NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions: Which High Seeds Have the Worst Odds?
These next three weeks are going to be fun for hoops fans all over the country. The games offer everything we look for in sports. There is elite competition, drama and surprise wins.
Unlike college football, the best national championship will be decided on the court. This is how fans want it to be done. The single-elimination format is what keeps the fans on the edge of their seats.
Here are the high seeds who may not make it to the Final Four in Houston.
Florida: No. 2 Seed in the Southeast
Florida won the SEC regular season title but were blown out against Kentucky in the SEC Tournament finals.
In fact, Kentucky beat them twice in 15 days but got a lower seed. Florida should have been seeded fourth.
Florida has depth and can defend. They will likely make it to the Sweet Sixteen, but after that will be playing on house money. They may not even make it past Michigan State in round 2.
Don't bet the house on the Gators making it to the Final Four.
Notre Dame: No. 2 Seed in the Southwest
Notre Dame has five seniors and they play solid defense.
The Irish should get to the Sweet Sixteen but will have a tough time getting past Georgetown or Purdue. If they aren't hitting threes, they are very beatable.
Don't pencil Notre Dame in the Final Four.
North Carolina: No. 2 Seed in the East
North Carolina looks like the first high seed to be bounced. They have a tough game in the first round against Long Island.
Their real test will be against Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen. Syracuse is a sleeper to get to the Final Four and has a good chance of knocking off North Carolina.
Vote NO on North Carolina in the Final Four.
San Diego State: No. 2 Seed in the West
San Diego State is better than many think. The problem they will have is Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Huskies are going to be a tough team to beat. If they can somehow beat UConn, they have Duke.
San Diego State won't make it to the Final Four.
Duke: No. 1 Seed in the West
Duke won the ACC Tournament game and goes in the big dance with momentum. They also have a pretty nice path to the Final Four.
To get to the Final Four, Duke has Texas in the Sweet Sixteen and San Diego State or Connecticut. The most dangerous of those is Connecticut.
If Kemba Walker gets it going, they won't go out easily. San Diego State is better than a lot of people think, also.
Duke is a good bet to make it to Houston.
Kansas: No. 1 Seed in the Southwest
Kansas is a legitimate No. 1 seed. They shoot and rebound well. They will have a tough test against Louisville but should beat the Cardinals.
The other team to watch out for is Purdue. Purdue is a sleeper team for many and can knock off Kansas, but Kansas should take it.
Pencil Kansas in for the Final Four.
Pittsburgh: No. 1 Seed in the Southeast
Pittsburgh is a top-notch basketball team, but they don't seem deserving of the No. 1 seed.
That said, to get to the Final Four, Pittsburgh would have to beat Wisconsin and Florida.
Those are winnable games for the Panthers.
Feel free to pencil in Pittsburgh in the Final Four.
Ohio State: No. 1 Seed in the East
Most experts think that Ohio State has the best team in the country. The geniuses in the selection committee didn't give them an easy path to the finals, however.
To get to the Final Four, the Buckeyes will have to get past North Carolina or Syracuse and Kentucky. The East Region is the toughest of all four regions.
Ohio State will have a tough enough time getting past Kentucky. If Kentucky can make it to the Sweet Sixteen, expect Ohio State to be thoroughly tested.
Kentucky is playing as well as anyone in the country. If they do survive that game, they likely will face an inexperienced North Carolina team, but Syracuse could get there. Both of these teams can beat Ohio State.
Fearless prediction: Ohio State will not make it to Houston. Syracuse or Kentucky will make it instead.