2023 NCAA event on the spot bracket — Jeff Borzello predicts how males’s March Madness will play out

Jeff BorzelloESPN Staff Writer18 Minute Read

Dickie V’s decide to win the NCAA event is?

Dick Vitale makes his predictions for the Elite Eight, Final Four and the championship sport.

It is alleged it’s best to go along with your intestine on the subject of key choices. The extra you mull, the extra you tinker, the extra doubtless you’re to speak your self into different choices which may not be as very best. It goes for all of the essential decisions you make in life: homes, vehicles, jobs — and sure, NCAA event brackets.

Ever since I used to be a child, I might fill out a clean bracket by hand — first within the pullout part of the newspaper, then later printed off ESPN.com — because it was being introduced after which make my picks throughout the break between every area. And a few many years later, it is my perception that is nonetheless one of the simplest ways to do it.

I’ve watched all of the groups and crunched all of the numbers over the course of the previous 4 months, so who wants one other three or 4 days?

So that is what we’re doing right here. It’s a real on the spot bracket, crammed out as the sphere was being introduced. No second-guessing allowed!

First Four (Dayton)

No. 11 Mississippi State 68, No. 11 Pittsburgh 64

No. 11 Arizona State 73, No. 11 Nevada 69

No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 75, No. 16 SE Missouri State 68

No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 76, No. 16 Texas Southern 67

Brackets are open! Head to Tournament Challenge and fill out your bracket now!

Can Penn State make a run within the Midwest Region?

LaPhonso Ellis, Seth Greenberg and Jay Bilas react to the reveal of the Midwest Region.

Midwest Region (Kansas City)


No. 1 Houston 80, No. 16 Northern Kentucky 54
No. 8 Iowa 85, No. 9 Auburn 82

No. 5 Miami 81, No. 12 Drake 79
No. 13 Kent State 72, No. 4 Indiana 71

No. 6 Iowa State 58, No. 11 Mississippi State 53
No. 3 Xavier 86, No. 14 Kennesaw State 68

No. 10 Penn State 69, No. 7 Texas A&M 67
No. 2 Texas 79, No. 15 Colgate 71


No. 1 Houston 77, No. 8 Iowa 66
No. 5 Miami 75, No. 13 Kent State 70

No. 3 Xavier 72, No. 6 Iowa State 60
No. 2 Texas 76, No. 10 Penn State 69


No. 1 Houston 72, No. 5 Miami 66

No. 2 Texas 74, No. 3 Xavier 71


No. 1 Houston 67, No. 2 Texas 65

MIDWEST ANALYSIS: The very first thing that jumps out concerning the Midwest Region is it is Houston on the prime, not Kansas. The Jayhawks enjoying in Kansas City for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight would have been an enormous benefit for Bill Self’s membership, however they have been shipped out West. Assuming Marcus Sasser is wholesome for the event, Houston would be the heavy favourite to return out of this area. But there are some intriguing plotlines to observe. Kent State is a harmful 13-seed. The Golden Flashes have high-level guards in Sincere Carry and Malique Jacobs, and so they will not again down from Indiana. They must decelerate Trayce Jackson-Davis, although. Iowa State vs. Mississippi State might be a slog, however Texas A&M vs. Penn State is a battle between two of the most popular groups within the nation. Jalen Pickett vs. Wade Taylor IV? Sign me up. I believe this area might be pretty chalky after the primary spherical. Miami has the guards to win two video games, whereas Xavier vs. Texas needs to be probably the greatest Sweet 16 groups within the event. This is Houston’s area to lose, although. The Cougars are bodily, properly coached, able to forcing their model on any opponent — and so they have extra expertise than latest seasons.

Why Gonzaga is hitting its stride on the excellent time

LaPhonso Ellis and Jay Bilas clarify why they really feel Gonzaga is peaking heading into the NCAA event.

