By Dan Leach

By: Dan Leach

Follow Dan Leach on Twitter @dtmleach!


5-OHIO STATE (2-Seed West) The Buckeyes had a toughy against hot shooting Iowa State in the round of 32, but Aaron Kraft simply refused to let OSU lose and hit one of the great end-of-game buzzer-beating shots in recent memory. When Ohio State gets on a roll, they are one of the most dangerous teams in the country. With a scorer like Deshaun Thomas, who can take over a game, the Bucks can beat anybody. Thad Matta has his critics, but is one of the better in-game coaches and the Buckeyes benefit from a region that has completely blown up.


Path to Final Four-Arizona, winner of La Salle/Wichita State.




4-MICHIGAN (4-Seed South) The Wolverines arguably looked the best in the entire tournament in their first two games when factoring in the competition, dispatching South Dakota State and VCU in convincing fashion. What was so impressive from Michigan was their dominance from start to finish in both games. With Naismith Finalist Trey Burke running the show, they have to go-to guy who takes over in big games. The emergence of Mitch McGary has been huge for Michigan as well and having a viable big man both in the paint to score and to defend is a major key to winning a National Title.


Path To Final Four-Kansas, winner of FGCU/Florida.



3-MIAMI (2-Seed East) The Canes are fun to watch and seem to take on the personality of their coach, Jim Larranaga , who deserves credit for what this program has been able to attain so far this year. There is not a long or rich history of Hurricanes success in March, but this year’s team, led by Shane Larkin and Kenny Kadji, is trying to make their own. What impresses me most about Miami is how they never panic no matter what the situation is late in game s and that was very apparent in their win over a gutsy Illinois team in the round of 32. They will likely have to face Indiana in the Elite 8 if they beat Marquette in the Sweet Sixteen, but if they can find a way to Atlanta, they have all the ingredients to cut down the nets.


Path to Final Four-Marquette, winner of Indiana/Syracuse.



2-INDIANA (1-Seed East) The Hoosiers got a scare from a scrappy Temple team in the round of 32, but showed why they are one of the nation’s best by finding z way to hit the biggest shots at the most opportune time. Every National Champ gets tested at least once during their run, and the Hoosiers win over the Owls showed them that they can overcome a dire situation to get a win. The defensive prowess of Naismith Finalist Victor Oladipo is an x-factor towards an IU run at a title and Cody Zeller’s re-found confidence has come at just the right time.


Path to Final Four-Syracuse, winner of Marquette/Miami.




1-LOUISVILLE (1-Seed Midwest) – The Cards have looked unbeatable, coming into the Sweet Sixteen winners of 12 straight. Rick Pitino’s squad can beat you inside and out and the confidence and high-level play of guards Peyton Siva and Russ Smith is a key to their ability to run through the tournament. What has been most impressive about the Cardinals so far is their pressure-defense which forced 25 turnovers in their opening game win over North Carolina A&T and 19 from Colorado State in the round of 32. This team reminds me a lot of 2011 National Champ Connecticut, who came in to the tourney hot and just refused to lose.


Path to Final Four-Oregon, winner of Michigan State/Duke.




Vegas Odds To Win The NCAA Title


Louisville: 3/1
Indiana: 5/1
Florida: 5/1
Miami Fl: 7/1
Ohio State: 8/1
Duke: 10/1
Kansas: 12/1
Michigan: 12/1
Michigan St: 14/1
Syracuse: 20/1
Arizona: 25/1
Wichita St: 40/1
Marquette: 50/1
Oregon: 60/1
LaSalle: 75/1
Florida Gulf Coast: 100/1



Dan Leach has a PhD in Bracketology and Anthropology, is an avid hot air balloon enthusiast, and is in the running to take over for Alex Trebek as host of “Jeopardy”.






Follow Dan Leach on Twitter @dtmleach!


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