NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions: A Complete Bracket to Help You Win
March Madness has arrived and the excitement is at a fever pitch.
The madness started last week but now it’s time to fill in your office brackets or the ones you do with the family.
Everyone has their strategies, but it’s far from an exact science.
This is my complete bracket that could help you settle some of your mental battles.
(Bolded teams are winners.)
First Round: Playing to Get In
No. 16 Alabama State vs. No. 16 Texas-San Antonio
No. 12 UAB vs. No. 12 Clemson
No. 11 USC vs. No. 11 VCU
No. 16 UNC Asheville vs. No. 16 Arkansas-Little Rock
Now that the tournament has expanded to 68 teams, the first round will consist of four games that will decide the last four into the traditional 64-team bracket.
This is where all of the discussion of snubs came in with Colorado, Harvard and Virginia Tech missing the tournament in favor of teams like VCU and UAB.
Now it's on to the real first round!
Second Round: East Pt. I
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 16 Alabama State
No. 8 George Mason vs. No. 9 Villanova
No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 12 Clemson
No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Princeton
While Ohio State, West Virginia and Kentucky are favorites, these games could be tough for these high-ranked teams.
The upset of this set is Villanova. The team is on a bad slide but head coach Jay Wright can get his guys to play big when they need too.
Second Round: East Pt. II
No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 11 Marquette
No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Indiana State
No. 7 Washington vs. No. 10 Georgia
No. 2 North Carolina vs. No. 15 LIU
While I don’t have any upsets in this bracket, that doesn’t mean these teams don’t have a chance.
The two teams most likely to upset the favorite are Marquette and Georgia. Both teams are built well and they will give their opposition fits.
I feel Marquette would be closer to an upset than Georgia.
Second Round: West Pt. I
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Hampton
No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 9 Tennessee
No. 5 Arizona vs. No. 12 Memphis
No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 Oakland
Another bracket with not a ton of upsets. This season just doesn’t feel like a wild upset season but that never stopped it from being wild before.
While Tennessee is a slight upset, I think Memphis and Oakland have a good chance against their opponents. Both teams play to their opponents' weaknesses and an upset by either team wouldn’t be that big of a stretch.
Second Round: West Pt. II
No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Missouri
No. 3 UConn vs. No. 14 Bucknell
No. 7 Temple vs. No. 10 Penn State
No. 2 San Diego State vs. No. 15 North Colorado
I can hear it already, people telling me I picked nothing but favorites and slight underdogs.
Each team I picked is better than their opponent but I think they all will win. The biggest possible shocker could be Penn State taking down in-state rival Temple.
Second Round: Southwest Pt. I
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Boston University
No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Illinois
No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 12 Richmond
No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 Morehead State
To be honest, Illinois has been bad down the stretch and I feel the only team that has a legitimate shot at an upset is Richmond.
I do not believe there will be any upsets, though.
Second Round: Southwest Pt. II
No. 6 Georgetown vs. No. 11 USC
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Saint Peter's
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Florida State
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 15 Akron
Look, an upset!
One of the few second-round upsets I picked. Florida State matches up well against Texas A&M and could easily hand them a loss.
USC has a good chance of taking down Georgetown but I think the Hoyas' experience will carry them on.
Second Round: Southeast Pt. I
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 16 Arkansas-Little Rock
No. 8 Butler vs. No. 9 Old Dominion
No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 12 Utah State
No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Belmont
Butler was the Cinderella of last year’s tournament and the Bulldogs look to try to make another splash this season.
Some pundits at ESPN are taking Belmont over Wisconsin but I just don’t see it. Belmont is good but I don’t know if they are good enough to go on.
Second Round: Southeast Pt. II
No. 6 St. John’s vs. No. 11 Gonzaga
No. 3 BYU vs. No. 14 Wofford
No. 7 UCLA vs. No. 10 Michigan State
No. 2 Florida vs. No. 15 UCSB
While St. John's had a solid run this season, I believe the loss of D.J. Kennedy is too much for the Red Storm to overcome.