West Region (Las Vegas)


No. 1 Kansas 90, No. 16 Howard 61
No. 8 Arkansas 70, No. 9 Illinois 63

No. 12 VCU 66, No. 5 Saint Mary’s 65
No. 4 UConn 82, No. 13 Iona 77

No. 6 TCU 79, No. 11 Arizona State 65
No. 3 Gonzaga 88, No. 14 Grand Canyon 70

No. 7 Northwestern 69, No. 10 Boise State 66
No. 2 UCLA 82, No. 15 UNC Asheville 58


No. 1 Kansas 74, No. 8 Arkansas 67
No. 4 UConn 72, No. 12 VCU 61

No. 6 TCU 78, No. 3 Gonzaga 77
No. 2 UCLA 73, No. 7 Northwestern 60


No. 4 UConn 70, No. 1 Kansas 69

No. 2 UCLA 73, No. 6 TCU 62


No. 4 UConn 66, No. 2 UCLA 64

WEST ANALYSIS: This area is a gauntlet. Kansas, UCLA, Gonzaga and UConn are all Final Four good. TCU and Arkansas are proficient sufficient to win a number of video games. And then there are even battle-tested double-digit seeds like Atlantic 10 champion VCU and Rick Pitino-coached Iona. In the primary spherical, my largest upset on this area is VCU over Saint Mary’s. It’s going to be a grind-it-out affair as each groups are elite defensively and comfy within the half court docket, however VCU will discover methods to decelerate the Gaels’ guards. Iona will give UConn a run, however the Huskies have too many weapons. In the second spherical, I’m going with TCU over Gonzaga as an upset. If the Horned Frogs could cause issues for Gonzaga’s guards and get out in transition, the Horned Frogs can win this one. And then I’m going with a shock to get out of this area and get to the Final Four. UConn appeared like one of the best crew within the nation for 2 months, then appeared like one thing near that for the ultimate couple weeks of the common season. Kansas has proven some warts these days, whereas UCLA has harm issues going into the NCAA event with out Jaylen Clark and presumably Adem Bona. UConn is occurring a run … if Pitino does not take them down within the first spherical.

Is anybody a menace to Alabama within the South Region?

Seth Greenberg explains why No. 1 Alabama might be a troublesome competitor within the NCAA event South Region.

South Region (Louisville)


No. 1 Alabama 101, No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 67
No. 9 West Virginia 70, No. 8 Maryland 68

No. 5 San Diego State 66, No. 12 Charleston 61
No. 13 Furman 62, No. 4 Virginia 59

No. 6 Creighton 75, No. 11 NC State 66
No. 3 Baylor 80, No. 14 UC Santa Barbara 71

No. 7 Missouri 69, No. 10 Utah State 65
No. 2 Arizona 85, No. 15 Princeton 70


No. 1 Alabama 75, No. 9 West Virginia 64
No. 13 Furman 63, No. 5 San Diego State 60

No. 6 Creighton 70, No. 3 Baylor 68
No. 2 Arizona 77, No. 7 Missouri 65


No. 1 Alabama 83, No. 13 Furman 66

No. 2 Arizona 79, No. 6 Creighton 71


No. 1 Alabama 91, No. 2 Arizona 87

SOUTH ANALYSIS: This area has a number of groups on the prime that appeared like legit nationwide championship contenders at one level or one other this season. But Alabama is the general 1-seed for a motive, and the Crimson Tide needs to be proud of their draw right here. Perhaps probably the most intrigue comes within the Orlando, Florida, pod that includes San Diego State vs. Charleston and Virginia vs. Furman. Both the Cougars and Paladins might be common upset picks, however the distinction in types might be fascinating — can Charleston velocity the sport up towards the half-court-focused Aztecs? My decide is Furman going to the Sweet 16. Bob Richey’s crew received the common season and convention event titles within the Southern Conference and has two bona fide stars in Mike Bothwell and Jalen Slawson. The backside half of the bracket ought to characteristic a terrific Round of 32 sport between Creighton and Baylor, with Creighton’s elite protection going towards Baylor’s extremely ranked offense. Can the Bears cease Ryan Kalkbrenner across the rim? Arizona would be the favourite to get to the Elite Eight. With the Final Four on the road, I’m going with Brandon Miller and the Crimson Tide — Tommy Lloyd’s crew simply will not have a solution for him on the wing. It could be probably the most entertaining sport of the event, although.

