College Basketball

NCAA Tournament 2014: Smart Picks for Each Region

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2014

NCAA Tournament 2014: Smart Picks for Each Region

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    After a long, grueling and parity-filled regular season, it's time for college basketball's crowning achievement: March Madness.

    The 2014 NCAA tournament field of 68 and the road to the Final Four have been revealed, and now begins the challenge of building the perfect bracket.

    Every spring, America stops what it's doing to watch Cinderellas reign, and even billionaire Warren Buffett is getting in on the fun this year, offering $1 billion to anyone who can project the perfect bracket.     

    But with the odds severely stacked against anyone looking to flawlessly predict the tournament, Buffett is teaming up with billionaire Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to award $100,000 to each of the top-20 more accurate entries, per PR Newswire via Yahoo.com

    Millions of people play brackets every March, so why not take a shot at becoming $1 billion richer for doing so? While there is no simple path to success, it sure doesn't get much easier than filling out a bracket online. To quote a commercial from one of my companies, I'd dare say it's so easy to enter that even a caveman can do it.

    Still need a reason to put on your prognosticator cap?

    With the tournament set to tip off with first-round action on Tuesday, here we'll take a look at the smartest picks for every region with the help of University of Illinois Computer Science Professor Sheldon Jacobson. 

East Region

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    The No. 8 vs. No. 9 and No. 7 vs. No. 10 matchups have proven tricky to project over the years. But there are some recent trends to consider before making your mind. Professor Sheldon Jacobson highlights the need-to-know statistics.    

Midwest Region

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    Wondering how many upsets to pick? Jacobson has some numbers to consider before you pick your Cinderellas.

South Region

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    If you think a No. 13 seed will reach the round of 32 for the seventh straight year, you're not alone. Jacobson explains why there's a good chance a No. 4 seed will fall early on in 2014. 

West Region

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    Jacobson reminds us to pick with our heads instead of our hearts and suggests picking at least one No. 12 seed to spring an early-round upset. 

Bracket Essentials

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    Credit: Bleacher Report

    All Your Bracket Essentials:

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