March Madness Bracketology Final Edition: 3/14/2021

Written by on March 14, 2021

Photo Credit: Athlon Sports

Folks, it truly is the best time of the year. The weather is getting warmer, the flowers are starting to bloom, the birds are moving back up north, and that little chump Punxsutawney Phil surely can no longer see his shadow.  

March is awesome. But more importantly, March is Madness. As I type this sentence, the clock on my MacBook Pro reads 6:58 AM.  

I have not yet been to sleep, for it is Selection Sunday and my excitement cannot be contained.  As my broadcast partner Gabe Collura would say, the coming 4 weeks are the REAL most wonderful time of the year. So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s celebrate this season in fashion. Let’s celebrate with sleepless nights and brackets-o-plenty.  

And most importantly, let’s celebrate the fact that COVID 19 will never rob us of the greatest sporting event in the history of planet earth ever, ever again. WE SLEEP IN MAY!

With all of that being said, here is my official prediction for how the bracket will look tomorrow.  If I were a member of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee (which let’s face it, I probably should be), this is what my field of 68 would look like right this moment. 

Scrutinize this prediction and comment what you must.  Let’s embrace and cherish every debate we can have about this great spectacle; it’s been far too long. 

And as the smooth, silky voice of Greg Gumbel serenades all of us in the revealing of teams and brackets and regions tomorrow, take it in and remember where you were one year ago today. 

 This is miraculous, this is Madness, this is MARCH.

THE LEGEND HIMSELF.

Photo of CBS's Greg Gumble

A photo of CBS’ Greg Gumble. Photo Credit: Fan Buzz

 

THE BRACKET

REGION 1 (TOP LEFT BRACKET)
1 GONZAGA 16 TEXAS SOUTHERN/MOUNT ST. MARY’S
8 FLORIDA 9 VIRGINIA TECH
5 COLORADO 12 UCSB
4 WEST VIRGINIA 13 OHIO
6 VILLANOVA 11 MICHIGAN STATE/DRAKE
3 OKLAHOMA STATE 14 GRAND CANYON
7 LSU 10 CLEMSON
2 OHIO STATE 15 EASTERN WASHINGTON

 

REGION 2 (BOTTOM LEFT BRACKET)
1 MICHIGAN 16 HARTFORD
8 NORTH CAROLINA 9 OREGON
5 TEXAS TECH 12 GEORGETOWN
4 FLORIDA STATE 13 LIBERTY
6 LOYOLA CHICAGO 11 LOUISVILLE/UTAH STATE
3 KANSAS 14 NORTH TEXAS
7 BYU 10 MARYLAND
2 HOUSTON 15 DREXEL

 

REGION 3 (TOP RIGHT BRACKET)
1 BAYLOR 16 NORFOLK STATE/APPALACHIAN STATE
8 MISSOURI 9 RUTGERS
5 CREIGHTON 12 WINTHROP
4 PURDUE 13 COLGATE
6 USC 11 SYRACUSE
3 ARKANSAS 14 MOREHEAD STATE
7 UCONN 10 VCU
2 IOWA 15 ORAL ROBERTS

 

REGION 4 (BOTTOM RIGHT BRACKET)
1 ILLINOIS 16 IONA
8 OKLAHOMA 9 GEORGIA TECH
5 TENNESSEE 12 OREGON STATE
4 VIRGINIA 13 UNC GREENSBORO
6 SAN DIEGO STATE 11 UCLA
3 TEXAS 14 ABILENE CHRISTIAN
7 WISCONSIN 10 ST. BONAVENTURE
2 ALABAMA 15 CLEVELAND STATE

 

THE BUBBLE

Last 4 BYES: Maryland, VCU, UCLA Syracuse

Last 4 IN: Michigan State, Louisville, Utah State, Drake

First 4 OUT: Wichita State, Colorado State, St. Louis, Ole Miss

Next 4 OUT: Western Kentucky, Xavier, Memphis, Boise State

Hello NIT: St. John’s, Seton Hall, Duke

The legend of the bid stealers has loomed large this conference championship week.  First, it was the Hoyas of Georgetown showing out in the Big East tournament final in a thorough domination of Creighton.

Then, it was the Beavers constructing dams and calling shots in the PAC 12 final in Las Vegas, defeating Colorado in a highly entertaining nightcap. These pesky vultures from Power 6 conferences have eliminated two bids for the bubble brigade within the last 24 hours. 

By my estimations, the two teams most likely to pay the ultimate price for this statistical tomfoolery are mid major darlings Wichita State and Colorado State. 

THE S-CURVE

Here’s a rundown of how my seeding shook out, from the best team in the field to the 68th best. 

1 GONZAGA 6 Villanova 11 UCLA
1 Baylor 6 Loyola Chicago 11 Syracuse
1 Illinois 6 USC 11 Michigan State
1 Michigan 6 San Diego State 11 Louisville
2 Iowa 7 Wisconsin 11 Utah State
2 Houston 7 BYU 11 Drake
2 Alabama 7 LSU 12 UCSB
2 Ohio State 7 UCONN 12 Winthrop
3 Oklahoma State 8 Oklahoma 12 Georgetown
3 Arkansas 8 Florida 12 Oregon State
3 Texas 8 Missouri 13 UNC Greensboro
3 Kansas 8 North Carolina 13 Colgate 
4 West Virginia 9 Oregon 13 Liberty
4 Florida State 9 Virginia Tech 13 Ohio
4 Virginia 9 Georgia Tech 14 Abilene Christian
4 Purdue 9 Rutgers 14 North Texas
5 Creighton 10 St. Bonaventure 14 Morehead State
5 Texas Tech 10 Clemson 14 Grand Canyon
5 Tennessee 10 Maryland 15 Eastern Washington
5 Colorado 10 VCU 15 Cleveland State
15 Oral Roberts 16 Iona 16 Texas Southern
15 Drexel 16 Norfolk State 16 Appalachian State
16 Hartford 16 Mount St. Mary’s

THE PICKS

Many Bracketologists have differing viewpoints on this subject, but personally I thoroughly believe that no Bracketology is complete without making some predictions for my own hypothetical bracket. Let’s get to them, shall we.

Elite Eight

REGION 1: (1) Gonzaga over (7) LSU

REGION 2: (4) Florida State over (6) Loyola Chicago

REGION 3: (1) Baylor over (2) Iowa

REGION 4: (1) Illinois over (3) Texas

 

Final Four

SEMIFINAL 1: (1) Gonzaga over (4) Florida State

SEMIFINAL 2: (1) Illinois over (1) Baylor

 

National Championship

(1) Gonzaga 84, (1) Baylor 77

I know what you all are thinking.  Chalk, chalk, cough… chalk chalk chalk.  Well save it, because I truly believe in the greatness of the three top seeds in this tournament.  And as for Gonzaga, they may just be one of the four or five college basketball teams I’ve watched in my lifetime. 

It’s Zags or bust for me this year, and for Mark Few, this could just be the year that the ultimate college basketball prize comes with him to Spokane and FINALLY cements his legacy. 

I’ve had a blast putting this together, and I hope that analyzing every nook and cranny is just as fun for you the reader.  Have a sacred Selection Sunday, we’ll all be talking with freshly printed brackets very, very soon. 


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