With one month to go before Selection Sunday takes place, now is a great time to offer up some bold bracket predictions for the quickly approaching 2021 National Championship Tournament.
To that end, I’ve got projected seeds – and some expert analysis – for the 20 teams that currently look like they’re going to get one of the top five seeds in each of the four annual brackets. Let’s jump right into action so you can continue planning your bets against their College Basketball Championship odds.
Bold 2021 NCAAB Tournament Bracket Predictions
We’re No. 1
- Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State
Analysis: Gonzaga (19-0) might be the top-ranked team in the nation, but I fully believe the best team in all of college basketball is the unbeaten Baylor Bears (17-0). Gonzaga ranks a stellar first in scoring nationally (92.7 ppg) while allowing 69.7 points per game defensively (164th).
Baylor however, ranks a stupendous fourth in scoring (87.0 ppg) and an equally daunting 24th in points allowed (62.8 ppg). Four players average double figures in scoring for the Bears while each of their top six players shoots at least 47.9 percent from the field.
One-loss Michigan (13-1) also looks quite legitimate thanks to an offense that ranks 36th in scoring (79.7 ppg) and a defense that ranks 62nd in points allowed (65.4 ppg). I’m not a big believe in Ohio State even though the Buckeyes rank 59th in scoring (77.5 ppg) and limits the opposition to 68.4 points per game defensively (136th).
No. 2 With Bullet
- Villanova, Alabama, Illinois, Houston
Analysis: No. 11 Alabama (15-5) and No. 6 Illinois (13-5) just don’t move me very much seeing as how both teams have an identical five losses. However, fifth-ranked Villanova (12-2) and eighth-ranked Houston (16-2) looks like a pair of teams that should be getting way more consideration for No. 1 seeds, seeing as how the Wildcats and Cougars are the only two nationally ranked teams in the country besides Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan with two losses or less.
Villanova averages 77.9 points per game (50th) while allowing 10.0 fewer points per game defensively.
Houston puts up 76.2 points per contest (80th), but owns one of the very best defenses in all of college basketball by limiting the opposition to just 56.9 points per game to rank second in fewest points allowed.
Three Is A Magic Number!
- Missouri, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida State
Analysis: Out of my quartet of No. 3 seeds, I like Missouri (13-3) the most. The Tigers don’t put up jaw-dropping numbers at either end of the floor, but the Tigers are a battle tested bunch that has recorded a bunch of eye-opening victories this season. Missouri has beaten the likes of Oregon, No. 6 Illinois, No. 16 Tennessee, Kentucky and No. 11 Alabama.
- Tennessee, Iowa, Texas, USC
Analysis: No. 16 Tennessee (13-4) looks dangerous because of a defense that ranks sixth in points allowed (59.6 ppg). Unfortunately, the Vols’ lack of offense could ruin their national championship chances. For me, I really like No. 13 Texas (11-5) as my top No. 4 seed. The Longhorns average 75.6 points per game (91st) and allow (68.4 points per contest defensively (128th). Texas has recorded impressive wins over Oklahoma State, Kansas and West Virginia while narrowly falling against Villanova and Texas Tech.
- Oklahoma, Creighton, Purdue, Florida
Analysis: Out of my projected No. 5 seeds, I think it’s quite possible that No. 19 Creighton (14-5) could very well shoot its way into national championship contention. The Blue Jays rank 38th nationally in scoring (79.6 ppg), 27th in field goal shooting percentage (48.4%) and 58th in three-point shooting percentage. Five players average double figures in scoring for a battle-tested Creighton squad.
Elite Eight Participants
- Houston, Texas, Missouri, Texas Tech
My Final Four Contenders
- Baylor, Gonzaga, Michigan, Villanova
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