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Corey’s full NCAA Tournament bracket

Midwest Region

First Four Game

16. Manhattan over 16. Hampton – Hampton got hot at the right time and ran through the MEAC Tournament but they don’t have a lot of offense, not enough to beat a Jaspers team that is incredibly tough and led by a trio of players averaging over 13 points per game.

Round of 64

1. Kentucky over 16. Manhattan – Kentucky hasn’t been beaten all season long. If any team figures out a way to beat them with their bevvy of McDonalds All-Americans and top of the line athletes and deep talent, it’ll have to be better than Manhattan.

9. Purdue over 8. Cincinnati – If you like ugly basketball full of defense then this one is for you. Purdue has a pair of 7-footers who will help lead them to a close win over the Bearcats.

5. West Virginia over 12. Buffalo – Buffalo is going to be a popular upset pick, especially in a 5-12 matchup, but the Bulls turn the ball over too much and don’t shoot enough three’s. The Mountaineers are battling injuries but play a tough press defense that will lead them past the Bulls team making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

4. Maryland over 13. Valparaiso – The Terps are underseeded. They ended the regular season ranked No. 8 and were getting consideration as a No. 1 seed but they settled for a No. 4 seed. Valparaiso is a tough team out of the Horizon League but haven’t beaten anybody this season.

11. Texas over 6. Butler – The Longhorns are inconsistent but so are the Bulldogs. The Longhorns are just so much bigger inside and have a major advantage against a smaller, peskier Butler team.

3. Notre Dame over 14. Northeastern – Any team that can beat both Duke and North Carolina in the ACC Tournament has to be good enough to beat a mid-major team that wasn’t even the No. 1 seed in their own conference tournament.

7. Wichita State over 10. Indiana – Despite Indiana’s struggles as of late the Hoosiers will make this a much tougher game than one might think but Wichita State is under-seeded and has many many of the players who helped lead them to the Final Four last year.

2. Kansas over 15. New Mexico State – Kansas isn’t exactly healthy and New Mexico has incredible size but the Jayhawks still make it to the championship game in the toughest conference in the country because they’re massively talented.

Round of 32

1. Kentucky over 9. Purdue – Purdue’s size is interesting but Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns are by fat the best big-man duo in the country.

4. Maryland over 5. West Virginia – We always hear about how guard play is key in the NCAA Tournament and you’d have a tough time finding a better duo than Dez Wells and Melo Trimble for the Terps.

3. Notre Dame over 11. Texas – Notre Dame is red-hot right now and besides, winning the ACC Tournament makes a team a shoe-in for the Sweet 16. Only one winner since 2005 failed to get there (Miami in 2013).

7. Wichita State over 2. Kansas – Kansas is a very talented team but they are missing some key players right now and that will open the door for the Shockers to win the battle of Kansas on the back of their guards Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker.

Sweet 16

1. Kentucky over 4. Maryland – Maryland has good guards but just don’t have the talent inside to combat the Wildcats.

3. Notre Dame over 7. Wichita State – Jerian Grant, Demetrius Jackson and Pat Connaughton are playing great basketball right now and will get past the Shockers in a shootout.

Elite 8

1. Kentucky over 3. Notre Dame – There are some tough basketball teams in the Midwest Region but none of them really pose a threat to the Wildcats.

East Region

First Four

11. Dayton over 11. Boise State – There is no reason Dayton should be seeded this low. They were actually the last team in the tournament and they’ll take their frustration out at home against the Broncos.

Round of 64

1. Villanova vs. 16. Lafayette – Perhaps the best team in Villanova history, which includes a national champion. Lafayette has no chance of pulling this upset.

9. LSU over 8. NC State – While you generally want to go with the guards in the NCAA Tournament, LSU’s bigs are so much better than the Wolfpack’s while the guards are slightly more even.

12. Wyoming over 5. Northern Iowa – Seth Tuttle is a sure-fire All-American and they have great depth but Wyoming shocked everybody by beating a red-hot Boise State team and then an incredibly tough San Diego State squad. They have a very slow, methodical pace and ability to control the tempo of a game, which is generally what helps lead to major upsets.

4. Louisville over 13. UC Irvine – It will be very fun to see Montrezl Harrell battle the 7-foot-6 Mamadou N’Diaye inside but the Cardinals will tough it out and get the victory.