I think Florida could possibly be a big upset but I think the Gators will get out of the second round.
Third Round: East
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Villanova
No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 4 Kentucky
No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 3 Syracuse
No. 7 Washington vs. No. 2 North Carolina
It seems like the trend of favorites winning continues into the third round but we have one blip on the upset radar.
While North Carolina has been playing solid, Washington is a solid team that can get under the Tar Heels' skin and steal a victory.
Third Round: West
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 9 Tennessee
No. 5 Arizona vs. No. 4 Texas
No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 3 UConn
No. 7 Temple vs. No. 2 San Diego State
While this is one of the strongest divisions on the bracket, it is not exempt from upsets.
Duke, UConn and San Diego State are going to move past their opponents but I believe Arizona will upset Texas.
Third Round: Southwest
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 UNLV
No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 4 Louisville
No. 6 Georgetown vs. No. 3 Purdue
No. 10 Florida State vs. No. 2 Notre Dame
Kansas looks too strong to lose to UNLV, and Notre Dame looks strong as well.
If Louisville and Vanderbilt meet in the third round, it will be a war.
My upset of this division will be Georgetown beating the injured Purdue Boilermakers.
Third Round: Southeast
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 8 Butler
No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 4 Wisconsin
No. 11 Gonzaga vs. No. 3 BYU
No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Florida
While the obvious favorites Pittsburgh and BYU will move on with little resistance, both Michigan State and Kansas State will upset their opponents.
Florida is overrated, and something about Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans teams helps them win in the tournament.
K-State is good and Jacob Pullen will help the Wildcats pull out the victory.
Sweet 16: East
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Kentucky
No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 7 Washington
This round is always my favorite because you start weeding out the teams that shouldn’t be there.
Ohio State will have a test in Kentucky but I think the Buckeyes will pass.
Washington will give Syracuse a hard game but I don’t think the Huskies can finish the Orange off.
Sweet 16: West
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 5 Arizona
No. 3 UConn vs. No. 2 San Diego State
While the Arizona-Duke game will be great, the best game of the Sweet 16 could be San Diego State against UConn.
While UConn may be the hottest team in the nation right now, having to win five games in five days may have cost the Huskies some serious stamina.
Sweet 16: Southwest
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Louisville
No. 6 Georgetown vs. No. 2 Notre Dame
While I didn’t pick any upsets, this could be the set of games that sees two underdogs win.
Notre Dame is tough but a Georgetown team could try to shut down the Irish's three-point shooting.
Louisville is a tough out for any team, even the Kansas Jayhawks.
Sweet 16: Southeast
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 5 Kansas State
No. 3 BYU vs. No. 10 Michigan State
I think BYU will roll over Michigan State but I think that Pittsburgh will have trouble with K-State.
Kansas State comes to play every game and they will not lie down for a Pittsburgh team that can be exposed.
I think Pitt's defense is strong enough to stop Kansas State; be on upset alert.
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Syracuse
Syracuse is one of the best teams in the nation but Ohio State has too many weapons.
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 San Diego State
The Cinderella story comes to a halt for San Diego State when Duke shows its true colors and runs through the Aztecs like a freight train.
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Notre Dame
Kansas will out-shoot a shooting team in Notre Dame. This won't be as close as people think.
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 3 BYU
I think BYU is too strong and Pitt's defense can't handle Jimmer.
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Duke
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 3 BYU
While Duke has the pedigree to win it all, it just seems like Ohio State has all the tools to beat a squad like Duke.
Kansas is arguably the best team in the nation, but my notion for this bracket is to ride the Jimmer train.
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 3 BYU
I think Jimmer Fredette takes the national championship and makes it his personal showcase.
I think he takes Ohio State’s defense and rains all over the Buckeyes with big shots. While Sullinger will be a tough stop, Fredette will score over 40 points to help BYU win it all.
Whether I am right or not, I can predict it will be a wild ride.