritty team that shouldn’t have too many obstacles until the West finals
3. Indiana–Syracuse scared you in the Big East final, maybe you’re not sold on Miami…this could be the best bet in the East.
The Surprises: Gutsy picks that could push you over the top
1. Michigan State–if you are confident about your other three regions, be brave and pick Izzo’s squad over Louisville.
2. Marquette–a team like Mizzou, undefeated at home, sometimes iffy on the road. If you’re not sold on Miami, this is a good candidate for Elite 8.
3. Villanova–If you absolutely can’t pick KU because of your love for Mizzou and/or hatred for the Jayhawks, Nova could do some damage against UNC and KU
Additional upset picks. Here are some games to consider when picking against the higher seed.
Second round: Bucknell over Butler, Colorado over Illinois, Iowa State over Notre Dame
Third round: Creighton over Duke, Wisconsin over Gonzaga