Frank Schwab gives his initial reactions to the March Madness bracket, including whether Gonzaga is a lock to make the Final Four and which #12 seed could upset a #5 seed.
FRANK SCHWAB: This is Frank Schwab with Yahoo Sports with instant reactions to the March Madness bracket and the odds. The first thing that jumped out at me was Gonzaga's easy draw. Of all the number 1 seeds, the favorite got the best draw. They're stuck in a bracket with a bunch of teams they've already beat who aren't going to challenge them. It's almost impossible not to just pencil Gonzaga into the Final Four.
A team like Iowa, they could make a run. They could score a lot. But it's still a team the Gonzaga's already beat. Gonzaga's beat Virginia. Gonzaga's beat Kansas. I think Gonzaga is almost a lock to make the Final Four as the heavy favorite in this field.
On the flip side of that, I did feel pretty bad for Iowa. This is a team that could have made a run with the right draw, but they got stuck in Gonzaga's bracket. That's really tough for them as a 2-seed.
And also, I worry about a potential Sweet 16 matchup against USC with their freshman phenom center Evan Mobley. He's going to cause a lot of problems for Luka Garza if that matchup happens. Iowa's got to go through Gonzaga to make the Final Four, and that's the toughest assignment in this field.
The third thing that caught my eye with the bracket was Alabama's draw. I really like them being put in Michigan's bracket. Isaiah Livers's probably going to be out with a foot injury. That does hurt Michigan.
I like this Alabama team. They can shoot the 3. They play uptempo. Great defensive team. You saw them play really well in the SEC tournament. They're 16 to 1 right now to win it all. For a team that was a number 5 overall seed-- meaning they were the strongest of the 2 seeds-- getting 16 to 1 is great value-- in my opinion, the best value of any team in this field.
And finally, when the bracket comes out, everybody looks at those 12 versus 5 matchups. Everybody's looking for that upset. Usually, a 12-seed beats a 5-seed in the tournament. And this year, I like two of the 12 seeds.
UC Santa Barbara is a very good team out of the Big West, and they get a Creighton team that doubt with a lot of controversy late in the season, didn't play as well as they did early in the year. I really think UCSB can pull off that upset.
And the other number 12 seed I really like is Winthrop. They're going against a Villanova team that's going to be without Collin Gillespie. We saw Villanova lose both games without Gillespie after his knee injury. I think they're vulnerable. Winthrop's a good team. So I think two number 12 seeds move on to the second round.
- If you want to bet on the tournament, bet $10 on any team in the first two rounds and get $160 in free play. Just go to betmgm.com/yahoospecial and use the SPORTSBOOK promo code.