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Picking the Bracket: Houston Wins, 40 Years After '83 Loss

In case you are like lots of the nation, you almost certainly did not rely on a No. 8 seed achieving the nationwide identify sport remaining 12 months — or a No. 15 seed making it to the Elite 8.

Thanks North Carolina and Saint Peter’s, who made certain there may be nowhere for our brackets to head however up in 2023.

This season, after all, selecting the March Madness bracket comes with its personal set of attainable pitfalls. How do you account for accidents at Houston and UCLA? Can protecting champ Kansas make every other run after shedding handily within the Large 12 Event ultimate? Is that this the 12 months you’ll be able to believe the Large Ten?

Right here’s one technique to move with the bracket:

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First 4: Texas A&M Corpus Christi over Southeast Missouri State.

First around winners: Alabama, West Virginia, San Diego State, Virginia, Creighton, Baylor, Utah State and Arizona.

Maryland was once terrific at house this season and now not superb at the street. At a impartial web site, the Terrapins get a difficult first-round matchup towards a West Virginia staff ranked seventeenth by Ken Pomeroy.

2nd around winners: Alabama, Virginia, Baylor, Arizona.

The seeds dangle in around two. Bob Huggins can have some methods up his sleeve towards the Red Tide, however Alabama will have to have a bonus enjoying in Birmingham.

Regional semifinal winners: Alabama, Baylor.

Tony Bennett’s Virginia staff turns out like the perfect staff to decelerate a run-and-gun staff like Alabama, however first the Cavaliers need to get previous the primary around, which is rarely a sure bet. Time to hedge somewhat through hanging Virginia within the Candy 16 however having the Red Tide advance.

Regional champion: Alabama.

The Red Tide play rapid and shoot numerous 3s, and so they’re additionally one of the vital most sensible defensive groups within the nation. Turnovers may well be a topic, however they have got sufficient alternative ways to win that they’ll do one thing their soccer staff couldn’t this 12 months — achieve the Ultimate 4.

First 4: Texas Southern over Fairleigh Dickinson.

First around winners: Purdue, Memphis, Duke, Tennessee, Windfall, Kansas State, Southern California, Marquette.

Now and then this season the Large Ten felt like Purdue and about 11 bubble groups. That holds true within the first around of this area, with the Boilermakers advancing however Michigan State bowing out early towards USC.

2nd around winners: Purdue, Tennessee, Kansas State, Marquette.

Tennessee-Duke is a marquee second-round matchup between two of the simpler offensive rebounding groups round. In addition to the Blue Devils have performed just lately, the Volunteers are ranked within the most sensible 5 through Pomeroy and No. 8 within the nation at ShotQuality.com.

Regional semifinal winners: Tennessee, Marquette.

Zakai Zeigler’s damage will meet up with the Volunteers ultimately, however first they oust Purdue, avenging their overtime loss to the Boilermakers within the 2019 Candy 16. (A refresher: Carsen Edwards was once fouled on a 3-pointer within the ultimate seconds and made two unfastened throws to pressure OT.)

Regional champion: Marquette.

What a season for Shaka Good, who coached Marquette to regular-season and event titles within the Large East. The Golden Eagles will pressure turnovers, and in contrast to a few of Good’s groups prior to now, this is a good staff offensively.

First 4: Mississippi State over Pittsburgh.

First around winners: Houston, Iowa, Drake, Kent State, Mississippi State, Xavier, Texas A&M, Texas.

Sure, that matchup between Texas and Texas A&M in the second one around is going on. Additionally, Drake will likely be a well-liked disenchanted select after rolling in the course of the Missouri Valley Event.

2nd around winners: Houston, Drake, Mississippi State, Texas.

Texas is making an attempt to practice within the footsteps of Steve Fisher’s 1989 Michigan staff, which gained the nationwide identify beneath an intervening time trainer. It’ll be much less of a wonder if the Longhorns pull it off, since we’ve already noticed them win the Large 12 Event beneath Rodney Terry.

Regional semifinal winners: Houston, Mississippi State.

Sure, if this involves fruition, Houston may just make the Ultimate 4 through beating 3 double-digit seeds in 4 video games.

Regional champion: Houston.

Clearly, the groin damage to Marcus Sasser is a large worry, however the Cougars will have to be capable to make it in the course of the first weekend although he’s now not at complete power, and assuming he returns ahead of too lengthy, Houston is the most productive staff on this area.

First 4: Nevada over Arizona State.

First around winners: Kansas, Illinois, Saint Mary’s, UConn, TCU, Gonzaga, Northwestern, UCLA.

Rick Pitino vs. UConn indubitably brings again some Large East reminiscences. It’s a difficult draw for Thirteenth-seeded Iona.

2nd around winners: Illinois, Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga, Northwestern.

The Large Ten at all times turns out like a polarizing league on this match, so right here’s a prediction: 0 Large Ten groups achieve the Elite 8, however Illinois and Northwestern take out the highest two seeds within the West. Let the recent takes fly.

Regional semifinal winners: Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga.

The West Coast Convention’s second of glory.

Regional champion: Gonzaga.

The Zags come into this event on a roll and with out the large expectancies of seasons previous. Pencil them in for but every other Candy 16 — and a Ultimate 4 as effectively.

Semifinal winners: Alabama, Houston.

If Alabama makes it this a ways, the scrutiny is also much more intense for a program that’s been within the information for numerous the fallacious causes in recent times. Former Alabama participant Darius Miles and every other guy had been indicted on capital murder charges for the January capturing demise of 23-year-old Jamea Harris. A police investigator testified last month that Miles texted Red Tide superstar Brandon Miller to deliver him his gun that evening. Miller has now not been charged and has persevered to play.

Houston-Gonzaga can be an enchanting matchup, however the Zags nonetheless aren’t nice defensively. The Cougars are the extra well-rounded staff.

In order that would arrange an Alabama-Houston identify sport, with the Red Tide glad to push the pace and the Cougars completely at ease in a rock combat.

The Cougars are just right sufficient defensively to overcome the Red Tide, and 40 years after Phi Slama Jama’s heartbreaking loss to N.C. State within the identify sport, Houston wins all of it.

Practice Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This subject matter will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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