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NCAA Bracket Picks, Southeast Regional: Pittsburgh Panthers Final Four Favorite

Round of 64

#1 Pittsburgh Panthers vs. #16 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs: Pitt. I hope I don't have to justify this one.

#2 Florida Gators vs. #15 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos: One of the ingredients for a big-time upset is rebounding, and UCSB isn't very good at that. Florida.

#3 BYU Cougars vs. #14 Wofford TerriersSee here for more info on this game. Yeah, BYU is weaker without Brandon Davies, but they're not that weak. BYU.

#4 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #13 Belmont BruinsSee here for more info on this game. Wisconsin by a smidge.

#5 Kansas St. Wildcats vs. #12 Utah St. Aggies: Kansas State grabs offensive rebounds. Utah State grabs defensive rebounds. Kansas State can't hold onto the ball. Utah State can't take it away from them. The Wildcats can't shoot though. The Aggies can, at least a little bit better than KSU. Utah State was seeded way too low here.

#6 St. John's Red Storm vs. #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs: These are practically identical teams...except in one facet. Neither side can defend threes. Only Gonzaga can shoot them. Gonzaga.

#7 UCLA Bruins vs. #10 Michigan St. Spartans: I'm a Pac-10 follower, and UCLA is just a step slower than  Michigan State. UCLA shoots threes as badly as Sparty defends them, Michigan State crashes the glass and should keep UCLA off of it. The Bruins are also more turnover prone, which doesn't help their cause. Michigan St.

#8 Butler Bulldogs vs. #9 Old Dominion Monarchs: See here for more info on this game.  Slight lean to Old Dominion.


Round of 32

#1 Pitt vs. #9 Old Dominion: A battle of the two best offensive rebounding teams in the country! And also one of the best three point shooting teams against one of the worst three point shooting defenses. Blowout city. Pitt.

#2 Florida vs. #10 Michigan St.: The Gators are a weak two seed, but they've been handled a gift bracket to the Sweet 16. Too bad. Florida.

#3 BYU vs. #11 Gonzaga:  Don't think there isn't serious upset potential brewing here. These are both pretty even teams with Freddette gone. Still, think long and hard about pulling Gonzaga, even with their great two point offense and defense. all the way into the Sweet 16.

I won't. Gonzaga.

#4 Wisconsin vs. #12 Utah St.: This is a Sweet 16 matchup coming to us a round early. Wisconsin they should have an edge because they hold onto the ball and won't lose it back to the Aggies, which should allow them to run their offense at Wisconsin's pace. Both teams are defensive rebounding stalwarts. I'm going with Utah State in the upset here; they're solid in many categories, and can play defense at the same pace that Wisconsin plays offense. Perfect matchup for the Aggies.


Sweet 16

#1 Pitt vs. #12 Utah St.:  This is not a perfect matchup for the Aggies, since Pitt is pretty much a better version of them.

#2 Florida vs. #11 Gonzaga: You know the Bulldogs haven't been to the Elite 8 since 2000? Time to change that by taking advantage of one of the weakest bottom halves of a bracket anyone has ever seen. Bulldogs.


Elite 8

#1 Pitt vs. #11 Gonzaga: It really didn't matter who was going in the second slot--Pitt was miles better than any of the other teams in the bracket, and this is the year they're headed to the Final Four.