In the end I think this year's bracket has a really good chance of looking like 2011's. That said, I think we should be in for some good surprises this year, and I've tried to pick a few of them. Only taking a few gambles, but ultimately my Elite 8 field holds true to my numbers, so here goes nothing...
Key Upset Picks:
- New Mexico St to Sweet 16. See some of my previous posts for details.
- Baylor to Sweet 16.
- Kentucky to Elite 8. KY, Louis and WSU all fit the Elite 8 profile to a "T". I was really high on Louisville before I started digging into the details. Every Louisville loss was to a ranked opponent, and I fear their #1 LRMC is inflated due to blowouts against really weak opponents. I think the Shockers are paper champions as well, and the Wildcats get them with the size. If Louisville wins it all, I will follow them blindly in all future years.
- Syracuse or Kansas for Elite 8. If Embiid was playing it would be a no-brainer and I'd actually pick them to win it all. Given he's out for the whole first weekend and maybe longer, I just can't roll the dice on the Jayhawks.
- If not obvious below, I think it was Michigan State and not Louisville who was actually under-seeded. The Spartans have far better wins, and won a significantly better conference tournament. They somewhat remind me of the 2011 UConn team that won the Big East tourney and had a very similar LRMC/OE/DE at 18/21/31 (MSU: 12/11/39)
- I'm not loving Iowa State in the Elite 8, but I hate them the least of the other options.
- The choices made in the Midwest bracket will ultimately make or break everyone's bracket who picks the right national champion.
Good luck everyone!