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NCAA March Madness Tournament - Initial Bracket Impressions


By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

The brackets are out and everyone is busy filling out their brackets and looking for the upsets and teams that will advance to the Final Four. However, let's give some initial impressions of the brackets broken down by region and the bubble teams who got in and who were left out.

Atlanta Region:

  • George Washington getting an eight seed was slightly surprising to a lot of people although could be justified when you think about their weak non-conference schedule and the injury to "Pops". However, what everyone seems to be failing to mention is that their first round matchup against UNC Wilmington is being played in North Carolina!!. This is going to be a home game for UNC Wilmington and don't be surprised to see the upset here.
  • LSU, although young, could be a tough matchup in the Sweet Sixteen for Duke if Thomas comes back full strength for LSU. If not, LSU's youth probably won't be able to hang with Duke in the second week.
  • Although Duke was the top #1 seed, they got what maybe the toughest #2 in their bracket - Texas. This could setup a potential rematch of the 30+ blowout of Texas.
  • West Virginia a six seed? If they can get past South Illinois, they really could matchup great with Texas since Aldridge would have to come out and guard Pittsnoggle out on the perimeter and Aldridge really can't out-muscle Pittsnoggle. West Virginia is the sleeper in this bracket.

    Oakland Region:

  • With the first and second round games being in Missouri, Kansas might have enough to overcome having a young team to get by a tough, physical Pittsburgh.
  • With the second round game in Dallas, Texas, if Arkansas matches up with Memphis, you could see a very pro Arkansas crowd. I see Memphis being the weakest #1 seed and being the first one to be eliminated from the tournament.
  • Xavier is easily the best 14 seed in recent years and should give Gonzaga a very good first round game. Having to play out in Utah though probably saves Gonzaga from the first round upset.
  • UCLA playing their first 2 games out in California should give them a great shot at making it to the Sweet Sixteen in pretty good shape.

    Washington D.C. Region:

  • Tennessee should NOT have been a two seed. A team that loses its last three games, has a first round exit in their conference tournament which was played in their state, should have been a three seed at best, probably a four. North Carolina should have been the two seed which would have made sense since the two seed plays their first two games in - North Carolina.
  • This bracket is FULL of bubble teams that shouldn't have been included in the field of 65 - Utah State, Air Force and George Mason. None of these teams should have been in the field and should have been replaced by Cincinatti, Missouri State and Hofstra.
  • The sleeper of the bracket is Michigan State. If they could get past North Carolina (a very big if), the bottom of the bracket could be wide open with some weaker teams at the bottom.

    Minneapolis Region:

  • Boston College should not have been a four seed and should have been seeded higher. With Villanova being the #1 in this region, an ex-Big East opponent, BC really matches up well in this region. With senior leadership, you might see BC come out of this region.
  • I consider this to be the bracket with the potential for the most upsets. I wouldn't be surprised to see Florida, Oklahoma and Georgetown all lose. UW-Milwaukee definitely has the potential to beat Oklahoma. Florida, being a very young team, could be this year's Syracuse or Kansas.

    Well, these are my initial thoughts. I will be posting thoughts not only to my blog, but to the Sports Forums here on Hagrin.com to encourage discussion on the brackets and to ask for bracket picking advice.