March Madness Starts Now: Your Early Guide To the Men's NCAA Basketball Bracket

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March Madness Starts Now: Your Early Guide To the Men's NCAA Basketball Bracket
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San Diego State Aztec DJ Gay cuts the lane.

I'll go out on a limb and call myself your average sports fan. I love the NFL. I follow a couple favorite teams among the other sports. I never miss the World Series, NBA Finals or Super Bowl. And I look forward to the month of March with such Madness that it ought to be a national holiday.

The first (extended!) weekend of the NCAA tournament might as well be my high holy days. But until I pick up that March Madness bracket, I know my Men's NCAA basketball like I know the Winnipeg Jets' checking line. The Winnipeg Jets, they still exist, right? Didn't they lose to the Hartford Whalers in the playoffs last year? Basically, if you're like me, let's get educated on some basketball.

DUKE

They're not crap but at least they're not No. 1. You should have ample opportunity to cheer against them as they might even slip into a No. 1 seed. Hopefully, though, they get upset in the ACC Tournament and draw someone like Pitt in the East Regional Finals.

SAN DIEGO STATE

When you get your bracket, you're going to look down and say "San Diego what?" Don't question it--it's not a misprint. They're like the Boise State of men's college basketball. Their coach is Steve Fisher of Michigan Fab Five fame and he's had the San Diego State Aztecs winning 20 plus games for a few years now even though they hadn't broken the Top 20 before this season. DJ Gay is their key guard while Kawhi Leonard provides a nice inside presence. It's their year. Just ride them to the Sweet Sixteen.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Ohio State Buckeye Jared Sullinger throws it down in traffic.

WHAT IS THIS 1987?

That's the last year Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Georgetown and Syracuse finished the regular season in the Top 20. The Big East is freaking awesome. They own half the Top 15 (alright seven of 15) and if the Big East Conference Tournament started today, the thirteenth ranked team in the country (Syracuse) would draw only a No. 9 seed. Some people think eleven teams from the Big East could make the NCAA Tournament. That would shatter the previous record of eight, held by the Big East.

OHIO STATE

Kansas, Pitt, Texas and Duke will give them a run for their money but The Ohio State Buckeyes have been ridiculously dominant. They're no Fab Five or Tarkenian's Runnin' Rebels but will anyone ever be again? Think more along the lines of Melo's Syracuse as freshman phenom Jared Sullinger's 18 points and 10 rebounds per game plow through the NCAA. A single road loss to a Top 15 conference rival is but a blip on the journey for this top ranked team of destiny.

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