March Insanity predictions 2023: Mike DeCourcy’s professional NCAA Event bracket picks

March Insanity predictions 2023: Mike DeCourcy’s professional NCAA Event bracket picks

Right here’s the factor about this 12 months’s match.

I don’t really feel in any respect like I can inform you who’s going to win it.

As a substitute, I can inform you who’s not going to win it.

And there have been occasions when it’s felt like I might say that about each staff within the discipline.

4 days in the past, I felt fairly good about Houston as the most effective candidate to win the NCAA championships. Then All-American guard Marcus Sasser’s higher physique zigged whereas his decrease physique zagged, and all of a sudden the Cougars appeared a good quantity like an bizarre staff. A month in the past, nobody might take care of 7-4 Purdue heart Zach Edey (they nonetheless can’t) and that made it simpler for the staff’s younger backcourt to supply (now they’re not). Alabama is coping with the aftermath of the homicide prices towards a since-dismissed participant and the revelation that two gamers, together with the staff’s celebrity, have been current when the capturing occurred.

Reside NCAA bracket | TV schedule | Predictor device

Championship contenders that already have been underwhelming or flawed now are principally underwhelming and flawed.

But when there’s a recreation, somebody’s obtained to win it. So we’ll have 4 groups in Houston in early April, and considered one of them will maintain up a championship trophy and be part of the likes of UCLA 1972, North Carolina 1982, Duke 1992, Maryland 2002 and Kentucky 2012 – dang, these have been some nice champions. Possibly the trick is to look ahead to the 12 months that ends in “2.”

This one will finish with Alabama because the winner over a Remaining 4 that features Duke, Texas and Connecticut, and so they immediately might grow to be the least fashionable champion within the sport’s historical past.

The Crimson Tide could be a spectacular defensive staff. They could be a spectacular offensive staff. They rank within the prime 20 in each classes at They’ve a frontcourt with dimension, dynamism, toughness and capturing. They’ve a minimum of one apparent NBA prospect, future lottery choose Brandon Miller. In Miller, they’ve a participant who can break down defenses beneath strain. Jahvon Quinerly is the kind of proficient, skilled level guard who can win a title.

Quinerly won’t be a first-round draft choose, however he suits the mould of previous champions like Dajuan Harris of Kansas and Joel Berry of North Carolina. Quinerly was injured in final 12 months’s match, and it has been a journey for him to get again to enjoying main minutes on the stage he these days is reaching.

If Alabama does win all of it, on the very least all of us can be ok with him getting a hoop.

MORE EXPERT PICKS: Bender (Kansas) | Fagan (Marquette) | Pohnl (Kansas)

March Insanity bracket predictions 2023

South Area picks

March Insanity predictions 2023: Mike DeCourcy’s professional NCAA Event bracket picks


1 Alabama over 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
8 Maryland over 9 West Virginia
5 San Diego State over 12 Charleston
4 Virginia over 13 Furman
6 Creighton over 11 NC State
3 Baylor over 14 UCSB
7 Missouri over 10 Utah State
2 Arizona over 15 Princeton


1 Alabama over 8 Maryland
5 San Diego State over 4 Virginia
6 Creighton over 3 Baylor
2 Arizona over 7 Missouri


1 Alabama over 5 San Diego State
6 Creighton over 2 Arizona


1 Alabama over 6 Creighton

There are specific areas yearly the place it appears to be like as if the coach of the highest seed was granted the chance to select the opponents he would favor to have in his staff’s area. This 12 months, it’s as if that honor has been offered to Alabama and head coach Nate Oats.

It’s only a thriller what he did to earn that honor.

Oh, I assume he fielded the staff that grew to become the No. 1 general seed. I suppose that’s a superb cause. However Bama gave the committee loads of justification to think about going exhausting on the Crimson Tide and making them work to get to Houston.

Nicely, overlook about that. We noticed what Arizona was product of within the Pac-12 championship recreation towards UCLA. Oh, certain, they received, however they wanted a horrible name that modified the momentum of the sport, two main accidents to the Bruins, the one remaining UCLA bigs to be disqualified and a late 3-pointer to get that trophy. After final 12 months’s Arizona squad squandered the abilities of Bennedict Mathurin, Dalen Terry and Christian Koloko with its Candy 16 departure (that simply might have been a first-weekend loss), it’s exhausting to belief this squad.

No. 3 Baylor is likely to be completely satisfied by no means to see Iowa State once more, however general the Bears have been struggling to seek out consistency on offense.

That’s why I wound up deciding on Creighton – one other staff that not often appears to seize the sum of its collective expertise – to achieve the Elite Eight towards Alabama. It’s principally a perception that it should work greater than any particular proof it’ll. Take into consideration this: Creighton has overwhelmed considered one of its 4 NCAA Event opponents since Feb. 1. And that’s the staff I’m choosing to make a run?

