TEAM TO BEAT: Villanova. The Wildcats have had an amazing year and the committee obviously valued them by making them the 2nd overall seed. Nova has been a bit under the radar when compared to the other elite teams.
TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Virginia. Wow, have people just left the Wahoos for dead. A little over a week ago, Virginia was entrenched as the 2nd ranked team in the country. They lose with seconds left at Louisville to end the season then lose to a solid North Carolina team in the ACC tournament. Their only other loss was a late game meltdown against Duke. Now no one believes in them? Watch out.
TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Michigan State. Tom Izzo's teams tend to perform well in the NCAAs. With an interesting bracket laid out here, the Spartans may be able to be the low seed in the Final Four. While they may be an underdog virtually the entire way, they have the ability to move a long way in this bracket.
YOUR CINDERELLA: Dayton. They Flyers are in a First Four game in their own arena. This is a team that went to the Elite 8 last season and head coach Archie Miller has done a great job with this year's team.
WORST SEEDING ERROR: Northern Iowa. How is this team a No. 5 seed? I know rankings don't mean much, but this has been a top 15 team for a bulk of the season and yet they are treated like just some other mid-major? Unreal.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Villanova. To the victors go the spoils. The Wildcats start their journey in-state by traveling to Pittsburgh before moving up the Syracuse for the regional finals. Really, only Providence and Albany can feel great about playing in Syracuse.
MUST WATCH GAME: NC State vs LSU. LSU is talented with a few first round NBA picks on their roster. They are also inconsistent. NC State has been on a nice roll of late and have beaten Duke, Louisville and North Carolina. This will be one of the best matchups of the first (or second or whatever) round.
MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Virginia vs Michigan State. This was a great game in last season's NCAA Tournament and it could be even better. Two tough coaches squaring off. As you saw above, Virginia is my pick to win this region and Michigan State is my danger team pick. One will be gone after this matchup.
South Region preview
East Region preview
West Region preview
Midwest Region preview