Kentucky is the obvious favorite here and I don't envision a lot of early round upsets. I do like what Colorado has done, they are the epitome of a team that plays well and plays fantastic defense. I love Baylor from a talent standpoint and that alone could get the Bears to a Sweet 16 appearance. Quincy Miller and Perry Jones III are both top 10 talents. Indiana lost a senior guard to an ACL injury (I think) in the Big 10 tournament, so that hurst a bit. I do hate the fact that Iowa St. has to play Kentucky in the second round and had this been a bit of an easier matchup for the Cyclones, I'd be picking them a bit further. Obviously Duke is another team that is supremely talented, but Kentucky is better as they have three players that could be top 10 picks in the NBA draft: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrence Jones.
Michigan St. gets the #1 seed, but I'm in love with what Missouri does both offensively and defensively. Missouri has five players averaging in double-figures: Marcus Denmon, Kim English, Ricardo Ratliffe, Michael Dixon and Phil Pressey. Missouri's biggest fault, which hasn't been a problem most of the year, is the lack of an inside presence. Florida is a fantastic team and they are the one team that I could see giving Missouri trouble. Bradley Beal is Florida's best player. Michigan St. is a balanced team led by Draymond Green. I very much like New Mexico, and am also baffled by the fact that Steve Alford hasn't been courted by other programs to be their head coach, but I'm guessing that he's comfortable there and is simply dominating in the MWC, with another balanced team. Many of you have already mentioned that the West Region is the toughest region and I'd tend to agree.
The East Region and Midwest Region are after the jump.
My favorite team out of this region is Vanderbilt for no reason other than I visited Nashville a few summers ago and like the campus. Actually, the other reason is that they have New Mexico native Jeff Taylor who is a fantastic forward and at one time there was the thought that Taylor could end up at Texas Tech as his father played at Texas Tech. Can't imagine how a player of his caliber would have changed the history. John Jenkins is Vandy's best player averaging almost 20 points a game. With Fab Melo out for Syracuse for the entire tournament due to some grade issues, this region is wide open although Ohio St. was one of the dominant teams in the Big 10 for most of the year. Jared Sullinger has stepped up his game and he can be dominating inside. Florida St. is another team that has flown under the radar for the most part, at least for me, but won the ACC Tournament and are incredibly hot going into the tournament.
Creighton's head coach Greg McDermott has the pleasure of coaching his son, Doug McDermott, a lightly recruited forward who was was pretty good as a freshman but has exploded onto the scene this year, averaging 23 points a game. A versatile forward that shoots 61% from the floor and has been fantastic all year. As you would expect, North Carolina is talent laden, led by Harrison Barnes and John Henson, both likely lottery picks. Kansas is my team that I think advances here, most likely because I saw them play so much in the Big 12, but they are an excellent team led by Thomas Robinson who will create issues for just about ever team except for North Carolina. I also like Michigan, but only because they have Tim Hardaway, Jr., but freshman point guard Trey Burke is the team's best player.
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