NCAA Tournament Bracket 2016

NCAA

The first round of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is set to get underway on March 17th. The brackets for the tournament have been released and “March Madness” is about to hit high gear. While there were some obvious picks made by the NCAA selection committee, true to form there were enough eyebrow-raising choices made that sparked heated debates.

The NCAA “First Four” will take place on March 15th and 16th to completely fill out the brackets with deciding games. It’s Vanderbuilt versus Wichita State and Florida Gulf Coast versus Fairleigh Dickinson on March 15. Holy Cross takes on Southern University and Michigan will lock horns with Tulsa on the 16th.

South Region

Kansas takes the No. 1 overall top seed heading into the tournament. Their impressive 27-4 record speaks volumes, but their depth and talent are undeniable. Kansas is expect to take the South Region, but it might not be a walk in the park with talented teams such as Maryland are waiting in the wings hoping for an upset. Bill Self should be the player to watch for Kansas and he should be the focal point of Kansas’ gameplan. They face Austin Peay in the first round of the South Region. The winner should face the victor of the Colorado versus Connecticut match-up.

Before Maryland sets a date to face off with Kansas, they first have to do away with their Round 1 foe, South Dakota State which is a darkhorse to throw a monkey wrench into their plans. In their bracket is California versus Hawaii with California favored to advance to the next round.

Sixth seed in the South, Arizona, is set to face the winner of the Vanderbuilt Wichita State game.

First Round

Kansas vs. Austin Peay

Colorado vs. Connecticut

Maryland vs. South Dakota State

California vs. Hawaii

Arizona vs. (TBD)

Miami vs. Buffalo

Villanova vs. UNC Asheville

West Region

Oregon takes the top seed in this region. After winning the PAC-12 they head into the tournament with some solid momentum. They take on the winner of the Holy Cross-Southern University game in the “First Four”. The West is an interesting region. Aside from Oregon, Duke and Oklahoma are serious contenders to emerge from the the West.

First Round

Oregon vs. (TBD)

Saint Joseph’s vs. Cincinnati

Baylor vs. Yale

Duke vs. UNC Willmington

Texas vs. Northern Iowa

Texas A&M vs. Green Bay

Oregon State vs. VCU

Oklahoma vs. CSU Baskersfield

East Region

The East region is stacked with many talented teams. Heading the pack is North Carolina which earned the top seed in this group. They finished with an impressive 28-6 record, but have a tough road ahead. They are expected to face Providence in the next stage and possibly Kentucky after that. One of the surprises in the announced brackets was Kentucky falling to the fourth seed. They did win the SEC tournament and could have made a case to be seeded higher than West Virginia. That said, West Virginia is healthy and their roster depth and tenacious defense could be a source of headaches for future opponents.

One of the more interesting potential match-ups to come out of the East could be an exciting showdown between Kentucky and Indiana, two regular tournament rivals in the past.

First Round

North Carolina vs. (TBD)

USC vs. Providence

Indiana vs. Chattanooga

Kentucky vs. Stoney Brook

Notre Dame vs. (TBD)

West Virginia vs. Stephen F. Austin

Wisconsin vs. Pittsburgh

Xavier vs. Weber State

Midwest Region

Virginia earned the No. 1 seed in the Midwest. Malcolm Brogdon took home the ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards and is poised to lead Virginia to a deep run in the tournament. Another hot contender to emerge out of the Midwest is Michigan State. They have Denzel Valentine, who is very talented and can be a catalyst for some key wins moving forward. Seton Hall vs. Gonzaga should be a must-watch first round match-up.

First Round

Virginia vs. Hampton

Texas Tech vs. Butler

Purdue vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Iowa State vs. Iona

Seton Hall vs. Gonzaga

Utah vs. Fresno State

Dayton vs. Syracuse

Michigan State vs. Middle Tennessee

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With the NCAA brackets set and teams ready to go, who are your bets to take home the Gold at the end of the tournament.

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