Jay Bilas Bracket: Best and Worst Picks of ESPN Analyst

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIMarch 14, 2012

Jay Bilas is a smart guy, which is why ESPN pays him big bucks. Many of you guys might base your picks on what he's decided to do with his own.

Bilas has some strengths and weaknesses in his brackets, and here they are.



If you want a good amount of points, Bilas does a good job picking who is going to be in the Final Four.

His picks are No. 1 Michigan State (West Region), No. 2 Ohio State (East Region), No. 1 North Carolina (Midwest Region) and No. 1 Kentucky (South Region).

These are the strongest teams in the field that have much star power. The Spartans have coach Tom Izzo, who always gets the most out of his kids. The Buckeyes have Jared Sullinger. North Carolina has Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller. Kentucky has, of course, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. 

Bilas' pick of Kentucky winning the whole thing is a good bet. The Wildcats are again loaded with talent and want to go farther than last year's disappointing Elite Eight loss. The region is fairly easy until a possible showdown with No. 2 Duke or No. 3 Baylor in the South Region's championship game.

Another strength of his bracket is that he has accounted for Syracuse star center Fab Melo's ineligibility to participate in the tournament. With him, the Orange are a Final Four team. Without him, the could easily get bumped by a team like No. 5 Vanderbilt.

With Fab Melo out, don't pick Syracuse to go too far.
With Fab Melo out, don't pick Syracuse to go too far.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images



While Bilas does a good job picking the Final Four and the eventual champion, he does have a major weakness in his bracket.

There are almost no upsets in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Usually, No. 3-6 seeds can be upset in the first round, but he has only three upset picks in No. 11 Colorado (South), No. 11 North Carolina State and No. 12 Temple (both Midwest).

None of these teams go on into the Sweet 16, while there are usually one or two upstart teams that make it that far.

The more puzzling thing is while that could be understandable, he doesn't want to go for a weaker team; he doesn't pick any No. 6-10 seeds that are potentially really strong to go to the Sweet 16.

Teams like the No. 6 Cincinnati (East), No. 6 Murray State (West), No. 6 San Diego State and No. 10 Purdue (both Midwest) are all quite capable of advancing to the Sweet 16.

If they do, your brackets will be screwed.

As for Kentucky, while that's a good pick for the national champion, they do have a hard opponent in last year's champion, No. 9 Connecticut. They have the experience and talent to possibly be the most dangerous No. 1 seed second-round match in the tournament.

If the Wildcats lose and you picked them to win it all, just blame Bilas if you followed his bracket verbatim.



Overall, Bilas does a good job with the top teams, and his Final Four is a good model to follow.

However, Bilas doesn't have many upset picks, and if upsets happen, the bracket will go out of wack.

Try balancing some upsets to strengthen your bracket.