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Bracket Advice — If You Need It!

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The NCAA men’s basketball tournament gets into full swing tomorrow (there are actually 2 play-in games tonight), and most of us have filled out some brackets by now. Picking winners in “The Big Dance” is an inexact science. But through years of doing this for REAL MONEY, and from paying close attention to this college basketball season, I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of how this one is going to play out.

The best team in the nation is Kansas, period. They are my pick to win the national championship. The Jayhawks have no weaknesses. I believe that the Big 12, NOT the Big East, is the best basketball conference in the land. As evidence, my other three Final Four teams are; Ohio State, Kansas State, and Texas. Under this scenario, we would have 3 of the 4 Final Four teams from the Big 12.

Kansas State is my biggest ‘sleeper’ of the tournament. The Wildcats are very dangerous, and hot right now (narrowly losing to Kansas in the conference tourney). People forget that K-State was ranked #8 in the pre-season poll. They struggled in December and early January, but have now rounded into form very nicely at the right time of the year.

It would also be a mistake to dismiss Richmond. The Spiders may be the hottest team in the country right now. They just won their conference tournament very impressively, they start 4 seniors, they can defend very well, and they shoot the lights out. Don’t be surprised if they make it to the Sweet 16, or beyond.

As far as some first round upsets to look out for, let’s start with Richmond beating Vanderbilt. Also, look out for Marquette, who may have a distinct class advantage versus Xavier. Marquette was respectable in the Big East, while Xavier faltered down the stretch in the Atlantic 10 Conference. I also like Penn State, getting a favorable match-up against Temple. The Nittany Lions were one of the better Big 10 teams over the last month, and they too, start 4 seniors.

Good luck with those brackets. You’ll thank me when Kansas is cutting the nets down.

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