6. Providence over 11. Dayton – While Dayton gets a home win to prove the deserve to be in this tournament, the Friars will have the two best players in this game in LaDontae Henton and Kris Dunn.

14. UAlbany over 3. Oklahoma – I’m probably wrong here but a 3-14 upset is far from unheard of. Actually, it’s happened the past two years. UAlbany is playing for something bigger than basketball (just Google Pete Hooley) and are incredibly experience, making their third-straight trip to the Big Dance. They control the pace of the game and pick quality shots, generally those are qualities of teams that pull these huge upsets.

7. Michigan State over 10. Georgia – Tom Izzo always makes sure his team is well-prepared for the NCAA Tournament and usually makes sure his team is the most well-coaches team in the country. He’s not going to be one-and-done.

2. Virginia over 15. Belmont – The Cavaliers defense is way too good to be broken by Belmont.

Round of 32

1. Villanova over 9. LSU – LSU is a wildly inconsistent team and could keep this thing really close or lose by 30. I’ll stick with the Wildcats team that has prove greatness all year.

4. Louisville over 12. Wyoming – The Cowboys got an upset in the first round but it’s nearly impossible to come back and beat a No. 4 seed two days later. Louisville rolls over the team that struggles to score to move on.

6. Providence over 14. UAlbany – While the Great Danes get the shocker in the Round of 64, Providence moves on with ease in this round.

2. Virginia over 7. Michigan State – The Cavaliers are really, really good and probably should have been a No. 1 seed. They’ll smoother the Spartans and move on.

Sweet 16

1. Villanova over 4. Louisville – Louisville got two good matchups early but the Wildcats will take advantage of the lack of depth and limited number of playmakers on their roster.

2. Virginia over 6. Providence – Virginia’s defense can stiffle the best offensive teams. Providence has a great one-two punch but don’t really have anything after that.

Elite 8

2. Virginia over 1. Villanova – While the Wildcats are deep, talented and have some top-notch guards they also don’t have a dominant player who can take over a tough game that this one is sure to be.

South Region

First Four

16. North Florida over 16. Robert Morris – The Ospreys score in bunches and actually have a great win at Purdue on their record. Their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament should net them their first-ever NCAA Tournament win.

Round of 64

1. Duke over 16. North Florida – But their the fun won’t last too long. Jahlil Okafor will have a field-day against North Florida.

8. San Diego State over 9. St. John’s – Even with Chris Obekpa the Red Storm would have a tough time breaking the Aztecs great defense. With him suspended, it will be nearly impossible to pull off the win.

12. Stephen F. Austin over 5. Utah – The Utes don’t like when teams go right at them and attack and that’s exactly what the Lumberjacks do. They’re looking at their second 5-12 upset in consecutive years.

13. Eastern Washington over 4. Georgetown – Georgetown struggles to score, especially from 3-point range and failed to convert from the foul line. Those three things spell disaster for teams looking to avoid upsets in the NCAA Tournament. On top of it, Georgetown is very over-seeded. Eastern Washington can light up the scoreboard and the Hoyas aren’t a team that will take advantage of their defensive struggles.

6. SMU over 11. UCLA – UCLA shouldn’t be in the tournament and have no chance of beating an SMU team with a great coach, great defense, some good big men and a great point guard.

3. Iowa State over 14. UAB – The Cyclones are red-hot and showed what they were made of by coming back to beat Kansas in the Big 12 title game. Georges Niang and company will score a ton in this game and move on with ease.

10. Davidson over 7. Iowa – Despite the Hawkeyes having a better seed, Davidson is a better team. They are so efficient on offense, they don’t turn the ball over and shoot well from three. They should blow Iowa out in this one.

2. Gonzaga over 15. North Dakota State – Gonzaga has so much firepower and will dominate this game, probably hitting triple-digits.

Round of 32

1. Duke over 8. San Diego State – Steve Fisher’s San Diego State team has a great defense but even great defenses have a hard time handling Duke’s high-powered offense.

12. Stephen F. Austin over 13. Eastern Washington – Still shocked to see this 12-13 matchup? Look back in the tournament’s history and you’ll realize that this matchup always seems to happen. The Lumberjacks, though, have been here before and move on.

3. Iowa State over 6. SMU – This is going to be a very tough, close game but Iowa State gets the edge. Their forwards play like guards and will use their athletic advantage against the Mustangs.