MORE: Print your 2023 March Insanity bracket right here

East Area picks

DeCourcy East picks


1 Purdue over 16 Texas Southern
8 Memphis over 9 Florida Atlantic
5 Duke over 12 Oral Roberts
4 Tennessee over 13 Louisiana
6 Kentucky over 11 Windfall
3 Kansas State over 14 Montana Statev 7 Michigan State over 10 USC
2 Marquette over 15 Vermont


1 Purdue over 8 Memphis
5 Duke over 4 Tennessee
6 Kentucky over 3 Kansas State
2 Marquette over 7 Michigan State


5 Duke over 1 Purdue
2 Marquette over 6 Kentucky


5 Duke over 2 Marquette

Now that Duke is absolutely wholesome, it’s exhausting to not be impressed by its collective expertise and the sense of function the Blue Devils carry into each recreation. Kyle Filipowski has grow to be about as troublesome to defend as any participant in school basketball, given his dimension and talent to attain from deep and across the aim and spectacular skill to play on the transfer. Heart Dereck Vigorous II is a ridiculous rim protector. They actually have quite a lot of the qualities one would possibly search for in a nationwide champion.

It simply appears too inconceivable for Duke to win a nationwide title in its first season following Mike Krzyzewski’s retirement.

Is {that a} good cause to not choose the Devils? Nicely, for me it wasn’t a adequate cause to not choose them to advance to the Remaining 4. Purdue opponents will fret about the best way to defend the Sporting Information Participant of the 12 months, Zach Edey, however his companions simply are usually not contributing sufficient commonly for them to defeat a staff as gifted as Duke.

Marquette is a marvel, with possibly America’s greatest pure playmaking level guard and among the greatest passing of any staff in Division I. However the just-good-enough protection will value them sooner or later, and my perception is that time will arrive within the Elite Eight.

15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5

Midwest Area picks

DeCourcy Midwest picks


1 Houston over 16 Northern Kentucky

9 Auburn over 8 Iowa
12 Drake over 5 Miami
4 Indiana over 13 Kent State
6 Iowa State over 11 Mississippi State
3 Xavier over 14 Kennesaw State
7 Texas A&M over 10 Penn State
2 Texas over 15 Colgate


1 Houston over 9 Auburn
4 Indiana over 12 Drake
3 Xavier over 6 Iowa State
2 Texas over 7 Texas A&M


1 Houston over 4 Indiana
2 Texas over 3 Xavier


2 Texas over 1 Houston

If I’m keen to consider the Cougars can attain the Elite Eight with an injury-compromised Marcus Sasser, why not simply choose them to go all the best way? OK, I’m moving into the actually odd reasoning right here: It simply doesn’t appear to be a season once we’re going to get two No. 1 seeds within the Remaining 4.

There nearly all the time is a least one prime seed within the Remaining 4; the final time we had zero was in 2006, when the seeds have been No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 LSU and No. 11 George Mason.

I determine Alabama will get the compulsory spot due to the inadequacy of their area. Houston has some groups that may problem them, however extra so there may be the priority about whether or not Sasser can attain the extraordinary stage required to win the largest match video games.

I’m not absolutely satisfied Texas goes to get by way of its seemingly second-round recreation towards once-and-future rival Texas A&M, but when the Longhorns do get by way of, they’re geared up for a superb run. (In the event that they make good end-game selections with the ball, which isn’t a given).

And as a lot because the native followers on the Midwest Area won’t like Texas, they could cheer even more durable towards a Houston staff they really feel was gifted their alternative to play in KC when the Jayhawks have been proper freaking there with 17 Quad 1 wins and nonetheless slotted behind the Cougars on the official NCAA seed checklist.

TSN AWARDS: Edey Participant of 12 months | Terry Coach of 12 months | All-America staff 

West Area picks

DeCourcy West picks


1 Kansas over 16 Howard
8 Arkansas over 9 Illinois
5 Saint Mary’s over 12 VCU
4 UConn over 13 Iona
6 TCU over 11 Arizona State
3 Gonzaga over 14 Grand Canyon
10 Boise State over 7 Northwestern
2 UCLA over 15 UNC Asheville


1 Kansas over 8Arkansas
4 UConn over 5 Saint Mary’s
6 TCU over 3 Gonzaga
2 UCLA over 10 Boise State


4 UConn over 1 Kansas
2 UCLA over 6 TCU


4 UConn over 2 UCLA

It’s not simple to select towards UCLA ought to they make it that deep into the match. This staff has a will to win that’s unmatched among the many different 67 groups within the discipline. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of the opposite 67 groups aren’t doubtlessly with out 40 % of their beginning lineup simply when the video games matter most.

We just about know that wing Jalen Clark, the Pac-12 Defensive Participant of the 12 months, won’t be accessible for March Insanity. The standing of gifted freshman heart Adem Bona is unclear, however it’s unlikely he’s going to offer his customary bodily presence if in any respect compromised by his shoulder harm.

It all the time appeared like analysts who pushed for the Bruins as a probable nationwide champion have been asking quite a lot of a staff that incessantly struggles to attain. However that they had the products for a Remaining 4. Possibly they nonetheless do, however will probably be a lot more durable.

No. 1 seed Kansas does, too, however that rank of 361st in bench minutes is not any accident. It’s a staff that depends a lot, nearly an excessive amount of, on its starters. Those that advocated for Kansas as a attainable/seemingly nationwide champion have been overlooking that heart KJ Adams is 6-7. He’s a terrific 6-7 participant, however there hasn’t been a champ with a middle that dimension since 1979. And that Michigan State staff had a man named Magic on its facet.

UConn has all the pieces it wants, actually, to make it to Houston.

The Huskies simply want to remain targeted, collectively and pointed within the correct route for 4 video games. They did that in the beginning of the season. They may do it ultimately.