Louisville, considered the heavy favorite, sits atop the loaded Midwest bracket. Although the Cardinals are far and away the best team in the tournament, Rick Petino and company will have a long road to Indianapolis.
Every team through #7 Creighton is ranked in the AP top 25, and 12th seeded Oregon is coming off a Pac-12 title. It is easy to argue that more teams were under-seeded in this bracket than any other.
I fully expect Louisville to emerge from this bracket on to the Final Four, however, the Selection Committee did not give Louisville as comfortable of a path as the #1 overall seed deserves.
Round 1 games on the “Upset Watch” in this bracket are: #8 Colorado St. v. #9 Missouri, #5 Oklahoma St. v. #12 Oregon (Pac 12 tournament champs), and #6 Memphis v. either Middle Tennessee St. or St. Mary’s.
Thursday, Mar. 21
(Lexington, KY)- No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 16 NC A&T/Liberty
(Lexington, KY)- No. 8 Colorado St. vs. No. 9 Missouri
(San Jose, CA)- No. 5 Oklahoma St. vs. No. 12 Oregon
(San Jose, CA)- No. 4 St. Louis vs. No. 13 New Mexico St.
(Auburn Hills, MI)- No. 6 Memphis vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee St./St. Mary’s (CA)
(Auburn Hills, MI)- No. 3 Michigan St. vs. No. 14 Valparaiso
Friday, Mar. 22
(Philadelphia, PA)- No. 7 Creighton vs. No. 10 Cincinnati
(Philadelphia, PA)- No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Albany (NY)