Toughest Bracket? The Midwest: Kansas is the best team in the country. But Ohio State, Georgetown, Michigan State and Tennessee all reside in the region. The Jayhawks could see Michigan State in the Sweet 16. If they get through that, they'll have to worry about Ohio State, Tennessee or Georgetown in the Elite 8.
Easiest Bracket? The South: Duke (some would say as usual) won't have a lot of opposition. Villanova was generously awarded a No.2 despite losing four of its final six games. No.4 Purdue doesn't have Robbie Hummel, while No.3 Baylor, with just one decent non-conference win (Xavier), has never played under this type of pressure. Duke should walk to the Final Four.
Weakest No.1? Duke. The Blue Devils won the ACC regular season and tournament championship. But the ACC was down this season. Way down. Duke and Maryland were the only teams in the conference ranked. Duke's best non-conference win was against Gonzaga at Madison Square Garden. But the Duke is helped by the fact that the South bracket is weak.
Strongest No.1? Although Kentucky has the best player (John Wall), Kansas has the best collection of talent. Kansas' top players -Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry, Cole Aldrich, Marcus Morris- can do it all. They can shoot it long distance, get points in the paint and hit the big shot. Collins and Aldrich are holdovers from the 2008 championship team.
Surprise Final Four team? There won't be any George Mason's this year, but don't sleep on Temple, Xavier or Texas. Temple has a potent backcourt in Juan Fernandez and Ryan Brooks and a powerful inside man in Lavoy Allen (11.7 pts, 10.9 reb). Xavier's backcourt of Terrell Holloway and Jordan Crawford have an abundance of talent and experience. And we all know that guards win championships. As for Texas, people seem to forget they were the No.1 team in the country for a minute. BYU, led by Jimmer Fredette, could also be a sleeper.