Contest: Join our NCAA men's basketball bracket challenge
Tournament Central: Omaha.com's NCAA men's basketball tournament page
Bracket Buzz: South Region
Bracket Buzz: West Region
Bracket Buzz: East Region
* * *
The biggest “second-round” upset will be Belmont over Georgetown. Beyond that, it's mostly chalk in the weakest region. North Carolina has the easiest path of any No. 1 seed. Kansas also skates to the regional final. Once there, it's a rematch of the 2008 national semis. This time, Carolina has the edge.
* * *
1. N. Carolina (29-5) vs. 16. Lamar/Vermont: Tyler Zeller was ACC player of the year. Kendall Marshall is Mr. Indispensable. But the keys to a title run are John Henson's injured wrist and Harrison Barnes' late-game shooting.
8. Creighton (28-5) vs. 9. Alabama (21-11): Who sets the pace? If the game gets into the 70s, Creighton probably wins. If it's in the 50s or 60s, Alabama is more comfortable. The Tide defend the 3-point line extremely well.
5. Temple (24-7) vs. 12. California/S. Florida: Temple won the Atlantic 10 regular season, hitting 40 percent from long range. California, which has four double-digit scorers, is a bigger threat to beat the Owls.
4. Michigan (24-9) vs. 13. Ohio (27-7): Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. lead the Wolverines, who rely heavily on the 3-point shot. John Groce's Bobcats upset Georgetown as a 14 seed in 2010.
6. S.D. State (26-7) vs. 11. N.C. State (22-12): San Diego State, a No. 2 seed last year, is a Sweet 16 contender again thanks to Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley. C.J. Leslie is a force inside for N.C. State.
3. Georgetown (23-8) vs. 14. Belmont (27-7): Bombs away is Belmont's offensive strategy. But Georgetown is No. 1 nationally in defending the arc. The slower the pace, the better for the Hoyas.
7. St. Mary's (27-5) vs. 10. Purdue (21-12): Matthew Dellavedova orchestrates St. Mary's smooth offense. Purdue's Robbie Hummel recovered from two major knee injuries the past two years to score 16 per game.
2. Kansas (27-6) vs. 15. Detroit (22-13): KU is no stranger to first-round upsets, but Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor may be the best 1-2 punch in the country. Elijah Johnson needs to be the third scorer.
* * *
Round of 64 winners: N. Carolina, Creighton, California, Michigan, S.D. State, Belmont, Purdue, Kansas
Round of 32 winners: N. Carolina, Michigan, S.D. State, Kansas
Sweet 16 winners: N. Carolina, Kansas
Final Four bound: N. Carolina