UNC wins the entire national championshipo based on the Las Vegas odds, and Kentucky wins the whole title based on the most NBA talent on the court. UCLA wins the Region based on the top 3 players, and Wichita State based on specific matchups.
Click here for the grid showing the results of the entire tournament using 10 different approaches. If you simply want to fill out a bracket quickly, you can go straight to that link and fill out your bracket in about two minutes choosing any of the 10 options. That post also explains the 10 different approaches. Many more stories appear here, and you can sort the rating for all 4000+ players and see who is injured by clicking on www.valueaddbasketball.com.
Greenville, South Carolina
South: No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Texas Southern
South: No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Seton Hall
Top 10 Players
37, Justin Jackson #44, North Carolina
68, Joel Berry #2, North Carolina
92, Kennedy Meeks #3, North Carolina
96, Angel Delgado #31, Seton Hall
139, Isaiah Hicks #4, North Carolina
155, Khadeen Carrington #0, Seton Hall
190, Daryl Macon #4, Arkansas
229, Desi Rodriguez #20, Seton Hall
277, Moses Kingsley #33, Arkansas
348, Marvin Jones #24, Texas Southern
Everyone in this group is red hot, with UNC letting one slip away against Duke, Arkansas improving from 59th to 38th, and Seton Hall moving up falling just short of making it six straight wins with a defeat of Villanova until Josh Hart scored a game-winning on an offensive rebound.
Health: UNC’s Theo Pinson makes them even better, but missing games kept him out of the top 100.
Possible “style/home” edge upset: UNC’s weakness is they do give up a lot of steals (179th at protecting the ball) which could be a real problem against Seton Hall (68th in steals) but a bigger problem against Arkansas (37th in steals). Still, UNC’s huge home crowd for a game played just down the road in South Carolina should pull them through even if they get a close game.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1st two rounds
South: No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee
South: No. 4 Butler vs. No. 13 Winthrop
Top 10 Players
58, Reggie Upshaw #30, Middle Tennessee
88, Giddy Potts #20, Middle Tennessee
102, Nate Mason #2, Minnesota
136, Jacorey Williams #22, Middle Tennessee
146, Keon Johnson #5, Winthrop
217, Andrew Chrabascz #45, Butler
244, Kelan Martin #30, Butler
273, Jordan Murphy #3, Minnesota
276, Amir Coffey #5, Minnesota
293, Kamar Baldwin #3, Butler
If it comes down to the top trio, Middle Tennessee dominates with three of the top four players.
Possible “style/home” edge upset: Middle Tennessee could get some steals (23rd best) against Minnesota (93rd best at protecting the ball). Winthrop should get up some 3-pointers (49th) against a Butler team that is only 224th in forcing opponents to shoot 2s instead of 3s, but Butler has huge home advantage in a Big East arena they play in every year.
South: No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Kansas State/Wake Forest
South: No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 14 Kent State
Top 10 Players
9, John Collins #20, Wake Forest
10, Lonzo Ball #2, UCLA
38, Jacob Evans #1, Cincinnati
47, TJ Leaf #22, UCLA
51, Gary Clark #11, Cincinnati
59, Bryant Crawford #13, Wake Forest
79, Wesley Iwundu #25, Kansas St.
114, Jimmy Hall #35, Kent St.
133, Dean Wade #32, Kansas St.
175, Bryce Alford #20, UCLA
Potential coaching match up of great former players in Danny Manning (coaching Wake Forest) and Steve Alford (UCLA).
Kent State improved from 171st to 141st with a great end of season run.
Possible “style/home” edge upset: Cincinnati (19th in steals) could wreak havoc on Kansas State (258th in protecting the ball) or even Wake Forest (140th). Wake Forest could make up some of that ground with 3-pointers (30th in the country, while Cincy’s defense is only 197th at forcing 2-point shots). UCLA has the big home court advantage and as the 6th best three-point shooting team should have their way with any of the other four teams from behind the arc except perhaps Kansas State (83rd best at forcing 2-point shots).
South: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Wichita State
South: No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Northern Kentucky
33, Malik Monk #5, Kentucky
76, Edrice Adebayo #3, Kentucky
80, De'Aaron Fox #0, Kentucky
98, Markis McDuffie #32, Wichita St.
108, Landry Shamet #11, Wichita St.
167, Scoochie Smith #11, Dayton
207, Conner Frankamp #33, Wichita St.
214, Charles Cooke #4, Dayton
228, Kyle Davis #3, Dayton
299, Derek Willis #35, Kentucky
Wichita has won 15 straight to move from 28th to 8th. Kentucky rolled through the SEC championship.
Possible “style/home” edge upset: Both Dayton and Wichita State allow a lot of 3-point attempts (283rd and 267th respectively at forcing opponents to take 2’s). The problem for Dayton is that Wichita shoots 3-pointers even better than they do (3rd in the nation vs. 29th). Unfortunately for the winner of that game, Kentucky is one of the best at preventing both three-point attempts (51st) and steals (6th).