NCAA Bracket 2014: TV Schedule and Final Four Picks for March Madness

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2014

Mar 16, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Florida Gators center Patric Young (4) and head coach Billy Donovan celebrate defeating the Kentucky Wildcats in the championship game for the SEC college basketball tournament at Georgia Dome. Florida won 61-60. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness doesn't only define the action on the hardwood, it also sums up the mad rush of people everywhere trying to fill out the best bracket. 

There are tips, hints, guides and trends to consider when filling out a bracket. Still, it seldom matters. This NCAA tournament is insanely unpredictable. Well, it's pure madness. It's also a blast. 

Have a look at the bracket, and then I'll offer up the four teams ready to win each region. 

 

All Your Bracket Essentials

 

 

Predictions

South

The Florida Gators finished off a dominant season and grabbed the No. 1 overall seed for this tournament. Their reward? Getting stuck in a loaded bracket.

No. 2 seed Kansas was in a position to grab a No. 1 seed itself until a key injury down the stretch held the Jayhawks back.

Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star gives us an update on that injury: 

No. 3 seed Syracuse didn't lose a game this season until Feb. 7. Of course, that loss started a streak that saw the Orange lose five of their last seven games. 

UCLA is a talented four seed that is coming off of a victory over West No. 1 seed Arizona in the Pac-12 championship game. The hot hand of the Bruins can't be ignored.

Although this region is stacked, Florida has everything needed to handle the challengers. 

The Gators are experienced, balanced and well-rounded. 

South Champs: Florida

  

West

The West is not loaded. This is one of those regions where it is hard to find a team I can talk myself into predicting to make the Final Four.

No. 2 Wisconsin is coming out of a mediocre Big Ten, and the Badgers dropped six games in conference play.

Doug McDermott is the No. 3 seed. Well, his Creighton Bluejays are the three seed, but they are little more than the insane scoring talents of McDermott.

There are lower seeds Oklahoma State and Oregon, which have enough talent to make a surprise run in this conference, but they are lower seeds for a reason, and the holes can always be exploited.

All of this leads to No. 1 Arizona. The Wildcats are No. 1 in the Pomeroy rankings. They are a talented and capable team led by junior guard Nick Johnson. The only thing leading to reservation on the Wildcats is a lackluster closing stretch. 

Arizona lost just four games all season, but two of those came in the last four. 

In a flawed bracket. However, Arizona will get right back on track. 

West Champs: Arizona

 

Midwest

Like the South, the Midwest is loaded with teams that could emerge.

No. 1 seed Wichita State is the first team to enter the tournament with an undefeated record in over two decades.

No. 2 Michigan won the Big Ten regular-season title.

No. 3 seed Duke features freshman phenom Jabari Parker, and was a contender for a No. 1 seed until late in the season. 

And none of those teams are going to win this region.

The winner is going to be the most scorned team in this tournament and the defending national champions: Louisville.

The Cardinals are seeded too low. For the Win shares its thoughts: 

After winning their conference tournament, Head coach Rick Pitino felt his team should be a No. 1 seed. I'm sure he will point this out to his team a time or two when a motivational boost is needed. 

The Cardinals are peaking at the right time, are No. 2 in the Pomeroy rankings and will emerge out of the Midwest. 

Midwest Champs: Louisville

 

East

I'm just going to forget about building any suspense over my prediction for this region. Virginia is going to win it.

I didn't want to pick this way. With three No. 1 seeds and a No. 4 seed in the Final Four, it almost feels like cheating, but looking over the brackets, this is the most likely way it works out. 

Iowa State is an enticing No. 3 seed, but it is No. 23 in the Pomeroy rankings. Also, the Cyclones lost seven conference games in the Big 12, and all but one of those losses came away from home. 

No. 2 seed Villanova is coming out of the watered-down Big East and was swept by Creighton this year. It lost those two meetings by a combined 49 points.

I can't pick either of those teams to beat a battle-tested Virginia squad. The Cavaliers play strong defense, which gives them the consistency needed to survive in tournament play. That was on display as they ran the table in the ACC tournament. 

East Champs: Virginia