It's that time of the year again folks. Time to be overly optimistic about your bracket before the tourney starts and start to burn it after round one. If you enjoy the thrill of filling out brackets then make sure to help support this blog by clicking here and joining the SB Nation "Wisdom of the Crowds" group. I'd like to thank Yahoo for sponsoring SB Nation and making this promotion possible.
Somehow, Ohio made the tournament again for the MAC. Akron made the NIT and Kent, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Toledo will play in the NIT. If the NIU Huskies continue their upward projectory, then they'll wear a shoe in a tourney in the next couple years. Will it be a glass slipper? Only time will tell.
It's been a heck of a year for mid-majors, so let's break down what opportunities a smaller team might have a chance at breaking through to the Final Four.
Here you have two small schools that really shine in Wichita State and Virginia Commonwealth. However, they are 5 and 12 seeds and play each other! I'll give the opening matchup to Wichita State. The Shockers should make it to the Sweet 16, where they have to face the Kentucky world-beaters. If they can somehow beat the Wildcats, Wichita is a shoe-in for the Final Four. Not likely though.
Murray State is way overrated and might lose to Colorado State. I like Memphis and New Mexico, but they are from conferences above the red line. If Long Beach State can get going, they might make some noise as a 12 seed.
This area is very chalky. Maybe St. Bonaventure can beat FSU or Montana over Wisconsin, but I'm not confident about it.
I like Detroit against Kansas. If Kansas wins I like St. Mary's against Kansas. Despite being the MVC champs, I can't back Creighton because they don't play defense at all. Don't like Ohio against Michigan either.
I'll probably have to retract on a position or two once I look more into these games, but that's what I have right now after following college basketball pretty intensely for an entire season.
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