The official NCAA Tournament bracket composed of 68 teams has been announced and the First Four games begin on March 14. Here are five bold predictions for one of sports’ most unpredictable events.
5. Kansas State vs. Wake Forest will be a classic overtime game in the First Four
After its introduction in 2011, the First Four always featured at least one competitive game and this one out of 2017 should outshine the others. Both of these squads come from high-major conferences as decent seeds. Expect the night capper on Tuesday to be one of the best games of the regular or post season.
4. Florida Gulf Coast scares Florida State in the second round
Many remember the sensation that was “Dunk City” at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2013 and now the team returns to the big dance. Since the Eagles come from the obscure Atlantic Sun Conference, teams generally have a hard time preparing for them.
3. Jacksonville State upsets Louisville in the second round
Louisville has a history of being upset early in tournaments. Every year, there’s at least one upset in the round of 64 and with this being the Gamecocks’ first Division I-A trip to the Tournament, expect them to have some magic going for them against the Cardinals.
2. UCLA vs. Kentucky in the Sweet 16
This game is definitely one for television ratings, with TV hyping up two of the nation’s most recognizable freshmen and two schools with a rich basketball history.
1. Gonzaga vs. Notre Dame will come down to a buzzer-beater in the Sweet 16
Although the first three rounds will include a couple of upsets, this year’s Sweet 16 should begin the best basketball for remaining teams and 2017 should also bring one of the best Sweet 16s in recent memory.