Now that the field is set for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, let’s get to the official DIME bracket picks. We guarantee they wi… sorry, our legal team won’t let us guarantee this, because we are almost definitely going to get something wrong. But still, we promise these are our very best guesses as to what will happen during March Madness.
Let’s dive in. All winners are in bold.
No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s/New Orleans
No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech
No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC Wilmington
No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State
No. 6 SMU vs. No. 11 USC/Providence
No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 New Mexico State
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 10 Marquette
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Troy
Notes: Marquette is really good at offense and struggles on defense. South Carolina really struggles on offense and is really good on defense. This matchup will be decided by which team is able to do their really good thing a little better than the other team does its really good thing. I’ll take the Golden Eagles’ offense, and therefore, I’ll take Marquette. In the 5/12 game, Tony Bennett and Kevin Keatts will give us a really good coaching matchup, one that Keatts will win, because I just don’t trust Virginia’s offense enough.
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 NC Central/UC Davis
No. 8 Miami vs. No. 9 Michigan State
No. 5 Iowa State vs. No 12 Nevada
No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont
No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 Rhode Island
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 14 Iona
No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State
No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 15 Jacksonville State
Notes: Michigan State is going through solely because the Spartans are super talented and they can absolutely blow a good team like Miami out if they put it all together (pay attention to Miles Bridges, who is going to dunk on someone so viciously during this game that you’re going to jump out of your chair). This probably won’t be a blowout, but a somewhat comfortable win wouldn’t be a shock. As for the 6/11 matchup, Rhode Island is peaking at the right time, and given its top-25 talent (the Rams were a top-25 team in the preseason) and the fact that Creighton is still without senior guard Maurice Watson, they’re going to be a sexy pick to make a little bit of a run.
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 South Dakota State
No. 8 Northwestern vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Princeton
No. 4 West Virginia vs. No. 13 Bucknell
No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast
No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 VCU
No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 North Dakota
Notes: Total chalk. Do not be surprised if one of Princeton or Bucknell upend Notre Dame or West Virginia, and after their magical run a few years back, I am never going to count out Florida Gulf Coast (mostly because their 2013 Sweet 16 run ruled). If I had to pick, I’d take the Tigers to beat the Fighting Irish, but I ultimately think that Bonzie Colson is good enough to beat Princeton.
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Texas Southern
No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Seton Hall
No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State
No. 4 Butler vs. No. 13 Winthrop
No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Kansas State/Wake Forest
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 14 Kent State
No. 7 Dayton vs.No. 10 Wichita State
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Northern Kentucky
Notes: You may remember Middle Tennessee State as the team that destroyed your bracket last year. In 2017, Giddy Potts and Co. are back to beat Minnesota, which will be without senior guard Akeem Springs due to an injury. The Gophers can still win, I am just riding with Giddy. In other upsets, Seton Hall and Wichita State winning wouldn’t be huge surprises, while you’re all about to learn about Wake Forest’s John Collins, who is fantastic and would be a Player of the Year candidate if he went to a bigger school. If Kansas State wins the First Four matchup with the Demon Deacons, the Bearcats will advance. But let’s give Collins the love he deserves.