It’s Never Too Early for Way-Too-Early March Madness Bracket Predictions!

basketballJust like the headline says…it’s never too early to make ‘way too early’ March Madness bracket predictions.

If you’re wondering which title contending teams could land in certain brackets and which brackets will produce the toughest road to actually winning the 2016 National Basketball championship, then you’re in luck.

Thanks to the expert insight you’re about to get, you’ll have a good idea of which teams could land in which brackets and just how tough those brackets could be to get out of, plus start getting an idea what odds you will find in any major online sportsbook.

With that said, let’s get started with this look at my top eight teams in each region.

2016 Dates and Sites

The First Four
Dayton (March 15-16)

First and Second Round
Denver, Des Moines, Providence, Raleigh (March 17, 19)
Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Spokane (March 18, 20)

Regional Round
Louisville, Anaheim (March 24, 26)
Philadelphia, Chicago (March 25, 27)

Final Four
Houston — NRG Stadium (April 2, 4)

South
1. Oklahoma
2. Xavier
3. Miami
4. Purdue
5. St. Mary’s
6. Pittsburgh
7. Notre Dame
8. Florida State

Analysis:
I like the Oklahoma Sooners to get the No.1 seed in the South region, followed by Xavier, Miami and Purdue to round out the top four seeds. However, it is No. 5 seed St. Mary’s that I believe could potentially upset the entire region, though most hoops fans don’t know much about the Gaels (19-3 SU).

St. Mary’s averages a respectable 76.4 points per game, but it on the defensive end of the floor where they really excel. The Gaels rank second in the nation in points allowed (59.3 ppg) and could force any opponent into a horrific offensive performance in a one-game situation.

Midwest
1. Maryland
2. Virginia
3. West Virginia
4. Texas A&M
5. Baylor
6. Arizona
7. Kentucky
8. Seton Hall

Analysis:
I’ve got the Terrapins getting the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region, even if most college basketball prognosticators have one of the four No. 1 seeds going to Kansas. Not only are the high-flying Terrapins my pick to get the top seed in this region, but they’re my pick to come out of this region as well.

Having said that, let me also admit that it’s quite possible that Virginia, West Virginia or a Texas A&M team that I believe is extremely dangerous, could pull off the ‘upset’ to win this region. Of course, it would be a bit inexcusable to forget all about Kentucky’s roster of McDonald’s All-Americans, who I suspect, can also beat any team in the country on any given day.

West
1. Villanova
2 North Carolina
3. Iowa State
4. Utah
5. Texas
6. Indiana
7. Duke
8. Providence

Analysis:
At this point, I see no reason why top-ranked Villanova won’t get a No. 1 seed in some region and most likely, the West. Of the eight teams I have getting seeds in this region, I believe talent-laden North Carolina and heady Iowa State are the most likely teams to beat out Villanova for a berth in the Final Four.

The Tar Heels (20-4) have a boatload of talent on their roster but need to play composed basketball, something the mostly young team hasn’t done consistently this season. Still, the Heels average a whopping 83.8 points per game (13th) and can score the ball at will on occasion.

East
1. Iowa
2 Michigan State
3. Oregon
4. South Carolina
5. San Diego State
6. Dayton
7. UConn
8. Colorado

Analysis:
The Iowa Hawkeyes are my pick to get the No. 1 seed in the East region, but I think it’s quite possible that Michigan State will represent the East in the Final Four, despite getting smacked around by just about every team in the state of Iowa earlier this season.

No one is really talking about South Carolina (20-3) as a legitimate contender, but I’m thinking that could be a mistake of epic proportions. The Gamecocks have compiled one of the best ATS records in the nation at the time of this writing (15-5 ATS) and could easily be one of those teams that is a good bet throughout the annual March Madness tourney.

Another team I like in this region is the San Diego State Aztecs (18-6 SU). Kawhi Leonard’s alma mater s ranked fifth in the nation in points allowed (60.3 ppg) and could take out one or two higher seeded teams if they can sore the ball fairly consistently.

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