2. Gonzaga over 10. Davidson – Gonazaga is one of the best scoring teams in the country and will blow past another opponent on their way to the Sweet 16.

Sweet 16

1. Duke over 12. Stephen F. Austin – Stephen F. Austin continues the trend of getting a double-digit seed into the Sweet 16 but that is as far as they go. There can’t match up against the Blue Devils.

3. Iowa State over 2. Gonzaga – This region surely has some offense in it and this should be a shootout. Gonzaga always has a ton of potential but doesn’t seem to get the job done in the tournament, perhaps because of their poor conference schedule. The Cyclones won the best conference in the country and went though wars night in and night out. They move on after another one here.

Elite 8

1. Duke over 3. Iowa State – It’s not quite a coin-flip but it’s going to be a shootout until the end. But Duke is more physical inside and that gives them the advantage.

West Region

First Four

11. BYU over 11. Ole Miss – This really shouldn’t be a First Four game, both team’s are better than No. 11 seeds, but the Cougars have a high-powered offense that will overwhelm the Rebels.

Round of 64

1. Wisconsin over 16. Coastal Carolina – Frank “The Tank” and Sam Dekker will lead the Badgers to an easy win over Coastal Carolina.

8. Oregon over 9. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys have won just one of their last seven games. That’s the definition of limping into the tournament. The ducks are good but not great and despite coming off a bad loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament, they have more momentum going into this game.

5. Arkansas over 12. Wofford – Don’t expect a 5-12 upset here. The Terriers just don’t have anything inside that can matchup with Bobby Portis.

4. North Carolina over 13. Harvard – Harvard is actually a pretty tough team and will compete hard in this game but in the end the Tar Heels just have too much for them.

11. BYU over 6. Xavier – The Musketeers lack experience, are terrible defending out on the perimeter and haven’t been good away from home. BYU has the firepower to outlast Xavier.

3. Baylor over 14. Georgia State – The Panthers have two top scores, including R.J. Hunter, a legitimate NBA prospect, but they lack the athleticism elsewhere to beat Baylor.

7. VCU over 10. Ohio State – VCU has done a good job despite no longer having Briante Weber inside. Ohio State has an advantage inside but a freshman point guard against an in-your-face defense and a team that played the best non-conference strength of schedule to prepare for this tournament is going to eb hard to overcome.

2. Arizona over 15. Texas Southern – Texas Southern has experience but nowhere near the talent and athletic ability to beat a team like Arizona.

Round of 32

1. Wisconsin over 8. Oregon – Oregon just isn’t good enough, especially not inside, to keep it close against Wisconsin.

4. North Carolina over 5. Arkansas – The Tar Heels have some serious talent and know they have it. But while their offense is outstanding, their defense is underrated and that will force Arkansas into their poor habit of settling for shots far too often.

11. BYU over 3. Baylor – The Cougars can really score and will have an interior advantage over Baylor.

2. Arizona over 7. VCU – While the Rams get past Ohio State, the loss of Weber it way too much to keep it close against a Wildcats team with serious Final Four aspirations.

Sweet 16

4. North Carolina over 1. Wisconsin – When UNC is on they can play with anybody and Maryland showed how to beat the Badgers earlier in the season, by using big men to keep Frank Kaminsky away from the basket and they certainly have the players to do that.

2. Arizona over 11. BYU – BYU has gotten this far because of their incredible ability to score but Arizona is tall, fast and athletic and can pretty much no anything they want out on that court.

Elite 8

4. North Carolina over 2. Arizona – It’s probably risky to pick the inconsistent Tar Heels to make it to the Final Four but they’re playing great basketball right now, have great athleticism, can score, rebound almost better than any team in the country and pass the ball to set up the best shot. If they keep playing like they are they are going to be a very tough out in this tournament.

Final Four

1. Kentucky over 4. North Carolina – The Tar Heels will be a tough out for any team not named Kentucky because as good and big and athletic as UNC is, the Wildcats are even more.

2. Virginia over 1. Duke – Virginia should have gotten the No. 1 seed over Duke as it was and they’ll prove it here. the Cavaliers defense is second to none. They have great experience and a very talented big 3 that can step up and score when needed.

Finals

1. Kentucky over 2. Virginia – Anybody who seriously picks any team other than Kentucky has to be questioned. They make history and go 40-0.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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