How far can Duke go within the East area?

Jay Bilas and Seth Greenberg react to Duke getting the 5-seed within the East Region of the NCAA event.

East Region (New York)


No. 1 Purdue 82, No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 55
No. 8 Memphis 77, No. 9 FAU 73

No. 5 Duke 70, No. 12 Oral Roberts 66
No. 4 Tennessee 67, No. 13 Louisiana 60

No. 6 Kentucky 75, No. 11 Providence 69
No. 3 Kansas State 77, No. 14 Montana State 57

No. 7 Michigan State 71, No. 10 USC 64
No. 2 Marquette 81, No. 15 Vermont 71


No. 8 Memphis 73, No. 1 Purdue 72
No. 5 Duke 66, No. 4 Tennessee 63

No. 6 Kentucky 68, No. 3 Kansas State 66
No. 2 Marquette 75, No. 7 Michigan State 61


No. 5 Duke 73, No. 8 Memphis 67

No. 2 Marquette 72, No. 6 Kentucky 64


No. 2 Marquette 69, No. 5 Duke 65

EAST ANALYSIS: This area contains a slew of convention event champions, with Purdue, Memphis, Duke and Marquette all coming into the NCAA event on a successful streak. Let’s get proper to the large prediction on this area: I’m going with Memphis over Purdue within the second spherical. We’ve seen the Boilermakers actually battle with opponents pressuring them late in video games, and Memphis will trigger loads of points for Purdue’s guards in that space. Kendric Davis will step up and make large photographs late. Is Duke pretty much as good because it confirmed over the previous few weeks? The area may open up for the Blue Devils — if they will get previous celebrity guard Max Abmas and Oral Roberts. In the underside half of the bracket, there’s the potential for a Bryce Hopkins revenge sport within the first spherical as Providence takes on Kentucky, however we’re going with the Wildcats beating a special set of Wildcats within the second spherical. My decide on this area? Marquette, which simply rolled previous Xavier within the Big East title sport and appears to be enjoying with a special edge proper now. If the Golden Eagles defend like they did this previous weekend, they’re heading to Houston.

Dickie V’s takeaways from the NCAA event bracket reveal

Dick Vitale goes by way of a number of bubble groups he felt ought to’ve been within the NCAA event.

Final Four (Houston)


No. 1 (Midwest) Houston 70, No. 4 (West) UConn 65

No. 1 (South) Alabama 81, No. 2 (East) Marquette 73

ANALYSIS: Houston and Alabama have been probably the most persistently spectacular groups for the reason that begin of the season, and I believe they will have a rematch within the title sport. UConn’s run to the Final Four will finish towards the hometown crew in Houston, with the Cougars able to beating the Huskies on the offensive glass and slowing down Jordan Hawkins on the different finish. Meanwhile, Alabama has an excessive amount of size and high-end expertise on the court docket for Marquette on the opposite facet of the bracket. Shaka Smart has completed an admirable job guiding the Golden Eagles to a sweep of the Big East common season and convention event titles, however the Crimson Tide have veteran shot-makers within the backcourt, dimension on the rim — and an elite protection. That might be sufficient to get to the title sport.

No. 1 Alabama 73, No.1 Houston 71

ANALYSIS: A rematch of the Dec. 10 showdown that noticed Alabama go into Houston and knock off the Cougars 71-65. Nearly 4 months later, I’m predicting the identical final result. The Crimson Tide will match Houston’s physicality with their very own mixture of unbelievable size and dimension. There are loads of fascinating particular person matchups: A backcourt battle that includes Jamal Shead and Marcus Sasser vs. Jahvon Quinerly and Mark Sears; lottery decide wings in Jarace Walker and Brandon Miller; and Charles Bediako hoping to maintain Houston off the offensive glass. This one will come right down to tempo. Alabama ranks fourth nationally in tempo, Houston slots in at No. 343. Can the Crimson Tide velocity this one up? I believe they do, and I believe they win.

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