Gavel Sports' March Madness Picks

As we get into the midst of March, bracket season begins to unfold. And while many of us begin the NCAA tournament with high-minded ambitions for our brackets, we oftentimes find out—sooner or later—that our bracket is headed toward a miserable fate.  What a cruel mistress March Madness can be.

But here at the sports section of The Gavel, we'd like to think that we know a little something about the elusive art of bracketology. Then again, sometimes that art is even lost on the likes of experts (I'm looking at you, Dicky V.). Without further ado, here is what our questionably qualified staff members predict:

 

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Screenshot courtesy of espn.com / bracket

Mike Kotsopoulos

Duke over Kentucky. Realistically, Kentucky wipes the table clean, but the beauty of sports is that on any given day, anything can happen...unless you're a team like the University of Buffalo.

Give me Okafor and Duke's backcourt against all 8 McDonalds All-Americans any day for one of the greatest match-ups in Final Four history. Duke and Coach K steal one from Calipari, who gets his heart broken for the second straight year...still not enough karma for what he did to UMass and Memphis.

 

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Screenshot courtesy of espn.com/bracket.

Griffin Connolly

This year is all about Kentucky. Either way there is going to be an unforgettable moment with these Wildcats because A) if they lose, it will likely be one of the biggest shockers in college basketball over the last decade, or B) if they win it all, they'll likely go down as the best team to ever play in the modern era.

Fivethirtyeight.com, a website that runs detailed statistical analyses on sports, says that Kentucky has a 42% chance of bringing a title back to Lexington. That means that the remaining 67 teams have a 58% chance COMBINED. I'll go with the odds on this one.

 

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Screenshot courtesy of espn.com / bracket

Caz Novak

I picked Wisconsin because I hate Kentucky and Kaminsky is the absolute man. Plus Bo Ryan literally is Bucky Badger.

 

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Screenshot courtesy of espn.com / bracket

Frankie Bernard

Since I am the Senior Editor, I'm currently experiencing Senior Editoritis, so I'll keep this short and sweet: While my bracket may bust along with the rest of the worlds, there's one result I will not be wrong on. I'm obviously talking about Michigan State over Virgina.
Oh, and yeah, those cats from Kentucky winning the whole thing. That too.

 

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Screenshot courtesy of espn.com / bracket

Carter Montgomery

As much as I wanted to have my hometown Terps take down Kentucky earlier in the tournament, the Wildcats won't be stopped from reaching the finals in Indy. The ACC will be represented by 3 of the final 4 teams with Duke, UVA, and UNC.
My final felt like I was choosing between the Globo Gym Purple Cobras and the Russians in miracle on ice. If there is anyway for both teams to lose, I hope it happens, but Duke seemed like the lesser of the two evils, and I have them cutting the nets down at the end of the Madness.

 

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Screenshot courtesy of espn.com / bracket

Riley Sousa

There's only so much you can do with a March Madness Bracket, so I try not to overthink it.  I took some upsets here and there, although not Harvard; I'm going to guess that they can't upset their way out of the first round three years in a row.
In the end, I have Kentucky on top.  Of the top seeds, I am most impressed with Kentucky's team play---notably Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns, who have been particularly strong recently.

 

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Screenshot courtesy of espn.com / bracket

 Joe Castignetti

I struggled with this pick. A part of me really wanted to pick ANY team other than Kentucky (after all, who doesn't like a good underdog story?). But with a flawless record, one of the best coaches in college basketball and an unbelievably well-rounded team, it's difficult to pick any school other than Kentucky.

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