Old-school hoops fans who'd like to tear their eyes away from the computer screen, put pencil to paper and actually fill out a physical copy of the 2016 NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket are in luck.
In terms of filling the bracket out, even the most plugged-in college basketball aficionados' attempts to project how the Big Dance will play out are often looked upon askance in retrospect.
The biggest favorites are capable of being toppled as early as the second round. Look no further than last year, when two No. 2 seeds, Kansas and Villanova—now respective first and second seeds in the South region for the 2016 tourney, by the way—fell in the round of 32.
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Never has a No. 16 seed defeated a No. 1, so there are four games in the first round that bracket challenge participants can bank on getting right. Beyond those contests, pitfalls galore can foil even those who believe to be experts and think, "This is the year I'll have a perfect bracket!"
When two No. 14 seeds, Georgia State and UAB, won in 2015, only 1.9 percent of the brackets in ESPN.com's massive collection had both those upstarts as winners.
And that's two games—to maintain perfection through even the initial wave of March Madness, one would have to accurately forecast an additional 30 games.
The best squads in the country look particularly strong this season. Kansas returned a lot of players from last year's No. 2-seeded team, including Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden Jr. and Devonte' Graham. It also defeated West Virginia 81-71 on Saturday to win the Big 12 tournament.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports hinted at how well that collective experience has served the Jayhawks this season as the consensus No. 1 across both major polls:
But Michigan State may have even better play on the perimeter. Sharpshooter Bryn Forbes was sinking three-pointers at a 49.3 percent clip, while chief catalyst Denzel Valentine posted averages of 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.6 assists per contest entering Sunday's game against Purdue.
KenPom.com's overall ratings have the Virginia Cavaliers above every other big-time program other than Kansas, though.
Virginia is a phenomenal defensive team, just as it was last year, led by senior guard Malcolm Brogdon. In addition to being an outstanding on-ball defender, he has improved his offense in 2015-16 and is a better shooter than he was at any other point in his career.
The aforementioned trio is capable of making it to the Final Four in Houston, but beyond that, there are hardly any certainties as the magnificent chaos of March approaches.